Determining the Feasibility of Compost Production from Agronomic Waste and Wood Byproducts through Mushroom Cultivation Techniques for the Small Farmer

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2005: $2,419.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2007
Region: Western
State: Washington
Principal Investigator:

Annual Reports


  • Miscellaneous: mushrooms


  • Crop Production: organic fertilizers, conservation tillage
  • Education and Training: display, technical assistance
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, budgets/cost and returns, feasibility study, agricultural finance
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity
  • Soil Management: organic matter, composting
  • Sustainable Communities: sustainability measures

    Proposal summary:

    Mushroom cultivation has long been used to manage agronomic byproducts while producing food and maintaining a profit. In turn, the byproduct of mushroom cultivation has considerable value as an environmentally benign, nutrient rich soil amendment. Christopher Tchudi, a resident caretaker and market gardener at Fido’s Farm in Olympia, Wash., will use his Western SARE Farmer/Rancher grant to see how much time and money it takes a small, diversified farm to produce mushrooms on waste substrate. Small farms face many challenges managing waste, whether applied directly to fields or composted for later application. Tchudi will examine the use of mushroom composting of common agricultural materials as a means of generating fertility on a small farm. Two composting projects will be managed simultaneously, one using woodchip substrate, the other using straw. Both will be inoculated with the spawn of tree oyster mushroom, an easily grown, high-yield variety native to most temperate forests.

    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.