Hey there, my name is Benedict, I’m based in Perth, Western Australia.
My interest in mushrooms began after watching a TED talk by Paul Stamets on how mushrooms can save the world. In December of 2014, I decided to dip my toe into the waters of mycology and ordered a correspondence course with Forest Fungi. Shortly after placing the order, I received a package that contained some basic lab equipment, mushroom cultures, along with a cultivation manual that I read with fascination. Within a couple of months, I was producing my first oyster mushrooms and I was hooked.
Since starting out, I’ve helped run a couple of cultivation courses, given presentations at festivals and grown a lot of mushrooms. The main types that I’ve grown are shiitake and oyster mushrooms, but I’ve also grown lion’s mane, pioppino, reishi, enoki, and chestnut.
In June 2018, I took a one week course at What The Fungus in Canada to get an idea of what it takes to grow mushrooms professionally. It’s definitely hard work, but if you work smart, you can make it profitable.
This year (2019) I have started ramping up my shiitake production at home, and hope to be producing about 5kgs a week to sell to nearby restaurants. I’ve also started experimenting with alternatives to single-use plastics as it’s the most wasteful aspect in mushroom growing. If things work out with these experiments, I hope to eliminate single-use plastics from my grows by 2020.
If you enjoy experimenting, watching things grow and can handle failure, you will find growing mushrooms a rewarding experience. I think that’s why so many mushroom growers are entrepreneurs, there’s definite overlap in skill sets. In the last few years, there has been an increase in interest of growing mushrooms, but a lot of the information is not easily accessible. I hope that this site fills in some of those gaps.