mushroom production

This is a comprehensive course aimed at those hoping to enter the mushroom production industry or for keen amateurs of mushroom culture.

This course is unique and has been evolving over 20 years with a serious revision every 1 to 2 years, since it was first developed.

The most commonly grown mushroom worldwide is Agaricus (The Champignon) and for that reason, the course concentrates on this type of mushroom.

Other commercially grown mushrooms are reviewed in most lessons as well, in order to give the student a broad understanding of how to cultivate all types of commercial fungi. These include: Auricularia auricula, Coprinus Fimetarius, Flammulina velutipes, Lentinus edodes, Pleurotus ostreatus, Stropharia rugoso-annulata, Volvariella volvacea.

As the student develops this foundation in understanding fungal growth and commercial techniques their capacity to grow any type of edible fungi will increase.

This course improves your ability to grow mushrooms on either a small or large scale and both broadens and deepens your knowledge of growing, harvesting, marketing, storage, pest and diseases and even ways of cooking and using mushrooms.

As with all our courses, study papers are provided on a CD, in total involving approximately 100 hours of work. The course is divided into 8 lessons with an assignment set at the end of each. These are sent to the Academy for marking and are returned to you with comments and suggestions.

You will be working with Colin Elliott, an experienced professional horticulturist and garden designer.

Course content:

  • Introduction
  • How Fungi are Named: Review of the system of plant identification
  • Characteristics of all Fungi
  • Three Fungi Kingdoms: Zygomycota, Basidiomycota and Ascomycota
  • Agaricus campestris and Agaricus bisporus
  • Review of significant edible fungi including; Coprinus fimetaris, Flammulina velutipes, Letinus erodes, Pleurotus, Stropharia, Volvariella,Auricularia auricula
  • Synonymous Names
  • Distinguishing edible fungi, Mushroom structure, tell tale characteristics of the genus Agaricus, etc.
  • History of Mushroom Cultivation
  • Commonly Cultivated Edible Fungi
  • Agaricus bisporus, Agaricus bitorquis Coprinus fimetarius Flammulina velutipes Kuehneromyces mutabilis Lentinus edodes Shiitake. Pholiota nameko Pleurotus spp "Oyster Mushroom" Stropharia rugosa annulata Volvariella volvaceae Edible Straw Mushroom. Auricularia spp Tremella fuciformis Tuber spp. Tricholoma matsutake Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) Grifola frondosa (Hen of the woods, Maitake)
  • Resources, information/contacts
  • Mushroom Culture
  • Options for obtaining Spawn
  • Steps in Growing Agaricus species: Preparation, spawning, casing, harvest
  • What to Grow Mushrooms in; growing medium
  • Growing media for different edible fungi: Agaricus, Auricularia, Copreinus, Flammulina, Letinus, Pleurotus, Volvariella, etc
  • Understanding Soil and Compost, components and characteristics
  • Acidity and Alkalinity
  • Making Compost
  • Making Mushroom Compost, and mushroom compost formulations
  • Moisture Level in Compost
  • Cultivation of Agaricus bitorquis
  • Cultivation of Coprinus fimetarius S
  • pawn Production and Spawning
  • Finding Spawn Supplies
  • Overview of Spawn and Spawning
  • Obtaining Smaller Quantities of Spawn
  • The Process of Spawning
  • Spawn Production; typical rye grain method
  • Storing spawn
  • Problems with Spawn
  • Using Spawn
  • Comparing tewmperature conditions for spawning and fruiting in most commonly cultivated edible mushroom species
  • Cultivation of Pleurotus
  • Cultivation of Stropharia
  • Making and Casing Beds
  • Growing Methods; Caves, bags, houses, outdoor ridge beds, troughs, etc
  • Casing; biological process, characteristics of casing material, procedure
  • Techniques; spawned casing, ruffling, scratching
  • Review Auricularia and Volvariella
  • Growing Conditions for Mushrooms
  • Fungi Nutrition: carbon, nitrogen, essential elements, vitamins and growth factors
  • Casing to Harvest of Agaricus Growing
  • Indoors Components of a Built System and Determining Your Needs
  • Factors Influencing Fungal Growth
  • Environmental Control, equipment to measure and control the environment
  • Siting a Growing House
  • Managing the Growing House or Room, cleanliness, heating, cooling, humidity, etc
  • Review of Tuber (Truffle) and Tremella
  • Pests, Diseases and Growing Mushrooms Outside
  • Overview of Pests, Diseases and Environmental Disorders
  • Prevention of Problems
  • Review of Bacterial and Fungal Diseases and their Control
  • Review of Insect Pests, Mites, Nematodes and their Control
  • Weed Moulds
  • Safe, Natural Sprays
  • Summary of Problems found on Agaricus bisporus and other edible fungi covered in this course
  • Cultivation of Flammulina velutipes and Kuehneromyces mutabilis
  • Harvesting, Storing and Using Mushrooms
  • Harvesting Buttons, Cups and Flats on Agaricus bisporus
  • Fruiting patterns for Agaricus bisporus and other edible mushrooms
  • Cool Storage of Mushrooms
  • Freezing Mushrooms
  • Dry Freezing Mushrooms
  • Drying Mushrooms
  • Canning Mushrooms
  • Harvesting Agaricus; method of picking
  • Handling Agaricus after harvest
  • Controlled Atmosphere Storage
  • Cultivation of Letinus (Shitake), Pholiota, Tricholoma
  • Marketing of Mushrooms and Special Assignment
  • Review of Marketing options for mushrooms
  • Fresh Mushroom Sales
  • Processed Mushroom Sales
  • Production and Marketing of Shitake, Oyster Mushroom and Straw Mushroom
  • Research and Determination of Marketing
  • Opportunities and Strategies in Your Region   


Course cost: £ 320.00 (single payment)

Payment Method



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