The Study of Mushrooms Taught Through Our Online Classes
The study of mushrooms is typically referred to as Mycology. More broadly, mycology is the scientific study of all fungi regardless of if they create a mushroom or not.
About 90% of fungi never create a mushroom, which is the fruiting body of some fungi that can be seen by eye and picked by hand. This page contains several courses to begin and dive deeper into the study of mushrooms. We will cover foraging, basic fungal information, growing mushrooms for the backyard, and growing mushrooms as a business. The study of mushrooms as medicine is a growing field that needs a lot of attention. More scientific trials and clear labeling of medicinal mushroom supplements is essential for consumers and businesses using medicinal mushrooms. Our online courses are designed to help you understand the process of growing mushrooms at various scales, in addition to the healthful benefits of consuming mushrooms.
Week 1: Fungal Fundamentals. During the first week we will explore what fungi and mushrooms are, the basic mushroom life cycle, and what ecological roles fungi fill. Next we will dive into starting a business or cultivating based on mission and strategy.
Week 2: Cast of characters. This week we will introduce 10 different mushrooms species and introduce cultivation and foraging strategies. We will introduce the stages of cultivation and the basic concepts behind growing mushrooms.
Week 3: Low tech methods. This week will be a dive into the process of growing outdoors and low tech methods of cultivation including: Oysters on straw, shiitakes on logs, and wine caps on wood chips.
Week 4: Supplemented sawdust. This week is all about the commercial cultivation of specialty mushrooms on supplemented sawdust. We will discuss all steps from substrate sourcing and prep through incubation for growing high-yielding specialty mushrooms.
Week 5: Fruiting Mushrooms and grower profile. After all that work we finally get mushrooms! We will cover different methods of making a fruiting room and conditions to monitor. Elizabeth Almeida of Fat Moon mushrooms will share her methods and experience of cultivating 300 pounds of mushrooms per week.
Week 6: Going over the numbers and other opportunities. To wrap it up we will go over the financials for growing mushrooms and explore ways of being involved in the specialty mushroom field beyond growing mushrooms.
About the instructor:
Willie Crosby has been engaged in the study of mushrooms for the last 6 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 was growing 500 pounds of mushrooms a week in September of 2018. That aspect of the business was sold in October of 2018 and 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 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 at on our website.
“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.
“Working with Willie was a breath of fresh air. He quickly understood our goals, and provided recommendations that reflected our values and complemented our resources. With his help we were able to get to the heart of what matters, and devised a cultivation plan and infrastructure that will be efficient to operate, in line with our needs as a growing farm. 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