Education

Growing Mushrooms for Fun and Profit

Online webinar series with Steve Gabriel, Wellspring Forest Farm LLC


SOLD OUT - email stevegabrielfarmer@gmail.com for waitlist



Live Sessions are January 8, 15, 22 (Part 1) and February 5, 12, 19 (part 2) from 12 - 2pm EST


Join us for an exploration of the fascinating world of mushrooms that is rapidly growing in the United States. Whether you just want to grow for yourself and community, or develop a commercial enterprise, this class provides an overview of the current and ever-changing landscape of mushroom growing. 


Consider this a curated workshop of all the essential information to help you start or expand your plan for mushroom growing. Each session centers on content with ample time for questions and discussion. All sessions will be recorded and posted online for viewing, along with additional links and resources in between classes, so you can participate even if you can’t join all the live sessions. 


Facilitated by Steve Gabriel of Wellspring Forest Farm, who has been growing mushrooms for 18 years, and developed CornellMushrooms.org as one of the nation's premier resources in cultivation reseach and education, while working at Cornell University for 12 years. 

PART ONE: CULTIVATION BASICS

Week 1 – Introduction to the “shroom boom” in the USA

Learn the basic biology and ecology of mushrooms as a living organism, along with an overview of the current state of the mushroom industry in the US, including the prospects for small farm enterprises, food and medicinal products, and therapeutic uses of psychoactive mushrooms. 


Week 2 – Growing Mushrooms Outdoors

Discover the opportunities for growing mushrooms in the woods, field, and garden. We will explore outdoor growing through the lens of ecology and consider the ways we can cultivate on logs, stumps, beds, and in soil. 


Week 3 – Indoor Cultivation of Mushrooms

Growing indoors means creating the conditions for mushrooms to thrive - while keeping pests and disease out! It's feasible to grow at a range of scales, from a repurposed fridge to a dedicated mushroom house. Learn about balancing temperature, moisture, air, and light to grow amazing mushrooms, no matter your climate. 



PART TWO: SALES AND PROFITS


Week 4 – Finding and Growing your Market

If you want to sell mushrooms, developing sales channels based on interpersonal relationships is key. Luckily, mushrooms have captured the attention of consumers and chefs and have high demand that is often unmet by local growers. Learn about the best markets to pursue and the importance of packaging, labels, and pricing. 


Week 5 – Value Added Mushroom Products

A key to capturing value from mushrooms is to have a plan for those you can’t sell fresh! Learn about various products including dried, powders and seasonings, medicinal extracts, and the potential margins, markets, as well as regulatory requirements for selling them. 


Week 6 – Budgeting and Key “Pinch Points”

This session will discuss enterprise budgets and share templates for you to develop a projection for your grow operation. We will also discuss record keeping and the critical points of your operation to focus on improving so you can increase the profit potential of a mushroom farm. 



PRICING


We’ve divided the course into two sections, since some folks might want to just learn about growing, versus those who also want to consider commercial mushroom farming:


PART 1: CULTIVATION BASICS: Tiered pricing $90/$120/$150 for three classes


PART 2: SALES AND PROFITS: Tiered pricing $90/$120/$150 for three classes


Attend both sessions and SAVE!:

Tiered pricing of $165/$225/$285 for all six classes



About Tiered Pricing

We offer this option recognizing the financial resources of folks vary. Read more about this at the bottom of our “education” page on the website.

Tier 1 - lower income or experiencing unemployment, or other financial challenges

Tier 2 - cost of running the program

Tier 3 - households with abundant financial resources help us support others to access

NO one turned away for lack of funds, get in touch!



SOLD OUT - email stevegabrielfarmer@gmail.com for waitlist




About the facilitator


Since foraging in the majestic forests of Oregon in 2003, and inoculating his first shiitake logs in New York in 2006, Steve has been fascinated by fungi and engaged in mushroom growing, research, and education for over 18 years through Wellspring Forest Farm in Mecklenburg, NY. 


He was fortunate to work under Dr Ken Mudge at Cornell University on forest-grown mushroom research, which led to their co-authoring of Farming the Woods and the development of CornellMushrooms.org, a leading resource for cultivation and marketing of mushrooms in the US offered through the Cornell Small Farms Program


After 12 years at Cornell, Steve left to pursue independent projects on the farm, and as a consultant for emerging mushroom farmers. The foundational goal of all of Steve’s work in mushrooms has been to pass along the knowledge he gratefully has received from others to help spawn the next generation of growers. 




About Our Tiered Pricing

We offer this option recognizing the financial resources of folks vary. You choose the level you contribute, and as a whole it helps make our programs run. The simple version:


Tier 1 - lower income or experiencing unemployment, or other financial challenges

Tier 2 - represents the cost of running the program

Tier 3 - households with abundant financial resources help us support others


NO one turned away for lack of funds, get in touch!


A great model to consider is the "green bottle" below, where Tier 3 would be the "full" bootle, Tier 2 in the middle, and tier 1 on the left side.