Mushroom farming is a unique and fun way of exploring agriculture, and it can be a very profitable business. Plus, starting a mushroom farm is relatively easy as many people seek mushrooms for medicinal or culinary purposes, depending on the mushrooms grown.
Here are tips to help you successfully start a mushroom farm.
Preparing Your Lab — Start Small
The lab is where you’ll start growing your mushrooms and is usually the most challenging part of fungi’s growth cycle for new growers as it can be hard to make the ideal environment for mushrooms to grow. That’s because most species require moist and nutrient-rich mediums to grow, like a grain-filled jar or agar-filled petri dish. Additionally, the surrounding environment needs to be sterile and sealed off from everything to have clean walls and floors.
Most professional labs have HEPA filters and a blower to provide clean air inside the lab. If you’re considering starting big for your mushroom farm, you contact an HVAC contractor to set this up for you. However, if you only plan on growing small batches of mushrooms first, you can get away with a clean bedroom or spare room.
Designate a ‘Prep Area’
A preparation area needs to be clean, but not like ‘lab’ clean. It’s the area where you’ll be preparing the grains for sterilization. If you have an outdoor tool shed or garage, these are perfect places to consider.
Invest in A ‘Controllable’ Grow Room
After setting up your lab and prep area, one of the most crucial parts of your mushroom is the ‘grow room,’ where everything comes together. This room can be any size you like, depending on how much mushrooms you plan on producing. However, one thing that must remain consistent is the CO2 levels, humidity, and temperature to ensure healthy growth, so invest in a digital thermostat and install it inside the grow room to make it ‘controllable.’
However, if you’re growing mushrooms outside, you can dedicate a space in your garden as the ‘grow room.’ Buy Your Spawn and Substrate for Faster Production
When making mushrooms, you’ll need a spawn to start the culture, where the fungi will grow. Although you can produce spawn on your own via a sterile culture, it takes a long time (2 weeks), and one mistake requires you to do the process all over again—in short, it’s a lot of work. So, it’s best to purchase ready-to-inoculate spawns, and though it may be expensive, it guarantees faster returns if you plan on selling mushrooms for profit.
Additionally, it’s best to buy the substrate as well. Although there are several options to choose from, most established mushroom growers use straw and wood chips.
Check With Local Regulations
Since mushroom farming requires different or unusual farming methods, some cities or localities ban the practice. So, to ensure all your effort doesn’t go to waste, make sure you consider local and city regulations first before establishing your farm.
Whether you’re starting a mushroom farm for business or as a hobby, you don’t need to splurge to get the best results—all you need is patience, effort, and the tips mentioned to help you grow healthy and thriving fungi in no time.