- Miscellaneous: mushrooms
- Production Systems: general crop production
School Hill Farm is a small family run operation growing produce since 1991 and has been an active member of a community based Farmers’ Market since 1994. With the farm expanding and space for production being a factor there is a need to use existing spaces and materials in different ways. Our full time dairy farm tries to co-exist with the part-time vegetable operation. The farm is currently seeking a way to extend its vegetable operation into the off season markets to help increase revenue and farm viability. One idea is to use one of the vegetable growth chambers, not in seasonal use, to try mushroom cultivation as a way to diversify while using currently available space.
Project objectives from proposal:
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.