Can I Make Money Growing Mushrooms?
Dear Mushroom Enthusiast,
Many people contact us to ask if they can make money growing gourmet mushrooms. We believe growing gourmet mushrooms can be marginally to highly profitable....but frankly, everyone's circumstances are so uniquely different it is impossible to generalize.
Fungi Perfecti offers professional consultation and technical assistance for the establishment and operation of professional mushroom cultivation facilities. However, there are a number of steps we recommend following before arranging for such services. The first would be to familiarize yourself with the techniques and technology of mushroom cultivation; this will enable you to make decisions concerning the scale, species, method of cultivation and other critical considerations of your prospective operation. The books we would most highly recommend are Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms and The Mushroom Cultivator. Both can be found in the Books Section of our online catalog. Between these two books, you will have the most up-to-date information on the cultivation of over 35 different species of edible and medicinal mushrooms, including information on lab and grow room layouts, essential equipment, markets, and more. Reading these two books will answer the vast majority of questions about mushroom cultivation.
After fully familiarizing yourself with these books and the techniques and equipment they describe (both through careful reading and thorough personal experimentation), the next step would be to begin assessing the costs for constructing and maintaining a mushroom farm in your area. Among the factors the potential mushroom cultivator should consider are:
- Species/strain to cultivate
- Method/scale of cultivation
- Climate versus requirements of species/method of cultivation
- Availability/cost of proper substrates
- Land prices and availability
- Access to unchlorinated water/feasibility of water treatment
- Demand for mushrooms in your area
- Practicality of distribution outside your area
- Cost of labor
- Cost of equipment installation (electrical wiring,
- laboratory and growroom construction/assembly, air system installation, etc.)
- Method of financing the startup of your operation
We are often asked what the startup cost would be for a mushroom farm. This question harbors so many variables as to make it almost impossible to answer without a lot of forethought and analysis. Under the proper circumstances, it is possible to start a small log-cultivation operation for a few thousand dollars or less. It is also possible to spend half a million dollars or more on a full-scale professional cultivation facility capable of producing thousands of pounds of gourmet and medicinal mushrooms per month. Once again, fully familiarizing yourself with the techniques of mushroom cultivation (either through books or other means) will be a tremendous aid in assessing costs and making choices. We strongly encourage anyone interested in commercial mushroom farming to familiarize themselves with the process of mushroom cultivation, and then start small. After running mini-trials, and doing some test marketing, you should be better prepared to make an informed decision.
The next step in acquiring the skills of the professional cultivator would be to attend one of the Stamets Seminars. These provide intensive, hands-on experience and training in the techniques of cultivation, with an emphasis on in-house generation of spawn so that the cultivator can be free of the extra cost and time factors of purchasing spawn from another supplier. Each participant receives an extensive syllabus containing formulae, building designs & plans, marketing information, and much more. We are the only organization in the United States, and quite possibly the world, that offers so much for so little. Many attendees tell us that the seminar is the best thousand dollars they have spent. Additionally, all participants receive cultures of seven different gourmet and medicinal mushroom species for their own use. These cultures may be used to generate mushrooms for resale, and to generate spawn for in-house use in the production of mushrooms for resale. The only restriction on the use of these cultures is that you can not use them to generate spawn or cultures in any form for direct resale. We also have a number of Proprietary Strains available.
This sequence of steps offers the most comprehensive and cost-effective strategy for the prospective professional cultivator. The materials available from Fungi Perfecti, both in print and online, will give you some more information about equipment costs, Proprietary Strain licensing, and consultation schedules. Whether or not your circumstances and you (as a worker or an employer) have the skills needed for mushroom cultivation as a business is a question we can not possibly answer.
We hope this helps you in making your decision. Thanks for your interest in our company, and in the art and science of mushroom cultivation!
The Folks At
Fungi Perfecti, LLC