Learn about Farm Scale Commercials Mushroom Production
Growing Shiitake and Other Mushrooms for Fun and Profit
an online course through the Northeast Beginning Farmer Project
Tues. February 23 – March 29, 2016, with webinars held each Tuesday evening from 6:30-8:00pm.
Mushrooms are an emerging niche crop with many benefits, including improving farmer stewardship of forested lands, utilization of old buildings and barn space, and the ability to offer a unique and highly desired product. With a bit of practice, mushrooms can be easily grown almost anywhere (woods, old buildings, gardens) and on many different materials (logs, wood chips, straw, shredded paper)
This course trains new and experienced farmers in the background, techniques, and economics of farm scale commercial mushroom production. Students will learn the basic biology of mushrooms, cultivation techniques for shiitake, oyster, lions mane, and stropharia mushrooms, proper conditions for fruiting, management needs, and harvesting and marketing mushrooms.
The course is for new farmers, or experienced farmers seeking to diversify their operations. It’s also relevant to woodlot owners and backyard gardeners interested in this topic. Growing mushrooms as a viable economic enterprise will be stressed, though techniques can also be applied at the hobby scale. Mushroom farming is an easy topic for beginners with some experience farming and managing crop systems. Those with knowledge of forestry and chainsaw use may be able to move along more quickly.
At the completion of this course, you will:
- Understand of the basics of mushroom production, harvesting, and marketing
- Be able to complete a basic marking plan and budget for a mushroom enterprise
- Understand the logistics of management, sales, and legal issues related to mushroom farming
Steve Gabriel, Agroforestry Specialist for Cornell Small Farms Program, co-owner of Wellspring Forest Farm, and co-author of Farming the Woods.
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