That’s an interesting question indeed, and you may well be stumped by it even if you happen to be an excellent gardener. Even if you’ve had your own well-kept lawns and garden for years, you may still find mushroom growing difficult, because the simple fact of the matter is that mushroom growing is a whole new ball game.
But why is this so? It’s because mushrooms are not really plants, but fungi, and this changes all the rules. You can’t use mud to grow them in, for one thing. The usual fertilizers and pesticides won’t work – not that you’ll want to use them if you’re set on growing organic mushrooms for consumption. Anyway, the point that I want to make is that there are a lot of new things to learn, and the sooner you can get started learning them, the better you’ll ultimately be at either providing your family with a regular mushroom diet, or at growing them commercially for sale.
Now, the first parameter when you’re growing anything (not just mushrooms), is space. If you’re just growing enough for the occasional mushroom meal for your family, then you could even grow mushrooms indoors, inside your house. But if you want to grow them on a larger scale, you’re going to have to have a garden shed, at the very least. A greenhouse or a small barn would be even better. One nice thing about growing mushrooms is that you can use your space very efficiently. Simply fill the available space with shelving, with the shelves about a foot apart, and with space for you to move around (or in-between) the shelves, of course. After this it’s a simple matter of acquiring a great many flat trays (each about three to four inches deep) and placing them on the shelves.
You may wonder how it’s possible to grow mushrooms this way, and I’ll remind you that these fungi don’t need the presence of light in which to grow, and so can be grown in this way most efficiently. Then you need to buy some commercial mushroom growing medium, or you can make your own (it’s not difficult) and fill the trays with it. Plant the mushroom ‘seed’ – the correct term to use here is spores or spawn, and not seed – and you’ll have your mushrooms growing in no time at all. While this is a very cost effective approach, there are ways to make mushroom growing even more cost-effective by harvesting spores, but that’s a subject for a separate article.