If you have always wanted to cultivate mushrooms as a food crop, but wondered how to get started, the Learn to Farm Mushrooms Series with Steve Gabriel is for you!


 Mushrooms are a beautiful, varied, high value food crop that can help you diversify your revenue sources — which is why EFAO is pleased to offer a chance to help you learn to grow mushrooms this spring!

Are you wondering what the course is going to be like, or what Steve’s approach is? Steve answers a few questions below to give you an idea of what to expect, and why he is so passionate about mushrooms.


Why are you excited about this course?

Steve: I love sharing the world of mushrooms with farmers. There are many options for growing systems whether you want to go more “natural” outdoors or control an indoor climate for a longer season and increased yields. Farmers can scale a system to match their markets; produce a few pounds a week or a few hundred!

Who do you think should sign up for this course?

Steve: Anyone interested in an overview of production options and lessons learned from my work in mushroom cultivation research for the last 15+ years. Hopefully I can provide some shortcuts so folks don’t have to repeat all of the mistakes I’ve made!

What do you hope folks who take the course will get out of it?

Steve: A better understanding of the pros and cons of different methods, and what approaches can best fit their goals and context. Some resources and ideas to get started.

How do you hope this course will benefit folks’ farming practices?

Steve: Mushroom cultivation is ultimately a deeper practice in facilitating the decomposition process – growing mushrooms also grows soil! For a livable future, we all need to consider the ways we can deepen our understanding and connection to fungi as keystone members of healthy farm ecosystems.
Shiitake mushrooms growing on a log and harvested mushrooms in a silver bowl. Photo Credit: Steve Gabriel

Log grown shiitake can be grown outside naturally in the woods during summer months.

oyster mushrooms fruiting out of a plastic bag filled with sawdust

Blue Oysters on straw; recent research offers improved yields for this low-tech approach.

Oysters on straw can be inoculated in buckets to reduce plastic waste in production.

lions mane fruiting out of a stump surrounded by autumn leaves

Header image: Lions mane stump inoculated during woods thinning, fruits in the fall