Can my space mushroom?

oyster mushrooms
Photo credit: A. Bower
Q:

I have some extra space (both outdoor and indoor) and am interested in trying to grow some different varieties of mushrooms, but all I have is interest with little information. How do I choose the right varieties and materials to get started? Is it even feasible?

- Hood River County, Oregon
A:

Probably the best mushroom to start with is the Oyster mushroom, Pleurotus ostreatus. It can grow on cellulose materials, usually pasteurized straw is used. I suggest you try the Fungi Perfecti website for materials and information in the book "Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms" which gives great detail on growing mushrooms.

That said, growing mushrooms is not something you want to do in your home - the high humidity required is not good for building materials. You will need good temperature and humidity control to be successful.

Steve Carpenter
mycologist and botanist
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