Managing indoor spaces for production of high quality mushrooms
Mushrooms are an emerging niche crop with many benefits and offer a unique and highly desired product. With a bit of practice, oyster, shiitake, lions mane, and other mushrooms can easily be grown in a variety of locations and on many different substrates including straw, coffee grounds, and more.
This course trains new and experienced farmers in the background, techniques, and economics of farm scale indoor commercial production. Students will learn the basic biology of mushrooms, cultivation techniques, proper conditions for fruiting, management and pest needs, and harvesting and marketing mushrooms.
Note: In addition to weekly online readings, presentation, and discussion, we encourage participants to order a spawn kit to try mini mushroom experiments on their tabletop at home. Kits are $30; details on what and where to order are posted in the course.
All levels - This course is for new farmers, or experienced farmers seeking to diversify their operations. It’s also relevant to others at any scale, interested in this topic. Growing as a viable economic enterprise will be discussed, though techniques can also be applied at any scale. Mushroom growing is an easy topic for beginners with some experience farming and managing crop systems.
At the completion of this course, you will:
- Be able to describe the basics of indoor mushroom production, harvesting, and marketing
- Know the infrastructure needs and options for indoor cultivation
- Understand the logistics of management, sales, and legal issues related to mushroom farming
The bulk of the course happens on your own time, with discussions, readings, and assignments in Teachable, our virtual classroom. To add to the experience, webinars will be woven into the online interface of the course to allow you to meet on a weekly basis to learn from outside presenters and ask questions to address your farm issues in real time. If you miss one, they are always recorded and posted for later viewing.
In 2024, this course will be offered live for 6-weeks on Tuesdays from 6:30 – 8:00 PM (Eastern) from January 16 – February 20. While we encourage live attendance, so you have the opportunity to engage with presenters and ask questions, all webinars are recorded and posted in the online classroom to watch anytime. Once enrolled in this course, you will retain access to all materials indefinitely, and can return to participate in the live webinars in future offerings of the course if you wish. Join us!
Cecilia De La Fuente, an anthropologist and Community Mushroom Educator with Cornell Small Farms Program, has specialized in sustainability and urban agriculture having worked on diverse projects related to these topics. Currently, she leads Cosmoplantitas, a project focused on experimenting with accessible methods for cultivation and developing nutritional products to promote mushroom consumption as a more sustainable alternative.
Marina Delgado is a Senior Community Scientist at BioBus,
an NYC-based non-profit organization that helps students historically
excluded from the scientific community discover, explore and pursue
science. In her role, Marina facilitates community outreach, develops
and leads a variety of informal science education programs, and manages
program execution in the Lower East Side. She became interested in
mushrooms as a form of empowering the community she works in through
food justice, and joined the 2020 Community Mushroom Educator Program.
Since then, she has worked with Cornell Small Farms to make materials
and workshops more accessible to the Spanish-speaking community,
developed curriculum for and facilitated Mushroom 101 classes with NYC
Farm School and Cornell Small Farms.
PreviewMeet the Community Mushroom Educators for BF 153
StartInstructor Contact Information
PreviewWebinar Schedule and Participant Guide
StartWeekly Webinar Link
PreviewKiva US - 0% Interest Loans up to $15,000
StartNavigating in Teachable; Getting a Course Completion Certificate; and More
StartOrder Mushroom Supplies!
StartFORUM: Introduce Yourself
Start**Ask Questions Here!**
StartACTIVITY: Oyster Inoculation on Your Kitchen Counter
StartWeek 1: Mycology 101 (76:02)
StartWeek 2: Seven Stages of Cultivation, Liquid Culture, Substrates (74:01)
StartWeek 3 : The Growing Spaces / Straw Oyster Cultivation (94:07)
StartWeek 4: Contamination, Sterile Growing (90:25)
StartWeek 5: Post Harvest (91:51)
StartWeek 6: Grower Panel, Wrap Up (94:55)
StartPrevious Webinars: Specialty Mushrooms Overview / Wild Mushrooms and ID (143:06)
StartCase Study: Will Padilla Brown (42:28)
StartARTICLE: The Mighty Oyster Mushroom, Paul Stamets
StartGuide on Specialty Mushroom Production
StartACTIVITY: Get your substrates together!
StartDecision Tree for Mushroom Growing