Port Townsend | Washington
September 9 – 13 | 2013
@ Earlwood Farm
5-Day All Inclusive Course
Food and Camping Included
Join this unique 5 day course to learn the practices of mushroom growing from a team of experienced cultivators. This course is an excellent primer for those thinking of growing mushrooms for food and medicine, business, soil development, or personal pursuit.
Considerations for growing mushrooms in the more extreme environments of tropical, dry-land, high altitude, coastal, and cold climate will also be covered.
From complimenting subsistence gardens to developing a medium scale mushroom business, this course will cover all of the techniques needed to carry out your goals. During the week we will help everyone design a plan and schedule for the mushroom growing projects they hope to take up after the course, and we will present the designs at the end of the week to work through as a group.
The course is lead by Ja Schindler, who brings a decade of mushroom growing experiences, as well as techniques he has developed with modern appropriate technologies. Co-instructed with Adam McGrath, permaculture activist and Earlwood Farm manager/organizer clipboard wizard extraordinaire.
Our host, Earlwood Farm, is an establishing cornerstone of Washington’s permaculture world on the Puget Sound. This energetic intentional community is an inspiring example of dedication to ecological design, and we couldn’t ask for a better fit for hosting this event.
This Course Also Includes:
50 Page Workbook: Details on a variety of cultivation techniques, material choices, glossary of terms, and technical references.
Mushroom Spawn: You will get to choose 4 species of edible and medicinal mushrooms to leave with!
Wholesome Meals: All 3 meals will be provided for daily by the hosts at Earlwood Farm, and is included in the price. Vegetarian, Gluten Free, and Vegan diets can all be accommodated for, and much of the food is grown right here on the Farm.
Lodging: Camping via your Tent or Hammock is free in the beautiful wooded acres of Earlwood Farm. Local hotels are also available in Port Townsend.
Class Time: 10am to 7pm Monday – Friday | Lunch 1-2pm
Early Registration: $400
After June 15th: $500
Limited Partial Worktrade Spaces: Rate of $250 Details Here
Registration Is limited, but open, and completed with payment:
Main themes of the week:
Mushroom Ecology as a Land Reading engagement:
This is how we start the week off, an easy hike through the various landscapes of Earlwood Farm, exploring micro-habitats to examine a variety of mushroom environments. In order to know how to grow mushrooms we need to know how those mushrooms like to live, making these connections will help you see different mushroom growing habitats everywhere. We take field notes and bring samples back with us to work through basic identification, spore printing, microscopy, and discussing edibility and medicinal uses.
Mushrooms in the Greenhouse
We will retrofit a greenhouse for mushroom production and plant companionship. In this segment of the course we will be covering how to create artificial growing conditions for a variety of mushrooms, both in the soil and through the use of bags and containers. Irrigation strategies, air circulation, temperature control, and natural pest abatement will also be covered
- Mushroom Gardening
A multitude of How-To’s for growing mushrooms right along with all of your vegetables. We will cover companion plantings, mushroom mulches, simple and free mycorrhizae applications, as well as identifying common edible mushrooms already in your garden.
- Growing Mushrooms using Appropriate Technologies
There are a lot of ways to grow a lot of mushrooms, and we will be covering many of the standard routes of mushroom cultivation as well as employing some more recently adapted techniques for making better ecological and economic decisions. Some of these include working with rocket stoves, generating and working with bio-char, passive solar technologies, as well as anaerobic processing. These are all simple real-world approaches which have found their way into many sensible operations, we will be unfolding some new ways to integrate them into mushroom cultivation during this course.
- Food Forest Integration | MycoForestry Practices
Earlwood Farm has a diversity of food growing sites where we will study the fungal social interplay, uncovering the layers of spaces where we can encourage healthy mushroom societies of our choice, in both the soils and the trees. Topics of parasitism prevention, mycorrhizal applications, leaf matter mushrooms, and specific mushroom habitat zones will be covered, as well as making appropriate mushroom patches. There are many applications for growing Mushroom Food Forests!
- The 15 acre grounds of Earlwood Farm is largely mature forest, and we will get involved with integrating a mushroom micro-business into the long term plan of the Earlwood Farm land stewards. This will involve taking the techniques of mushroom cultivation into the bigger picture of ecological stewardship.
We will work the skills developed during the week into the deeper realm of detoxifying soils and waterways with the help of fungi. Introductions to site reading, pollution pre-filtering, bacterial effluent buffering, and soil rebuilding will all be covered through the course.
- MycoPermaculture | MycoResiliency
Growing mushrooms for food and medicine at physical Permaculture interfaces such as Bioswales, Hugelculture beds, Greywater systems, and natural structures. Getting more return from our work output, as well as working with fungi to solve problems are themes carried with each step of this course, the intent being to make mushroom cultivation an easier transition for your life. We will also open up the concepts of the ecological biodiversity conservation opportunities available through mushroom cultivation.
- Simple Mushroom Mycelium (spawn) Growing | Basic Lab set-up and Skills
We will of course need to be build up a network of materials to be able to carry out all of these goals, and this happens in the realm of Spawn development. I will walk everyone through the basics, from growing mycelium out of cuttings and spores, all the way up through small scale commercial spawn production. It is simple once you do it a few times, and will likely turn into one of the most valuable skills you will learn in 2013. We will also be covering a simple open-air technique which I have developed to save you from spending thousands of dollars on equipment and start growing mushrooms as soon as the course is over!
A depth of information is presented, but the pace and language used also accommodates folks unfamiliar with mushroom growing.
This is not just an overview, we will be cultivating mushrooms from start to finish, with a variety of species at various stages of development, and we will perform every step.
Class sizes are kept fairly small to ensure that everyone can participate in every stage and be able to have any questions addressed.
We will work with Gourmet and Medicinal mushrooms including:
White Elm Oyster - Hypsizygus ulmarius
Reishi - Ganoderma tsugae
Garden Giant - Stropharia rugoso-annulata
Shiitake - Lentinula edodes
Shaggy Mane - Coprinus comatus
Shaggy Parasol - Macrolepiota rachodes
Chicken of the Woods - Laetiporus conifericola
Shaggy Mane | Coprinus comatus
Shiitake | Lentinula edodes
King Stropharia / Stropharia rugoso-annulata
White Elm Oyster | Hypsizygus ulmarius
Turkey Tail | Tremetes versicolor