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

In the News: Our Logs to NYC Program Sets Sail with Sail Freight Ship Apollonia

By Delia Guilbert | August 13, 2021

Our Specialty Mushroom project’s new Logs to NYC effort, which connects New York City-based mushroom growers with resources from upstate, recently partnered with the Apollonia, a sail freight ship, to…

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New Mushroom Project Partnership Sails Logs Downstream to NYC

By Steve Gabriel | August 1, 2021

On July 24 our Specialty Mushroom project’s Logs to NYC effort held a kickoff event with The Mushroom Shed at the Hudson River Maritime Museum to teach 25 participants how to grow…

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Shiitake Mushroom Logs Headed to NYC via the Schooner Apollonia Sailboat

By Steve Gabriel | July 6, 2021

For thousands of years, mushrooms have been grown on hardwood logs from sustainably managed forest lands. Their origins trace to parts of China, Korea, and Japan. Shiitake cultivation on logs…

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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