Evaluating the methods, effects, and economics of interplanting oyster mushrooms with vegetable crops

Project Overview

Project Type: Partnership
Funds awarded in 2017: $14,877.00
Projected End Date: 04/15/2019
Grant Recipient: University of Massachusetts Amherst
Region: Northeast
State: Massachusetts
Project Leader:
Geunhwa Jung
University of Massachusetts Amherst


  • Vegetables: Kale
  • Miscellaneous: mushrooms


  • Crop Production: cover crops, cropping systems, intercropping
  • Education and Training: demonstration, workshop

    Proposal abstract:

    New England is home to many small farms seeking new and innovative means to bring consumers closer to their
    food source. Mushrooms are a valued commodity and are sold in nearly every supermarket across the country;
    however, local mushrooms are infrequently available and represent an untapped market for small-diversified
    farms. Mushroom production requires technical expertise for success and this is one of the main reasons this crop
    remains underdeveloped on a local scale. This project will investigate the viability of sustainable mushroom
    production by interplanting oyster mushrooms with vegetable crops to increase food production per square foot,
    improve productivity of small farms, add organic matter to the soil and increase biodiversity.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Our goal is to evaluate the concept of interplanting oyster mushrooms in-between rows of fall vegetable crops
    (forage radish and kale). We will explore the questions of will the concept of interplanting oyster mushrooms
    produce acceptable mushroom yields and what methods will achieve the best yields? We plan to test two
    different types of oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus spp. and Hypsizygous spp.) with forage radish and kale to
    evaluate mushroom yield. In addition, we will also evaluate the rate of mushroom inoculum needed to produce
    acceptable oyster mushroom yields. Lastly, we will examine the effects of the mushroom production on the soil
    health and vegetable crop production. This method of outdoor production could see mushroom production in 3-4
    weeks, a more timely return than the expected 9-12 month wait in log production (Fungi Ally pers. comm.).

    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.