What you need to get started

Getting Started

Before investing time and money you need to look at your particular community.  

Ask these questions:

  • Where do you intend to market your mushrooms?  

  • Farmers Market, stores, restaurants?  

  • Are there others in your community growing oyster for these markets?  

Need some help with the decision making?  Feel free to use us as a sounding board - discuss your options with us to help with your decision making.  


Once you have made the decision to move forward you will create your growing chamber. 

You need to consider what requirements the oyster mushrooms have to determine the best location for your growing chamber.

Oyster mushrooms require:

  • 62-66 degrees (digital air conditioner - we like to use a portable ac unit)

  • 90-97% humidity (misters or foggers keep the room humidified - readily available at the home improvement store/hardware store or online)

  • lighting - 12 hours per day (indirect sunlight works.  However, we use regular flourescent lighting in our growing rooms to avoid heat spikes from sunlight)

  • clean - mold/mildew free growing environment - we have metal roofing material for the inside walls.  You could also use styrofoam insulation that is taped at the seams and painted.

  • concrete floor for easy cleaning - some sort of drainage.

  • shelving that is easy to clean - we use 1/2" galvanized conduit to create our shelves for the logs

  • small space (could be as small as 4' x 6')

  • monitoring two or more times per day

  • refrigeration for harvested mushrooms

Growing Chamber
This could be in a shed, garage or barn.  We personally do not encourage utilizing a basement space, but it does lend itself to work well for mushrooms.  No matter what space you choose you will want to be certain to insulate and cover your growing chamber with plastic - basically "contain" the growing area for the mushrooms.

It is important to keep your growing chamber clean.  Free of mold and mildew as they can harm your crop and cause growing issues.  Remember this when entering your growing chamber.  Be sure to have on clean shoes and cloths.  For instance, you don't want to go directly from tending to your livestock (cleaning chicken coup, mucking out a barn) and then walk into your growing chamber or go from tending to your garden directly into your growing room.  Be sure to wash your hands before entering your room and tending to your crops.  
 
Shelving
You can use plastic ready made shelves.  If you already have them and there is no investment to be made these work well.  However, a very inexpensive investment is 10' long 1/2" galvanized conduit.  They cost about $2 each and are easily drilled and wired together to create an easy clean - sturdy shelving system for your oyster logs.  

Logs
We will provide fully colonized, ready to fruit logs for $10 each.  To start, we will discuss your available markets to determine what may work best for you.  Most will start with 6-10 logs per week to fill your chamber and keep a nice steady batch of fresh mushrooms coming each week.  Each log will be picked off of for up to 8 weeks.  Afterwhich, we will recycle the logs for you.  Each log has the potential to produce 4 lbs of oyster mushrooms over its lifespan.  With an average of $10 per pound depending on how you are marketing them (wholesale to restaurants, prepackaged to stores or direct market at farmers markets and CSA) you could see a return of $40 with a $30  profit per log over an 8 week growing period.
  
Creating your growing chamber, shelving, humidity system etc
If you need help with creating all or part of your growing system, we can do it for you.  We will create your growing chamber, bring it to your location, set it up and get you started.  Fees will depend on what assistance is needed, time spent and miles to your location.  

Growing questions or concerns
Remember, we are here for you!  If at any time you have questions or concerns, please contact us.  You may do so by sending an email with photos if necessary to shroomshack@gmail.com or by calling Bob at the phone number provided to you when setting up.