Commercial Mushroom Cultivation Course
6-week online course to get you growing mushrooms like a pro
When I started growing mushrooms eight years ago it was hard to know where to begin. I made this course so you don’t have to start where I did. This course will save you from years of trials and screw ups (I already did that) and get you growing mushrooms and mycelium successfully! We will focus on the fundamentals of mushroom cultivation and build up to all the details of designing a commercial mushroom farm. Any successful farm has to sell products as well as grow them, so we will explore successful ways of selling fresh mushrooms, products beyond mushrooms, and how to access and apply for grant money. This course is useful for anyone from the home scale grower to the small scale mushroom farmer. The course includes a mixture of recorded lectures, question and answer, videos, and further readings
This course will include:
Week 1: Fungal Fundamentals.
What are Fungi–Mushroom Life Cycle–Fungal Ecology–Mission and Goals–Outlook of Specialty Mushroom Industry
Week 2: Beginning Stages
Seven stages of cultivation–Sectors of commercial cultivation–Shiitakes on logs– Receiving and Storing Spawn
Week 3: Treated substrates
Oysters on straw–Supplemented sawdust–Treating bulk substrates–Inoculation– Using Ready to fruit blocks
Week 4: Designing a commercial operation
Materials flow– Useful equipment at different scales–Lab design and equipment–DIY schematics
Week 5: Fruiting and Sales
Fruiting mushrooms–Harvest– Selling at Farmers Markets–Developing restaurant customers– Mushroom CSA–Tracking–Grower profile
Week 6: Other opportunities
Medicinal mushroom products use and creation–Writing grants/grant opportunities–Selling spawn and grow kits
The Commercial Mushroom Cultivation Course Includes:
- 6 1.5-hour webinars. Webinars will be conducted by Willie Crosby and guest speakers. Webinars will be recorded and available for you to access even if you can’t attend live.
- A package of resources, guidebooks, and video links.
Skills you will gain
- Grow 5-500 pounds a week depending on your goals
- Understand the mushroom life cycle and ecological roles
- Have an outline to the stages of mushroom cultivation
- Successful cultivation of shiitake on logs, oyster on straw, wine cap on wood chips and other at home techniques
- Know how to cultivate mushrooms on high yield substrates like supplemented sawdust
- Develop a mission, goal, and strategies based business
- Know the specialty mushroom industry and opportunities to plug into it
- How to sell mushrooms as a stand alone business or in conjunction with other crops
- Make a business plan and start growing/selling mushrooms
“We really enjoyed your thoughtful, analytical approach and the careful breakdown of each element of this potential business venture. Our heads are certainly full of possibilities and flooded with information and new knowledge.”-Alida potential mushroom grower in Acton, MA.
“Willie’s insight and support helped to build our confidence to grow mushrooms with new methods, and provided practical information on how to start small and grow over time.” –Alanna, farm manager in upstate New York.
“I received the course and have already started watching and learning!!!! You truly are a great teacher and coach.” Margie, Texas
” I am so grateful that we have found you as a resource! I was very impressed with you as an educator. You were very thoughtful about the information you rolled out so that it did not seem overwhelming. I am a teacher and I know great teaching when I see it!” Marian, Boston MA
About the Instructor
Willie Crosby has been cultivating mushrooms for the last 9 years. He started Fungi Ally in the basement of his house and grew out to a 3,000 square foot warehouse with 5 tractor trailers attached, a total of 5000 square feet. Fungi Ally grew 500 pounds of mushrooms a week until September of 2018, when that aspect of the business was sold. Now Fungi Ally focuses on education and spawn production. Willie has taught online for Cornell University and Umass amherst for the last 3 years. Willie taught mushroom cultivation in person at Umass for 4 years. Willie has received 5 SARE grants and 6 other grants over the last 5 years for growing mushrooms and educating the public about mushrooms. Just this year willie published two guidebooks which you can download for free here.