The PF Tek—What Is It & Who Invented It?

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The PF Tek—What Is It & Who Invented It?

The PF Tek is probably the most commonly used technique for growing magic mushrooms at home. But what does PF stand for and what does the method entail? Find out at MushMagic.


Psylocybe Fanaticus Technique, or PF Tek, is a well-respected series of simple processes that revolutionised and streamlined growing psilocybin mushrooms at home. The Tek was pioneered by Psylocybe Fanaticus himself, Professor Robert McPherson.

PF Tek uses vermiculite and brown rice flour as the substrate, which is then sterilised in 500ml-wide mason-type jars. A layer of dry vermiculite is added to prevent contamination. Then, the substrate is inoculated using a spore syringe. Once the mycelium begins to grow into the substrate, it is turned out of the jars and placed in a terrarium. A stable temperature and high humidity produce magic or culinary mushrooms of high quality, quickly.

The unmodified version, which used only grain, encouraged the mycelium to grow into a solid block with little airspace. The addition of vermiculite to the mix creates air spaces that the mycelium filaments can span. This method mimics nature, as complete genotypes are used rather than clones. Spores from succeeding generations ensure that there is a never-ending supply of virile, fresh mycelium and the highest quality fruits. Senescence and genetic decay are avoided as the mycelium is regularly replaced by the next generation of viable spores.


The advantages of the PF Tek are that the materials are inexpensive and easily sourced. The method is simple and reliable. The sterilisation process for the jars and substrates can be accomplished with common household items. Care with sterility needs to be taken when inoculating with a spore syringe, however, the top layer of vermiculite reduces the risks of contamination from airborne spores and bacteria.



Not much. Some growers believe the preparation is too time-consuming. Others don’t use the PF Tek because they believe the yields are too low per square metre. Some have a problem with the spore syringe method and the cultivation of many genotypes—the unpredictable yield and strengths. Those people prefer liquid monocultures that have predictable growth and yield, often grown in monotubs.


Professor Psylocybe Fanaticus, or Billy to his friends, shuffled off this mortal coil in 2012, succumbing to a long battle with the hepatitis C virus. His PF Tek will live on as long as humans enjoy the effects of psilocybin. The original PF Tek method was first covered in High Times Magazine in 1991. It went on to become the preferred micro-cultivation method for magic mushrooms in the world. Still to this day, the PF Tek is used by psychonauts and myco hobbyists to great success, and has been reproduced innumerable times on web pages and blogs.

You can love it, but you can’t loathe it. Growing magic mushrooms in your own home is made easily accessible by the PF Tek. It is a good way to cut your teeth on growing mycelium and shrooms, and develop a knowledge base before going onto more complex procedures.