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How to Start a Mushroom Garden

While endeavoring to grow as much of our own food as possible I came across a presentation on growing mushrooms at home by Fungi Akuafo and I was intrigued! I had never considered starting a mushroom garden in my zone 3 Alberta backyard. But as I found out, there was few reasons not to. Growing mushrooms in Canada at home in your backyard does not require a lot of space and building a mushroom bed out of cardboard, wood chips, and straw did not take long to do.

Growing Mushrooms in Canada

With a little effort, edible mushroom gardens make a wonderful addition to your zone 3 vegetable garden.

I was able to obtain two fungi spawn kits from Fungi Akuafo (based out of Sundre, Alberta). I planted one spawn kit of wine cap mushrooms and one of blue oyster mushrooms. The spawn kits where shipped in the mail and I stored them in our garage fridge for a few weeks until we were ready to plant.

My husband and I were like kids waiting for Santa to come, excitedly checking our mushroom garden every few days. When the mushrooms did appear it seemed almost magical, one day there was nothing there and just 3 days later there would be mushrooms grown and ready to be harvested!

How to Get Started Growing Mushrooms

What you Need to Grow Wine Cap or Blue Oyster Mushrooms

  • Substrate to inoculate your mushroom bed

  • 1m x 1m space to grow in

  • Cardboard (or newspaper)

  • Hardwood wood chips (Or 80% hardwood and 20% softwood. Do not use cedar as it is a natural antifungal wood.)

  • Straw - organic if possible. Mine was not organic but I was able to confirm that the crop had not been treated with any antifungal sprays. I was told by the farmer I bought my straw from that antifungal sprays are not commonly used on crops in Alberta.

And that's it! Straw can usually be bought from any local feed stores. I was able to find untreated hardwood wood chips from a friend who does woodworking. Fungi Akuafo also sells these items on site, if you don't live too far fr