But all mushrooms are poisonous...aren't they?
What type of mushrooms is good for me?
Can I really make money by growing mushrooms?
Who will buy my mushrooms?
What happens if problems occur?
Who is behind this project?

What do I need to start?

For outdoor production on logs

Why should I choose this option?

 

For indoor production on substrate blocks

Why should I choose this option?

You will need some space - a backyard, a forest, etc. Size depends on the volume of mushroom you are planning to produce, but a regular city home lot (half an acre) has backyard big enough to house up to 5,000 logs - and some space for your grill and a swing is still left.

You will need the logs. For Oyster mushroom, and maitake the best wood you should use is poplar. For shiitake the number one wood is oak, but any hardwood will be OK. Now the VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: Don't allow any logging company to deliver your logs, unless you specifically tell them how to handle them. THE LOGS MUST HAVE BARK ON. If they are bruised, or without bark, they are useless and you can happily keep them as firewood. The best solution is go and get your logs by yourself, or train your logger.

The log should be 3-8" in diameter and 4-5 feet long. The dimensions can vary slightly, but keep in mind that you will be carrying these logs from place to place at least three times, so they need to be small enough to be handled easily.

You will need a chainsaw or a drill, depending on the inoculating method you will use. If you will use the drill method, you need a special innoculating plunger, which is available at our university.

Also, you will need wax. Bee wax or cheese wax is the best (especially if you want to produce organic mushrooms) but canning wax or candles could be used as well.

The next thing you will need is the "seed", which in mushroom business is called "spawn" This will be available to you from the NC A&T State University. For starters (first year) free of charge, as from second year for very, very discounted price. There are companies that produce this spawn, but none of them are located in North Carolina and from our experience their prices are not very farmer friendly.

If you don't have a natural shade, you will also need a shade cloth. (available in gardening stores).

This option is recommended for farmers who need to build their market first. It is a very low-cost method (especially if you have your own forest), requiring little time and labor. The disadvantage of this method is seasonal fruiting, that means the fruiting depends on weather (temperature, rain) - but in North Carolina it's possible to have mushrooms every month from March to November.

 

 

You will need a building, in which you can control the temperature and humidity, and which is possible to pressure wash every few weeks.

There are some aluminum garage sheds on the market, also glass greenhouses or Tractor trailer beds are good option. Important thing is, they must NOT be made (even partially) from wood. Wood construction would be a great substrate for you mushrooms - up to the extent that your building could collapse. (Compare to termites and molds)

The size of this building depends on the volume of the mushrooms you like to produce. Our experts can help you to determine your needs.

You will need the

air-condition (cooler and heater, or at least fan and heater), and the water hose. You will also need a humidifier, (or a hose to sprinkle water at least) to control the humidity.

The next thing you will need is the "seed", which in mushroom business is called "spawn" This will be available to you from the NC A&T State University. For starters (first year) free of charge, as from second year for very, very discounted price. There are companies that produce this spawn, but none of them is located in North Carolina and from our experience their prices are not very farmer friendly.

This option is more expensive and is used if your demand is high, year-round. It is weather independent, consistent production. It is suitable for farmers with established clientele, who need to supply regularly (daily or weekly) in high volumes.

 


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