Programme Description | Mushroom Growing Course

09:30  Tea and coffee

Welcome and introductions.

10:00  Opening Session: Setting the scene.

The course structure is explained. The aim is to ensure that participants have a good overview of mushroom growing and learn the growing techniques and aftercare, to make certain that mushrooms develop for harvesting.

Mushroom Growing: History and Introduction

Facts and images on mushroom cultivation will provide a useful and fascinating background to the subject.

Activity 1:

An oyster mushroom demonstration kit and tools required for mushroom growing are examined. The safety precautions of using hand tools and of heating up wax will be discussed; hot wax is used for sealing holes and cuts, following inoculation. Participants are requested to match the mushroom spawn (inoculant) to the appropriate substrate in readiness for the next activity.

11:00   Tea and coffee break

11:15 Commercially Available Mushroom Spawn and Types of Substrates

Information on mushrooms cultivated for culinary, medicinal and curiosity value is presented. A summary of commercial mushroom spawn and mushroom substrates will give participants essential data for planning their own growing project.

Methods of Cultivating Mushrooms

The ways for growing mushrooms on humus and wood are explained; the practical activities to follow will help to consolidate this information by putting the theory into practice. 

12:15   Activity 2:

The logs are prepared for inoculation using drills and saws; participants will be reminded to follow safety instructions.  Mushroom boxes are prepared for the Shaggy Ink Cap and Wood Blewit spawn. 

12:45 Lunch:

A full three course lunch will be provided, including wine.

1:30 Activity 3:

Preparation of logs is resumed, followed by inoculation of mushroom spawn. Wax should be heated to seal all holes and cuts; appropriate logs are wrapped with polythene.  Mushroom spawn should be mixed with the substrate for mushroom boxes; a ‘casing’ layer of garden compost must be added to complete the inoculation.     

2:30     Tea and coffee break

2:45     Activity 4:

Upon completion, the mushroom cultivation work is examined. Aftercare is discussed to ensure successful outcome. 

4:30 Conclusion Session:

The information provided in the resources section of the handout is discussed; suppliers, books, materials and tools, and growing instructions.

A course evaluation questionnaire will be provided. There will be an opportunity to give verbal feedback. Where possible, the inoculated logs and mushroom boxes will be given away to participants for growing in their own gardens.       

5:00     Approximate Finish


Seasonal Foods

Summer 2016

June was one of the wettest on record. July was cooler than average but quite dry. August is hotter so far but dry. Plants have responded by growing fast but fruit has not matured as quickly as might have been expected. There was an early flush of edible mushrooms in June, Parasols in particular, but not much thereafter. Should the weather turn wet, look out for Boletus edulis, (Ceps or porcini). There is every chance of them appearing soon.

Our Foraging Courses begin soon. The first are two Taster Days on Saturday the 27th of August and Sunday the 28th, these will be in Surrey and are intended to be an introduction to foraging for beginners. We will hold two more Taster sessions later on in Essex on the weekend of the 8th and 9th of October. The cost is £25 per person for each session.

Foraging 2016


Dates & Venues

Wild Harvest Day Course New Forest

Come join us on one of our courses in the wonderful English countryside for a day of foraging, identifying, cooking and fun...