The Complete Guide To Starting A Mushroom Farm

Learning how to nurture mushrooms is very interesting. The more you learn to grow mushrooms, the more you get better at it. There are various techniques to play around with when nurturing mushrooms.

As you gain more knowledge on it, you may get inquisitive and might ask questions like

  • How much would it cost to start a mushroom farm?
  • How much profit do I gain from it?
  • How do I start?
  • What materials do I need?

The contents of this article will provide answers to some of these questions.


Nurturing mushrooms from spores to fruits is not easy as it requires hard work and consistency to achieve good results.

A mushroom farm needs a lot of hands working together for productivity. The mushroom has three essential parts, they are:

  1. The laboratory
  2. The preparation room
  3. The grow room


This place is where nurturing of mushrooms begins. This part is technical, and cultivators need to master their way around it. Mushroom needs a moist and nutrient-rich medium to grow well.

Unfortunately, this medium also encourages the growth of bacteria and mold and will affect the growth of mushrooms.

Therefore, the cultivator needs to create a 'safe space' for the growth of mushrooms in the laboratory.

The laboratory should have smooth floors and walls. It should be easy to clean and wash. Anything that enters the lab must be appropriately checked, including the cultivator.

The cultivator should practice good hygiene.

A suitable laboratory should have a well-made laminar flow hood. This provides a clean stream of air, so the risk of contamination is reduced.

You could use a small space for your lab and set up your laminar flow hood on a clean table. Be careful of exposing agar plates, grain jars, and sensitive materials directly in the airflow stream.

You can also do all your lab work within a SAB, but this is not advisable for large-scale farmers.

It is also possible to have a mushroom farm without a lab, provided you have no interest in making your grain spawn. You could purchase a pre-made grain spawn and get to work immediately.

Although when you start with a lab, you better understand mushrooms' life cycle. Making your spawn is usually cheaper than buying a pre-made grain spawn.

The choice of starting with a lab or getting to work immediately with a pre-made spawn depends on you.


This is where real work happens. This place is expected to be clean.

If you are making your grain spawn, the prep area is to sterilize the grains. This involves rinsing, soaking the grains, simmering them to absorb moisture, cooling, and lastly, draining them. You need a larger space IV you are going into large-scale farming.

If you are growing mushrooms on supplemented sawdust, you won't be inoculating the bags in this area. You could use this area for soaking, mixing, and transferring substrates into grow bags. Some supplies could be stored here too. You should have a scale in this area to weigh the sawdust into each bag.

The prep area can also be used to pressure-sterilize grain or sawdust. A kitchen stove or pressure sterilizer could be used. Take caution when using a pressure sterilizer.

Using a straw to grow mushrooms should be done outside in a well-ventilated place. Straw is messy and not easy to deal with inside the house. You could use an electric drum pasteurizer instead. But, it is also advisable to do this outside too. You need a large table in a prep room to spread out and cool the straw after pasteurization.

A dedicated space for the prep area is advisable and more productive.


The lab is where it starts, the prep room is where real work is done, and the grow room is where you see results.

Your grow room depends on the number of mushrooms you are nurturing. It also depends on the type of mushroom you want to grow and the style you want to grow them.

If you want to grow them on straw logs, you need a rigid bar to hang the logs. These are much easier to handle.

You need shelves to grow them using grow bags with supplemented sawdust. Ensure the materials used to make the shelves do not harbor contaminants and do not decompose.


A grow room should be in a controlled environment where CO2, temperature, and humidity can be managed.

Co2 levels could be managed by allowing fresh air into the space. A low amount of fresh air will cause mushrooms to produce long chewy stems and small caps. A blower fan could be used to allow fresh air exchange.

Humidity needs to be managed too. Low humidity makes the mushroom become cracked and deformed. High humidity increases the risk of contamination. The average humidity for mushrooms should be 85-95%. This could be measured with an accurate hygrometer.

There are various ways to add humidity to the room. The most common way is to place an ultrasonic floating disc pond fogger in a bucket filled with water and set it on a timer depending on what you want. The water should be changed frequently.

Mushrooms prefer a relaxed and humid environment. Most mushrooms grow better if the temperature is kept about 15-18°c during fruiting. Relative humidity should be watched closely during large temperature swings.

The grow room should be clean and managed adequately.

The cultivator needs to be observant and flexible in nurturing mushrooms.


Firstly, it depends on the species of mushroom you want to grow. You could grow one or two species. Growing one mushroom means you have fewer problems to deal with. Although if you want to sell mushrooms, it is essential to have varieties.

Different mushrooms have different shelf lives and market prices, and acceptability.

Some mushrooms to grow are:

  1. Blue oyster: They are easy to grow and relatively well known
  2. King oyster mushrooms are also easy to grow and grow better on supplemented sawdust than on straw. They have a long shelf life and are quickly shipped long distances.
  3. Lion's mane mushroom: They are a bit scarce because their delicate teeth require careful handling and packaging. You could stand out selling these.
  4. Shitake mushrooms: They are more challenging to grow and may not be suitable for a beginner mushroom farmer.


How you harvest mushrooms is essential. Use only clean tools when harvesting to reduce the risk of contamination. Wear a suitable mask because you may develop an allergy to the spores of mushrooms.

Substrate blocks and straw logs can be harvested multiple times with higher chances of contamination after the 2nd and 3rd harvest. Dispose of the substrate properly after it is finally spent


The cost of mushroom farming is not fixed. It depends on each individual. You will need expenses to set up your lab, prep, and growing area. You may not need a lab if you purchase pre-made grain spawn.

Setting up a mushroom farm could be costly, but it would be worth it.


Depending on where you want to set up your business, you have to deal with your country's regulations.

Your significant concerns could be waste disposal, potential noise and smell, and damage to buildings due to high humidity. You would be much at rest if you could address these issues when gaining permission to start your mushroom farm.

Get liability insurance for your mushroom business. You could consider setting up a limited liability corporation. This entity can protect your assets in case of any problem.


A common way to start selling mushrooms is to set up a small place at the farmer's market. Find out the current prices and set your price. Ensure you harvest at the right time to meet up with the market.

You could also sell directly to chefs. This is where you can demand reasonable prices for your mushrooms.

You could also take your mushrooms directly to grocery stores. But these stores usually have high standards. So, you need to rebrand yourself well as a local farmer. This may not be the best choice for a local farmer.

Note that mushroom farming is hard work. But, with proper care, dedication and consistency, you will achieve good results.

This article's statements are vital and helpful, but the FDA has not examined them. Don't see this information as an avenue to self-medicate and ignore proper consultation with your health practitioner. Our products are not meant to be used for preventing, treating, or diagnosing any kind of health issue.


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