Mushrooms are prized for their taste and beauty and the elegance that their presence adds to a dish. They are versatile and complement many different recipes. There are many different varieties of mushrooms. Some are quite pricey but some are within a price range that is affordable to all. Commercial mushroom growers must stay current on medicinal properties of mushrooms, cultivation techniques for new species and developments in cultivation technology. Yet every year more mushroom farmers enter this fascinating and exciting business.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Substrate (something to grow the mushrooms on, such as straw or dirt)
- Mushroom spawn (starter). Can be self-grown once the cultures have begun
- Logs, the packed substrate where the mushrooms will be inoculated
Learn about mushrooms and how to grow them. People who grow mushrooms commercially generally do so in a controlled indoor environment. Make sure that there will be a space that is large enough to cultivate a commercial quantity of mushrooms.
Decide which mushrooms to grow. Shitake and oyster mushrooms are popular mushrooms that grow well in a controlled environment. They sell well, are not expensive and are a good commercial mushroom to cultivate.
Secure a supplier who will provide the basic starter equipment for beginning to grow mushrooms (see Resources).
Review the suggestions made by the Small Business Administration for starting a business (see Resources).
Consider taking a business course at a local community college or through an online course. If the course is given online, check with the Better Business Bureau to make sure that the institution or company offering the course is reputable (see Resources).
Investigate the laws and regulations for growing produce for commercial sales through the local department of health. Each state has its own laws. These may be found on the state's department of health website. Make sure to obtain all necessary permits.
Secure financing for the business.
Register the business with the state and federal tax authorities.
Decide who to sell the mushroom to. Restaurants? Supermarkets? Health food stores? Market the mushrooms to the appropriate retailers. A website is a powerful marketing tool, but a personal visit to retailers should also be part of your marketing plan.
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