Mar 4, 2010

Mushroom Production | Beginning Farmers

Gourmet mushrooms are a high value crop which can be a great addition to a diversified farming operation, especially if they are lucky enough to be situated on land with a decent parcel of hardwood forest (for log production), or willing to invest in the equipment necessary for more intensive cultivation.
Wild harvesting mushrooms can also be a lot of fun, and fairly lucrative, if you know where to go and when, and can find a buyer. Many gourmet restaurants are thrilled to get wild-harvested mushrooms, so it’s worth trying to make these connections. I have done this with both morel’s and hen of the woods (see pictures below). But make sure you know what you’re doing if you’re going to hunt (for more information see below).
1) Fungi Perfecti is, in my opinion, the gold standard for mushroom products, publications, high quality spawn, and seminars. Paul Stamets is a true pioneer in the field, and continues to produce first rate research on bioremediation, eco-mycology, and theoretical interpretations of fungal behavior. His now classic books, The Mushroom Cultivator, and Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms are unparalleled texts for learning to produce multiple species of mushrooms in a variety of growing systems, at almost any scale. If you buy only two books on mushroom production, it should be these. Also check out Paul Stamets YouTube Channel.
2) There is a good 86 page publication on Small Scale Mushroom Cultivationavailable from Journey to Forever.
3) Alabama Cooperative Extension has a basic Shiitake Mushroom Log Production publication available online. And another Shiitake Log Production Publication, which I actually like better, is available from the University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry.
4) The Mushroom Council offers excellent research and production information for mushroom growers. Their website is full of resources for mushroom growers including retail info.; industry statistics; news items, and much more.
5) The University of California Small Farm Program offers a very nice overview of the potential for mushroom production on small farms (including resources) in their online publication Mushrooms: A Small Scale Agriculture alternative as well asHandouts and Power Point Presentations from a Mushroom Production Workshop.
6) The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service (ATTRA) offers a Mushroom Cultivation and Marketing Guide which provides comprehensive information on mushroom production and sales.
7) A Reference for Mushroom Growers from Penn State University is a site that provides current information about the diseases and pests that plague the mushroom growing industry. Information on new trends and developments in the industry is also included. More commercial than small-scale in its emphasis.
MycoWeb: Lots of great scientific information, pictures, recipes, articles, links, and much more and much more…
Tom Volk’s Fungi Page: This page is a comprehensive and information packed source for all things related to fungi. Fantastic information, pictures, links, articles, and more… Lots of great pictures by genera.
Fungi of Saskatchewan good keys, a list of fungi with photos, and lots of other resources for hunting mushrooms.

1 comment:

Taylor Reid said...

Thanks for passing this info on Hines Farm Folks!

If anyone else out there has mushroom production resources to add to please send them to me at

- Taylor from Beginning Farmers