On Tuesday October 11th, we hosted an Agroforestry as part of the Pine Mountain Farm Institute and Grow Appalachia. Preston Jones, Executive Director of Pine Mountain Settlement School and former Grow App Coordinator shared his expertise in growing mushrooms. Participants gained hands on experience and took supplies home to add mushrooms to their garden production.
Types of Mushrooms to Grow
All kinds of different mushrooms grow in the wild, and you can grow most of them at home (sorry, you can’t grow morels at home—they only pop up in nature). One of the benefits of growing your own mushroom varieties instead of wild-harvesting them is that you can be sure you’re not picking a poisonous mushroom. Cremini, enoki, maitake, portobello, oyster, shiitake, and white button mushrooms can all be grown indoors, but each type has specific growing needs. For example, white button mushrooms need to be grown on composted manure, shiitakes on wood or hardwood sawdust, and oyster mushrooms on straw.
Process of Growing Mushrooms
If you’re growing mushrooms indoors, there are a couple of options for materials you can use for planting. You can buy a mushroom grow kit already packed with a growing medium that’s inoculated with mushroom spawn. Mushroom growing kits are a good place to start if you’re new to the process because a kit will provide everything you need. If you start without a kit, the type of mushroom you choose to grow determines the substrate you grow the mushrooms on, so it’s important to research each mushroom’s needs. Button mushrooms are one of the easiest types to grow if you need a starting point!