Exploring Sustainable Indoor Mushroom Cultivation
My primary objective was simply to become well acquainted with the nuances of indoor mushroom cultivation. Although the subject always struck me as fascinating in past semesters, I shied away from research knowing full well the wide range of technical knowledge needed to attain a comprehensive understanding of each aspect of production. The Sustainable Farming and Food Systems capstone course provided me with the necessary motivation to delve head-on into the field. After feeling sufficiently knowledgeable and ambitious, I wanted to trial a low-tech, low-budget indoor oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) production model using locally-sourced substrate and plastic containers (reusable, as opposed to the more standard polyethylene bags) while further developing the TC3 Farm’s extant mushroom cultures, with the ideal outcome being useful data/cultures/strains.
Why oyster mushrooms?
Oyster mushrooms are uniquely hardy, thus ideal for beginners. They are capable of colonizing a plethora of substrates, including worn-out blue jeans! It should be no surprise that they populate nearly every continent. They routinely prey on nematodes detrimental to more common commercial mushroom varieties and are capable of inhibiting pathogenic bacterial growth. The strain I selected is capable of fruiting at 4.5 °C.