Note to readers, attached is the complete final report for FNE09-669.
The purpose of this project was to use a vegetable growth chamber to grow mushrooms and help farmers expand profitability and viability. I used an off-season vegetable growth chamber and added climate control equipment that could be used to increase mushroom growth. I kept the project ecologically sound using reusable and biodegradable substrate vessels and kept track of climate and invasive species that may or may have had an effect on mushroom growth. I measured growth, did what was needed to continue to grow mushrooms and measured final weight and sale of mature mushrooms. The final results showed income from the mushrooms and that the mushroom chamber was the best of the growing methods used. The project sparked interests in farmers, teachers, numerous fair-goers and customers at the farmers’ market. For me this project was a success. I produced and sold mushrooms and I understand the best course of action for the next season from the knowledge I gained.
We propose developing a mushroom growing chamber in the area we have free after vegetable start production. Only small climate equipment modifications will be used that will not affect the in-season vegetable use. The vegetable growth chamber will aid in the growth of Grey Dove Oyster Mushrooms (Pluerotus Ostreatus). Miniature hay bales will be used to contain the rye substrate and grain spawn. A comparison will be made between 2 areas, one in a non-sterile, non-controlled climate without the protection of a growth chamber vs. the sterilized growth chamber. Climate will be measured along with mushroom growth and diseases. After the mushrooms have depleted the substrate structures, the substrate will be used as compost. The project proposed here will help expand local small farm diversification using existing equipment, allowing the farmer to grow produce during the off season promoting better farm viability.