If you’ve been curious about mushroom farming, focus on the high-value exotic mushrooms, such as oyster mushrooms. Growing oyster mushrooms for profit is fairly easy. You can be making good money in just a few weeks. Still, you probably have some questions. Here are the top 10 FAQs about growing oyster mushrooms.
1. Why oyster mushrooms?
Exotic mushrooms are enjoying a high level of demand. Last year alone, Americans grew more than a million and a half pounds of exotic mushrooms. Oyster mushrooms, a type of exotic mushroom, are one of the easiest exotic mushrooms to grow. They can grow in about six weeks’ time, and are currently selling for about $6 a pound. They’re fairly easy to grow, they grow quickly, and they can make you good money—all reasons why you should choose oyster mushrooms to grow for profit.
2. How should I get my spawn?
There are two ways you can get your spawn. You can make your own using a sterile culture. In the long run, this can be less costly, but the start-up costs can be very high. Instead, consider buying ready-to-inoculate spawn from a supplier.
3. What temperature should my incubation room be?
Your incubation room will need to be at a certain temperature to help your mushrooms get off to a great start. A temperature in the mid-70s should do the trick.
4. Can I use supplements?
You sure can. Supplements can help improve flavor and increase yields. Some popular supplements include cottonseed meal, alfalfa meal and soy meal.
5. How can I maintain a high level of cleanliness?
Make sure any surfaces that come into contact with your straw, spawn or eventual mushrooms are clean. Wipe down and disinfect all surfaces. Spray a 10% bleach solution in the air. Seal off any drafts using weather-stripping or caulk. And finally, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before handling any substances.
6. Where can I sell oyster mushrooms?
There are three places in particular that you’ll want to try. Farmers’ markets draw big crowds who might be eager to try your mushrooms. Restaurants have to get their fresh mushrooms from somewhere, so why not from you? And finally, many supermarkets are carrying exotic mushrooms, and there’s a good chance they might want to buy yours.
7. How can I increase my sales?
Give out free samples of your oyster mushrooms. This is how you’ll be able to sell to grocery stores and restaurants. They’ll want to taste your mushrooms before buying them. If a grocery store allows, put on demonstrations. Handing out free samples of your oyster mushrooms is a great way to increase business.
8. How much growing area do I need?
Because oyster mushrooms are so productive, you don’t need much growing area to be a success. Here are some numbers to get you thinking about what you might want. In a growing area that measures about 100 square feet, you can produce around 2,500 pounds of mushrooms a year. Selling at $6 a pound, that means even a tiny 100 square foot growing area can be worth about $15,000 a year.
9. What should I use for a substrate?
A substrate is your growing medium. Growers usually use straw. Some opt for wood chips. Straw is generally the better option, because you can find it at most feed stores for a reasonable price.
10. What if I can’t sell my mushrooms right away?
Your oyster mushrooms will be at their best when they are fresh. That’s when you want to sell them. If you can’t sell them right away, freeze or dry them to sell later. Freezing or drying enables you to sell your oyster mushrooms days or months in the future.
Hopefully these FAQs and their answers will help you get off to a strong start with your oyster mushroom-growing business. In just a few weeks’ time you could be making some nice money. To learn more about growing oyster mushrooms for profit, read Golden Harvest.