University of Maryland Extension

Learn more about mushroom production (fungiculture)

Neith Little

Article by Neith Little, UMD Extension Agent, Urban Agriculture, Baltimore City
Dec 4, 2018
Photo taken by Neith Little at Real Food Farm, Baltimore, MD

Edible mushrooms can be cultivated outdoors on inoculated logs, or indoors on a growth medum such as sawdust, grain, or compost. Outdoor production is popular with hobbyists and farmers who have small woodlots. Indoor production is more common among mushroom producers who specialize in growing mushrooms for sale and is particularly well-suited for urban agriculture that attempts to produce food indoors in underutilized buildings. For all mushroom production methods, success depends on careful attention to sterile procedures and inoculation methods.

For Maryland-specific information about log-based mushroom production, see UMD Extension’s woodland enterprises article on shiitake mushroom production.

For more comprehensive information on both log-based and indoor mushroom production, Cornell’s Small Farms Program offers online courses.

Currently, the vast majority of large-scale mushroom production is done in Pennsylvania, so Penn State Extension has a great deal of information on commercial mushroom production. Not all of this will be relevant to the scale and methods of urban farmers, but the pest and disease management information is particularly important and not available many other places.

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