A look at how Mycoterra Farm is approaching the notion of how to grow mushrooms indoors at their facility in Deerfield of Western Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley
I created a couple videos of my trip to Mycoterra Farm in Deerfield, MA so you can get an idea of how to grow mushrooms indoors.
Once I walked into the building I noticed their raw materials, which is a pile of sawdust positioned right in front of a door for easy, quick access. This helps the sawdust keep from freezing in the winter months. Moving frozen sawdust is very difficult, so it is a smart idea to place the sawdust inside as they are doing.
From here the sawdust is loaded into a mixer. You can see the four-yard Pack mixer in the video. The sawdust is loaded in and nutrient additions are added. Some people use soybean hulls as a supplement, others use grains or wheat bran. All of this is mixed and wetted in the Pack. The mixer in the video is a ribbon mixer, so when you look inside you can see the ribbon, which is used to turn the substrate and create an even mixture.
The substrate then drops out of the mixer and is bagged into filter patch bags. The bags are then folded up into carts and brought over to the autoclave. The bags are then sterilized in the autoclave for two or three hours. Once sterilized the bags are brought over to be inoculated in the lab.
Check out this video to see the mushroom farm, substrate area, mixer, and fruiting room.
How to grow mushrooms indoors: A look at the fruiting room
Mycoterra utilizes greenhouses indoors for their fruiting rooms.
In the video I go into one of the greenhouses where shiitakes and lion’s mane mushrooms are being fruited. The greenhouses are positioned on concrete floors which provide radiant heat, and drains to make the cleaning process easier and quicker.
The growing lion’s mane were beautiful and afforded the opportunity to see this amazing mushroom in different stages of its growing cycle. Some of the younger lion’s mane did not have spines yet as as they grow out they form spines. The spines point straight out as they grow. Once the mushrooms are ready to harvest the spines will have cascaded down towards the ground and are about half an inch in length.
The fruiting mushrooms are kept in bags on shelves. Each shelf is on wheels, making it easier to move the shelves around for cleaning purposes.
I estimated that the farm had about 200lbs of lion’s mane getting ready in the fruiting room.
The shiitakes growing alongside the lion’s mane were also doing quite well. Shiitakes are the most sought after specialty mushroom in the world, and the farm had many shiitake blocks close to harvest. Shiitakes are ready to harvest when you see the cap and stem being differentiated and the gills are able to be seen on the underside of the mushroom cap. The outer edge of the mushroom will also have a nice curl to it, signaling that it is ready.
The most important parameters for how to grow mushrooms indoors at bigger volumes
The big four parameters include:
- CO2-below 800 ppm, depending on species
- Humidity–above 80%
- Lighting—Enough to comfortably read a book
- Temperature–is ideally between 55 and 75 degrees depending on the species
Now if you are doing a small grow in your house, it is not necessary to measure these parameters. In fact, my favorite way to tell if these are in the right range is looking at the mushrooms. The mushrooms and how they are fruiting should really be the main factor that you watch to adjust environmental controls. If the substrate or pins are drying out or slightly browning you need to increase humidity. If the mushrooms have long stems and little caps, it’s likely that they either have to high CO2 or not enough light. If bacterial growth is proliferating, it is likely too hot for the mushroom to properly fruit.
To create a really nice area for growing mushrooms indoors, place the fruiting substrate into a plastic bin, fish tank, or 18 gallon tote with the top on at a diagonal. Mist inside the bin twice a day and watch the mushrooms to see how they look. You may be able to completely leave the top off, increasing CO2 and light levels, depending on the moisture content in your house.
You can learn directly about growing mushrooms indoors with the help of our professional-grade mushroom grow kits
Do you want to grow your own mushrooms at home? We produce mushroom blocks and kits that allow you to grow mushrooms inside at your home, or outside in your garden. Take a look at the variety of mushroom growing kits we provide to find the strain that excites you the most.