Exotic Wild Mushroom Outdoor Cultivation

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2021: $7,590.00
Projected End Date: 11/30/2023
Grant Recipient: Merrick Farm
Region: Northeast
State: New Jersey
Project Leader:
Sergio Campos
Merrick Farm


  • Miscellaneous: mushrooms


  • Crop Production: agroforestry

    Proposal summary:

    The project objective is to explore the viability of cultivating new to market exotic culinary mushroom strains outdoors using multiple inoculation techniques sustainably and economically. This research will open the local market and restaurant industry to new varieties of mushrooms that are of exceptional medicinal and culinary use. This research provides the framework for any farmer with access to a forested area to produce unique food crops by converting forestry and agricultural waste products such as hardwood logs and composted materials into a food production site. 

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Forest farming of mushrooms is an agroforestry practice than increases crop diversity while providing diversified income for farmers and other forest owners. Mushrooms can be an integral part of sustainable forest management by using selective thinning practices and utilizing tree services in your region to acquire hardwood logs. There is strong consumer demand for forest grown mushrooms and unmet demand that should allow for the successful entry of new producers here in the Northeast and also all over the United States. A major goal of this project is to continue to implement small scale production of these varieties of mushrooms and to monitor their actual cost,labor, and income.This will allow us to develop recommendations and predictions based on actual real world on site farm data rather than theoretical production/marketing data . Furthermore, no other project or publication that I am aware of has this emphasis on proper forest management, creation of revenue streams and food production systems by utilizing agricultural waste products while leaving behind little to zero waste.

    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.