Learn to Grow Mushrooms at September Workshop in NYC

Interest in specialty mushroom production, or production of any mushroom other than the typical button, crimini, portabella, has grown enormously in recent years, as social and cultural influences have caused many consumers to become interested in paying for high quality mushrooms and mushroom products. With amounts of protein comparable to livestock and animal products, as well as many other culinary, nutritional, and medicinal benefits, many people are finding it economically feasible to become part of the mushroom cultivation community in diverse locations, production scales, and methods.

In many senses, growing mushrooms outdoors is ideal because the forest (or any shady environment with good humidity and air flow) creates the ideal conditions for fruiting without the need for any climate control on the part of the farmer. The main limit with forest or outdoor cultivation is that only log-grown shiitake can yield consistently enough to be commercially viable. Indoor farming systems are sometimes referred to as “controlled environment agriculture,” which includes other systems such as hydroponics, aquaponics, and greenhouse production. In contrast to CEA systems used for greens and herbs, mushrooms can be produced in locations with minimal infrastructure and capital to start and sustain production. Considerations and controls for temperature, humidity, light, and air flow present do need to be made.

Both a food and a medicine, mushrooms are easy to grow at home and on gardens and farms, with minimal start up costs and materials you may already have on hand. Join the Cornell Small Farms Program’s specialty mushroom project, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Farm School NYC, and Just Food for a workshop where you’ll learn to inoculate a shiitake log, grow oysters on straw, and plant wine cap in wood chips. Everyone takes home materials that will produce mushrooms! We will emphasize the potential for growing mushrooms as a small enterprise for community and local markets.


September 18 at Kelly St. Community Garden (Bronx), from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.


Steve Gabriel is extension specialist for Cornell Small Farms Program and a mushroom farmer in the Finger Lakes Region of NY.

Yolanda Gonzalez is Urban Agriculture Specialist for Cornell Cooperative Extension Harvest NY and lives in NYC supporting urban farmers.


These workshops are FREE due to supportive funding from USDA and Cooperative Extension. We have limited spaces so please only register if you are committed to coming.




Email Steve Gabriel at sfg53@cornell.edu.

Claire Morrow

Claire is preparing to start her senior year as a Plant Science major in CALS. She is concentrating in sustainable plant production, and hopes to one day work in extension to help farmers implement sustainable practices that are both economically feasible for them and good for the planet. She is from a small town in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia where she learned to appreciate nature and great farm fresh food. She is excited to have the opportunity to both help out with Small Farms programming and get her hands dirty on the research farm this summer.