Green Horizons Newsletter - AgEBB

Green Horizons

Volume 10, Number 2
Spring 2006

Mushroom workshop features
marketing and production techniques

Tom Glaser of St. Charles, Mo., practices drilling holes in a log for inoculation.
Like most value added or alternative crops, some of the best knowledge of specialty mushroom production is that passed from grower to grower.

The University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry provided an opportunity for hands-on information exchange at the second Specialty Mushroom Workshop, held Feb. 17-18, 2006, in Columbia, Mo.

More than 40 participants from across the Midwest attended the workshop designed to teach the basics of production and/or marketing techniques for specialty gourmet mushrooms, including shiitake, oyster and Stropharia. University of Missouri research faculty members, professional mushroom growers and marketers provided participants the knowledge and skills needed to get started growing and marketing mushrooms.

A hands-on tour of the mushroom cultivation sites at the MU Horticulture and Agroforestry Research Center, New Franklin, Mo., featured demonstrations of UMCA current research and explored the steps involved in growing mushrooms in a forest farming setting.
MU plant pathologist Johann Bruhn, standing, shows mushroom workshop participants a log suitable for growing shiitake mushrooms. Photos: Jason Jenkins

Forest farming, one of the five agroforestry practices, can enhance and diversify farm income opportunities, while at the same time making significant improvements to the composition and structure of the forest for long-term improvements in overall health, quality and economic value. By developing an understanding of the interactions between the overstory trees and the understory environment, forest management activities can be used to create an understory capable of growing profitable shade-loving crops -- such as gourmet mushrooms.

For more information about specialty mushroom production, order or print the Agroforestry in Action guide "Growing Shiitake Mushrooms in an Agroforestry Practice" (AF1010-2005) from University of Missouri Extension at To learn more about forest farming, visit

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