Cornell CALS - College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Specialty Mushrooms

Project Lead: Steve Gabriel, Yolanda Gonzalez

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).

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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.

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

Attention Educators & Service Providers: Let’s Talk Mushrooms

By Kacey Deamer | October 3, 2018

Did you know that the Cornell Small Farms Program has been offering specialty mushroom resources and extension education for 10 years? This has occurred through our website, online courses, and in-person…

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Calling Specialty Mushroom Growers: Please Complete Survey on 2017 Harvest

By Carli Fraccarolli | March 8, 2018

The Cornell Small Farms Program is seeking farmers who have grown and sold specialty mushrooms commercially during 2017 in the states of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey,…

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Agroforestry in Practice: a 3-day training for Service Providers

By Steve Gabriel | September 27, 2017

Agroforestry in Practice: 3-day training for Service Providers October 17, 18, and 19, 2017 Montour Falls, NY at the Schuyler County Cooperative Extension Agroforestry is the science and art of…

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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