How to Grow Oyster Mushrooms for Profit: 6 Steps to Follow
Interested in how to grow oyster mushrooms for profit? This article provides a step-by-step look at the process that goes from mixing your substrate to harvestAs mushrooms increase in popularity, more people are getting into the business of fresh oyster mushroom cultivation. One question many of these people ask is how to grow oyster mushrooms for profit. There is no single way to grow oyster mushrooms for profit as each person’s access to market, finances, equipment, and skill greatly impact how they will grow mushrooms. The organic oyster mushroom market is expanding rapidly with a wide range of prices and varieties available through different outlets. Oyster mushrooms offer a fast and aggressive mycelial growth as well as high yields. By using “master’s mix” -- a 50/50 blend of soybean hulls and sawdust -- yields can be over 1 lb per 5 lb block on the first flush. High yield and proper fruiting is essential to grow oyster mushrooms for profit. To maximize fruiting, oyster mushrooms like high humidity and low CO2. To maintain these conditions it is important to frequently exchange grow room air and mist frequently. Oyster mushrooms come in many varieties which range in size, color, fruiting temperature and yield. Yellow, pink blue, brown, and phoenix are all types of oyster. One way to find how to grow oyster mushrooms for profit is to try different varieties of oyster and discover which one works best for the particular market and growing practices.
How to grow oyster mushroom for profit: A step-by-step process to follow for success
- Mix 50% hardwood sawdust in fuel pellets, or raw dust from a mill with 50% soybean hulls. This is measured in dry weight, so, if there is 20 lbs of dry sawdust you would add about 20 lbs of dry soybean hulls. Bring this mixture to 55% moisture content. Pack into 5-6 lb specialized autoclavable bags.
- Load steaming unit with bags and turn steam on. Using atmospheric steam, non-pressurized, and get temperatures up to about 200 degrees for 18 hours. This typically takes a full 24 hours of cycling the steaming unit on and off.
- Move bags into a HEPA-filtered lab to cool for 24 hours before inoculating. It is critical at this stage that no micro organisms get into the bags.
- Inoculate each bag with a half cup of oyster mushroom grain spawn. Seal the bag and shake vigorously to distribute the grain evenly.
- Place the inoculated bag onto a shelf with a palm-width spacing on all sides. Allow the bag to sit for 12-15 days until fully colonized.
- Cut a large X on the broad side of the bag and move into the fruiting room. Fruiting should occur within 10 days. Harvest and allow the bag to rest for about 14 days, mushrooms will begin fruiting again. Alternatively after harvest flip the back and cut the bottom side, fruiting will occur within 1 week
Are you interested in bulk ready-to-fruit blocks?We can offer wholesale rates if you are interested in a minimum purchase of 20 blocks of the same mushroom species. Here is a breakdown of our whole rates:
- 20-50 kits: $20 per kit
- 51-100 kits: $17 per kit
- 101-150 kits: $15 per kit
- 150+ kits: $12 per kit
Barriers in growing oyster mushrooms for profit
- Contamination. If other fungi or bacteria grow in the substrate, yields will decrease and it will be difficult to retain high-yielding quality mushrooms. This is particularly difficult in the summer.
- Quality spawn. It is vital to get high-quality commercial grain spawn for these inoculations. Check out the Fungi Ally Grain Spawn page for information on our spawn.
- Sales. Finding a buyer that will purchase a consistent amount at a constant price is crucial. It is always a balancing act to grow enough mushrooms and maintain enough sales routes.
How to grow oyster mushrooms for profit made EASYYou can purchase ready-to-fruit Fungi Ally mushroom blocks to skip all of these lab practices and focus on growing and selling mushrooms.
The mushroom blocks are roughly 5.5 lb blocks of supplemented sawdust, measuring about 12"x6"x8". We offer blue, pink, and yellow oyster, shiitake, lions' mane and other species for custom orders. Each block costs $5 and the minimum order is 50, which can be a mix and match. They are ready to fruit when you receive them, so they need to be stored in a walk in cooler until initiated. They can last for about 3-4 weeks in a cooler before they start fruiting in the bag and yield is decreased.
They fruit in flushes. The first flush usually is 10 days to harvest and yields an average of 1 lb. You then wait for about 2 weeks and they will fruit again about 1/2 lb. It is possible to get a third flush on them as well which is around 1/2-1/4 lb. Shiitake blocks need to be soaked for about 5 hours to initiate 2nd and 3rd flushes, many farmers do this in low tunnels or other outdoor structures during the warmer months.
Want to grow other types of gourmet mushrooms, too?
We have experience growing a wide array of gourmet mushrooms that go beyond oyster mushrooms. One example is the ever-popular shiitake mushroom. Or how about lion's mane mushroom, which many people are unfamiliar with but the taste is out of this world. Check out this additional article for information on growing other delicious, gourmet mushrooms.