You may have heard you can grow mushrooms at home, seen someone else’s farm, or you might even wonder if you can make money growing and selling mushrooms. While there’s certainly no wrong reason to get into growing mushrooms it can be a big undertaking. That’s why you should start small.
Easy, Medium, Hard: Start at Easy
When you’re eager to jump into a new hobby it can be frustrating to start at the very beginning. You may want to immediately skip forward to a larger growing system so you can start cranking out the mushrooms. We’re here to tell you to pump the breaks.
Before you start your mushroom empire you should check a few things:
- Do you even like mushrooms? – While you might like some, you might hate others. If you want to grow them you should be willing to eat them yourself.
- Do you have the space for it? – While it is a rather compact hobby, it does take up some room, so don’t start until you have an area set aside.
- Is your space a controlled environment? – Can you keep the temperature stable? Is the moisture or temperature something you can adjust? If not you might now have the right space to grow every type of mushroom.
If you’ve cleared these basic hurdles the only question left is to ask yourself why you want to grow mushrooms. It can be a bigger hobby and a tough profession, so make sure you’re getting into it for the right reasons. I personally pursue mushroom growing as a hobby for food and education (as well as for material for this blog).
Just make sure your heart is in it so you don’t end up with piles of unused mushroom cultivation equipment.
Your First Mushrooms
When you’re ready start with something small. if you’ve never grown mushrooms before a ready to grow kit is the easiest way to start out. These often come pre-packed and are ready to go. Just follow the instructions for easy ready to eat mushrooms.
Once you know you like mushrooms and the simple pre-packed kit’s worked out for you you can start to scale up to other easy to grow mushrooms. Easiest are the oyster and button mushrooms to start with. Oyster mushrooms can be grown in 5 gallon buckets on wood chips for little to no major expense and can give great returns on cost. Button Mushrooms similarly have low starting costs and can be grown in generic organic soil compost.
These are the real tests before you go any bigger. If you have trouble growing your own mushrooms in these small simple setups, take your time and perfect your technique first. There’s no reason to waste money on equipment you won’t be able to use.
At this point it’s also the right time to start learning as much as you can. This blog is a good place to be if you’re interested, but there are tons of other resources both on and offline. There are also some fantastic books on the topic of mushroom cultivation if you really want to dive into the craft.
If you’re ready for a bigger setup and want to grow more there’s a lot you can do. This can range from setting up indoor controlled environments to raising your own spawn from scratch. All of these steps will involve upgrades to equipment and improvements in skills like your sterile technique.
Before you get to this point make sure you are ready by doing your research first. A professional mushroom setup can be very expensive and time consuming, but at the same time can be rewarding and profitable if handled correctly.
The Takeaway: Don’t Skip Steps
If you’re really ready to grow your own mushrooms, don’t skip ahead. Take it one step of a time and learn all you can along the way. The journey is fun and rewarding, but it’s not for everyone. Start small, scale up, and you’ll be on your way to growing tons of fresh amazing edible mushrooms in no time.