mushroom-farm

How to Set Up A Low Tech Mushroom Farm In Your Backyard

Lots of people consider growing vegetables for their personal consumption and to provide for friends and family. Growing your own ensures that they are grown using the best techniques and that they only contain what you put in them. With so many worries about insecticides and other undesirable chemicals in our food, growing our own is a good choice.

Many other people grow vegetables to sell. Not the big farmers, but the backyard farmers. You can see them at farmer’s markets. Some of these backyard farmers make a very good living selling their vegetables to locals.

If you fit either of these categories and have an interest in growing vegetables, you should consider growing a vegetable that is not really a vegetable. You should grow the world’s most famous fungus: mushrooms. Here are a few great reasons why.

Many Varieties and Some are Very Profitable

There are literally hundreds of different varieties of mushrooms that you can grow and some are tastier than others. All have an earthy flavour and will be great with a wide variety of dishes, and if you ask most people they will have their favourite varieties. Some however are more in demand and also more valuable. The two most valuable and easy to grow for part-time growers are oyster and shitake mushrooms.

One great thing about growing mushrooms is that they bloom very quickly. You will yield a crop in weeks rather than months. Another is that a mushroom farming business can mean big profits. Here is how you can grow your own mushrooms in your backyard:

Buy Spawn

Mushrooms grow from a culture and you will have to purchase or make your own spawn from the type of mushrooms you want to grow. Or you can buy a mushroom growing kit which has everything you need to grow mushrooms in your backyard.

A Spawn is a mixture of spores and nutrients from which the fungus grows and you’ll need a spawn to start the culture. Some suppliers have ready to use spawn that can be placed in a culture. This can be easier than doing it yourself. If you choose to do it yourself make sure that you keep everything as sterile as possible.

Buy and Prepare the Substrate

You’ll also need to buy substrate. This is the medium in which the mushrooms will grow. The best choice is to use straw although you can also use wood chips. Whichever you select make sure that they are cut into small pieces. You need to boil the substrate for at least half an hour to remove any impurities. Once it is boiled, spread the substrate on a clean surface and let it drain and cool.

Incubate

Put your straw or wood chip and spawn mixture on top of the spawn so it fully covers it. In a few days you will begin to see your mushrooms growing. And the best part is that they will continue to grow. Also you can water them if there is no rain in your area, nut mushrooms are very hearty and will adapt to their environment.

For an easy to grow treat that can also make you good money at the Farmer’s Market, grow mushrooms.

 

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Pauline is a mother of four, when she isn't cooking up new dishes for her family and friends, she likes to dine out at newly-opened restaurants (especially tapas!) and review them in her blog posts.
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