Our project offers the leading extension resource for specialty mushroom cultivation on small farms in the United States.
Specialty mushrooms are defined by USDA as any species not belonging to the genus Agaricus (button, crimini, portabella).
The most common specialty mushrooms produced are Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) and Oyster (Pleuterous ostreatus).
Demand for specialty mushrooms is rapidly rising, as consumers look to purchase more foods that are healthy, nutritious, and medicinal. There are methods to grow mushrooms outdoor systems on logs, stumps, and in beds, as well as indoor production techniques that can occur in a wide range of spaces on straw, sawdust, and other agricultural materials.
For urban growers, mushrooms offer a high value niche crop that can be grown in small spaces. For rural growers, the farm woodlot can be better utilized and healthy forests maintained while procuring materials for production.
Building a viable mushroom enterprise requires learning two skills; technical production and business planning. We help you develop both to meet your goals for production through factsheets and articles, guidebooks, videos, and opportunities to connect with other growers, industry suppliers, and more.
The Cornell Small Farms Program, with support from USDA-NIFA and USDA-SARE and alongside partners CCE Harvest NY, Fungi Ally, Farm School NYC, Just Food, and GrowNYC are engaged in a multi-year project to elevate and support diverse mushroom growers in the Northeast region. We are here to help! See our resources at this website, and get in touch.
News and Updates
We are excited to announce the release of a new Harvest to Market Guide for producers interested in growing specialty mushrooms. This resource is the product of a cooperative effort…Read More
Learn to develop and implement a business plan for growing mushrooms commercially with an upcoming webinar series from our Specialty Mushrooms project and our project partner Fungi Ally. The webinars…Read More
Join our new network of educators to learn how to grow and sell mushrooms, and teach these skills in the community you serve. With support from USDA-SARE and USDA-AFRI, Cornell…Read More
About Steve Gabriel
Steve is an Extension Specialist focused on specialty mushroom production and agroforestry. Throughout his career, Steve has taught thousands of people about the ways farming and forestry can be combined to both benefit the ecology and economies of small farms. He is also a farmer, author, hiker, and musician.
Read Articles by Steve Gabriel