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A Fungi to Try

Dark damp conditions full of decaying plant material – sounds like the perfect place, right? Well, maybe not for you, but it’s just what your favorite mushrooms need! In general, a mushroom is neither a fruit nor a vegetable, but rather the fleshy, spore-bearing body of a fungus, typically produced above ground. There are dozens of edible mushrooms that grow wild in Wisconsin but cultivating mushrooms is becoming more and more popular.

According to the USDA, the United States produced more than 650 million pounds of mushrooms in the 2022-2023 growing year, with Pennsylvania growing more than half of that! The agaricus, or button, mushroom is the most common mushroom grown and is what most consumers probably think about when buying mushrooms at the grocery store. Other mushrooms, like Shiitake and Oyster, are classified under “specialty mushrooms” and are the mushrooms behind the boom in popularity. In 2022-2023, growers of specialty mushrooms saw an increase of nearly 37% in the value of sales when compared to 2020-2021 data.

Like many other types of farming, mushroom farming doesn’t need to be done on a large scale to have a positive impact on you and your family. With the increase in mushroom growing popularity, there are countless resources and tools available to help anyone try out mushroom farming. One of the best things about growing mushrooms is being able to utilize otherwise unused space like a shed, under a tree, or even on a tabletop!

According to, mushrooms can be grown indoors with high humidity and temperatures between 55 and 75° Fahrenheit. Oyster mushrooms grow the best indoors and typically grow in a medium like sawdust. It is important that any indoor growing has good ventilation, as mushroom spores can spread indoors and cause irritation. Cultivation isn’t limited to indoors though, and many types of mushrooms thrive outside on hardwood logs. Find a shady spot that is protected from rain and wind, as well as from direct sunlight and drying winds. You’ll want to keep the logs moist, but not soaked. Other mushrooms may grow well in mulch, like the wine cap mushroom.

For more information on getting started growing your own mushrooms, the Wisconsin Mycology Society ( has resources on deciding which mushrooms to grow with supplies you may already have at home.

If growing your own mushrooms isn’t for you, you can explore countless varieties of mushrooms from farmers across Wisconsin. You can visit the Something Special from Wisconsin™ program at or visit your local farmer’s market to find a mushroom producer near you!


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