March 19, 2022 | 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. | KSU Field Station

Cost: $150 | Limited to 20 | Registration Portal 

Michael Blackwell, operations manager for the KSU Field Station, will present the outdoor workshop on how to safely grow culinary mushrooms in your home garden. He holds wild mushroom food safety certification from the Georgia Department of Agriculture.  The topics he will cover are described below. 

  • Attendees will learn about the role that fungus plays in an ecosystem, its importance to decomposition and nutrient cycling of organic materials and mycelial interactions in the environment.

    Morphology: the form and structure of an organism or any of its parts

    1. You will learn the basics of Mushroom Identification using the structure of the mushroom and its identifying characteristics such as the cap, gills or pores and stipe to make a positive identification.
    2. Attendees will learn how to make Spore prints for further confirmation of ID.
  • Attendees will learn about the different species of culinary mushrooms that can be easily and safely grown in a home garden setting including Shiitake, Oyster, Lions Mane, King Stropharia and Wood Blewit.

  • Attendees will learn about the different tools and supplies used to grow culinary mushrooms and where to find them.
  • Each species of mushroom benefits from a specific method of cultivation and selection of substrate (the media on which the mushroom is grown). Attendees will learn the most effective method for growing each species in the home garden. We will demonstrate each of the following in a hands on workshop.

    1. Shiitake on Hardwood logs using sawdust spawn
    2. Oyster mushrooms in straw using grain spawn
    3. Lions Mane in sawdust using grain spawn
    4. King Stropharia on wood chips using grain spawn
    5. Wood Blewit in compost using grain spawn
  • You will learn how the environmental conditions such as humidity and temperature affect the colonization and fruiting of each species and what the home gardener can do optimize those conditions for maximum production.
    1. You will learn “best practices” methods to minimize contamination issues throughout the cultivation process
    2. Using pasteurization, sterilization, aseptic techniques and disinfectants safely.
    1. Best methods to harvest your mushrooms on different substrates
    2. How to “shock” your substrate to induce fruiting
    3. Best storage methods/food safety
    1. Using biomimicry to create a natural mushroom garden
    2. Medicinal mushroom primer: Reishi, Turkey Tail, Cordyceps
    3. There will be a foray into the local forest to find wild species

All COVID-19 safety protocols and appropriate social distancing will be followed.  Hand-washing items will be available for use.