Specialty Mushrooms

Project Lead: Steve Gabriel, Yolanda Gonzalez

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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). Scroll down for our library of resources to help you grow better!

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Kacey Deamer / Cornell Small Farms Program

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.

Click a button below to view our educational resources:

Project Partners

 

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.

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News and Updates

Apply Now for Our 2022 Community Mushroom Educator Virtual Training

By Steve Gabriel | February 21, 2022

Join our network of educators to learn how to grow and sell mushrooms, and teach these skills in the community you serve. Our ongoing partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension Harvest NY and Farm…

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Building an Alternative Supply Chain for Shiitake Mushroom Growers

By Doug Bierend | January 10, 2022

The Logs to NYC project connects city-based mushroom growers with rural landowners and surplus lumber hoping to blaze a trail to lower-carbon living. On a recent sunny Saturday afternoon, power…

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Webinars to Teach about Regulations, Certification, and the Specialty Mushroom Industry

By Steve Gabriel | January 10, 2022

Join the Cornell Small Farms Program and CCE Harvest NY this winter to learn how to navigate the various regulations and certifications in a specialty mushroom enterprise. The type, location,…

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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