Forest Mushroom Production On Ready-to-Fruit Blocks

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2024: $29,288.00
Projected End Date: 05/31/2025
Grant Recipient: Fungi Ally
Region: Northeast
State: Massachusetts
Project Leader:
Willie Crosby
Fungi Ally


  • Miscellaneous: mushrooms


  • Crop Production: agroforestry, forest farming, low tunnels

    Proposal summary:

    The field of mushroom cultivation
    and the resources that surround it have exponentially expanded
    over the last decade. This proposal aims to utilize these
    recently developed networks to increase the feasibility of
    mushroom cultivation on diversified farms. By merging the outdoor
    production systems typically associated with shiitake log
    production with high yielding blocks typically used indoors, this
    project aims to highlight an accessible and profitable model of
    adding mushroom production to any diversified farm. Adding indoor
    mushroom production to an existing farm can be a large barrier as
    it takes an investment in equipment, space, and training. Outdoor
    cultivation on logs can be extremely slow and variable. By using
    supplemented sawdust blocks, which are now readily available
    throughout the Northeast, farmers can easily grow mushrooms
    outdoors in a shady spot in as little as 10 days. Using these
    supplemented sawdust blocks outdoors, farmers will be able to
    control the fruiting cycle, quickly get products to market, and
    increase their customer base. This project will look at the
    impact on 3 different diversified farms—a CSA model farm, a Farm
    store model farm, and an urban farm. We will gather yield data on
    three different mushroom species fruiting outdoors on blocks, as
    well as the correlating sales data. This information will then be
    shared using farmer networks, social media, field days, a
    publication, and email listservs.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Objective One: Fruit 60 ready to
    fruit mushroom blocks, producing 60+ pounds of shiitake, oyster,
    and lion’s mane mushrooms on three different farms while
    recording data on yields and fruiting conditions. Repeat this
    process a second time with the recently trained farmers running
    the production cycle.

    Objective Two: Sell 60 pounds of
    mushrooms on three different farms, while recording data on total
    sales and sales avenues. This process will be repeated two times
    at each farm.

    Objective Three: This project
    aims to educate 500 potential growers on the opportunities,
    benefits, and drawbacks of growing specialty mushrooms outdoors
    on purchased ready to fruit blocks. 

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.