If you are like most people you have consumed a fair share of mushrooms in your life. Some of these may have been in salads, on pizzas or in oriental dishes. Although certain types of mushrooms are  common in the produce aisle, there are many more varieties. Some are extremely expensive and are often never consumed except by the wealthy.

That said, mushrooms aren't difficult to grow. Plus there are types which you could be harvesting in just a few weeks.

Although there is a market for mushrooms which are sourced by walking in the woods, there is also a continual need by restaurants who are looking for a reliable source. This can be from cultivation.

Button and oyster mushrooms are the easiest to grow and if you are just beginning, these are ideal  to begin with.

These can be grown in logs, in plastic bags and some have even grown them in laundry baskets! In other words, they will grow in just about anything as long as it is rich in nutrients. Remember mushrooms are grown from spores, not seeds.

The spores can be bought online from reputable dealers.

If you have a basement or a crawl space these are ideal for growing mushrooms. If you are growing mushrooms outside, place in an area away from domestic animals which might contaminate it. This includes chickens, dogs, and cats. If you have mice or rats, get rid of them before growing your mushrooms.

Requirements for growing mushrooms are darkness, humidity and fertile soil.

They can grow on straw, cardboard, wood chips etc. This should be sterilized by soaking it in boiling water before using. This is then placed on top of the fertile growing mixture which can be home produced compost or purchased in a store. Think of this like a lasagna, you will be working in layers. Starting from the bottom.
  • Fertile compost
  • Straw, wood shavings or cardboard
  • Mushroom spores

 Depending on your ambient humidity you may or may not need to cover your growing area. A humidity tent can be made using a plastic bag or sheet of plastic which is kept elevated using sticks.

Instructions regarding the humidity levels usually accompany the spores when you purchase them. If you aren't certain about the humidity in your area, check your local weather channel online where that information is available.

You should see the first growth in about 3 weeks and harvesting shortly after that at a month to 6 weeks.

If you are growing them for your own consumption then you can harvest fresh daily. If you are planning to sell to a restaurant, keep in contact with them so they are ready to pay and accept delivery as soon as you harvest. If you provide an exceptional product and are easy to deal with, they will be a valuable and loyal customer.