We are collecting data on farmers interest in growing oyster mushrooms. This is for a research and education SARE grant being applied for in 2017 with Cornell. This survey is for those currently growing Oyster Mushrooms commercially, or seriously considering starting in the next two years and located in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
PLEASE ONLY ANSWER IF YOU ARE FROM THE STATES LISTED ABOVE
Context of the survey
Problem, solution and benefits
Oyster Mushrooms are a high-value, low input crop that produce a nutritional and medicinal food for people. They are versatile in the medium they can be cultivated on and in the space they are grown in. Oyster mushroom production can help farms in the northeast become more diversified and profitable while increasing food access and the cycling of local organic waste materials.
The main barrier to oyster mushroom cultivation is knowledge. Few people are taught the practice of mushroom cultivation. There are limited comprehensive resources or training opportunities for farmers to learn about mushroom cultivation.
A second barrier specific to many aspiring or beginning farms is access to land/space and capital. Oyster mushroom cultivation has the advantage of being highly adaptable and productive in small spaces, with relatively low startup investment.
Our experience working with log-grown shiitake mushrooms indicate that the assembly of research, grower networking, and a set of high quality resources supports rapid adoption of a new and unfamiliar crop.
Description of project beneficiaries
Existing small-diversified vegetable and livestock farms, beginning farms and urban farms are all prime targets for oyster cultivation. Our experience with growers over the past ten years illustrates remarkable interest.