The popularity of exotic mushrooms is continuing to climb. Over one and a half million pounds of exotic mushrooms were grown last year. Oyster mushrooms are one of the easiest exotic mushrooms to grow, and can produce a tidy profit in a small space. Here’s how you can make good money growing oyster mushrooms for profit.
You can produce oyster mushrooms using a large variety of “waste” products, such as straw and sawdust. Plus, you can grow oyster mushrooms in about six weeks. It’s one of the quickest growing times around. Typically, growers have about six growing cycles per year (about 60 days each). Most average about 25 pounds of harvested mushrooms per square foot of growing area. Doing the math, a 500 square foot growing area could produce approximately 12,500 pounds of mushrooms.
After about six weeks, you’ll be ready to harvest your mushrooms. The edge of the cap will start to curl under, unrolling slowly. Right before it is fully uncurled, that’s when it’s the best time to harvest. Don’t wait too long or you’ll lose some of the flavor and texture of the mushroom.
If you’re able to sell your mushrooms right away, perfect. Oyster mushrooms are going to taste best when they are freshly picked. If you won’t be able to sell them right away, don’t worry, there are some things you can do. Oyster mushrooms can be frozen, which will allow you to sell them days or months in the future. Pickled mushrooms are also a popular item. One popular recipe for pickling is:
- 3 pounds mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons coarse or rock salt
- 2 1/2 cups red wine vinegar
- 1 1/4 cups red wine
- 1 small piece bruised ginger root
- 6 cloves
After cleaning the mushrooms, place them in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Let them refrigerate overnight. During the next day, simmer them gently in their own liquid and gradually stir in the vinegar, spices and wine. Bring it all to a boil and let it cook for five minutes. Finally, cool it down and put it in jars or bottles.
Once you’re ready to sell your mushrooms, you have many options. Restaurants need to get their fresh mushrooms from someone, so why not you? Take a bunch of your mushrooms to a local restaurant, and let the chef sample a few. Maybe your oyster mushrooms are exactly what they’re looking for. Or how about the local farmers’ market? These events routinely draw large crowds eager to buy from the best local growers. Set up a stand or booth and get selling. Have you thought about grocery stores? Many upscale grocers carry exotic mushrooms, so if you can, target these. Some grocery stores might allow you to put on demonstrations in their store. Giving free samples to potential customers could build up a lot of attention for your mushroom farming business.
You can make nice money growing mushrooms for profit. It’s fairly easy, inexpensive and they are ready to harvest in just a few weeks. To learn more, read Golden Harvest.