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Grow Specialty Mushrooms


Raising this niche crop can be complicated and time-consuming.

Growing mushrooms can be an exciting and fulfilling part of your farm business. To be successful, you need trustworthy, useful information to navigate this tough task. Minimize your learning curve and reduce your risk of failure. Illinois Extension provides the latest cultivation practices and regulations. Check our our website, videos, and tip sheets, or request a one-on-one consultation. Your job is hard enough already; let us help carry some of the load.


Whether you are a farmers market manager, community health practitioner, grower, or consumer, the Illinois Department of Public Health provides guidelines for the sale of specialty mushrooms in Illinois.


Mushroom farming is real farming

What you are doing is challenging; however, learning and following these best practices of specialty mushroom production and staying informed on current regulations can help avoid bureaucratic headaches, misunderstandings, and barriers to success. This can prevent loss of time, money, and energy, leaving mushroom growers more time to do what they do best: mushroom farming.

Grow a high-quality, nutritious, and safe product for your community, introduce mushrooms to your local stakeholders, and build networks of informed consumers, practitioners, and educators.

bear's head lion's mane variety
Bear's head lion's mane variety. Photo by Nick Frillman
Cultivation Practices

Illinois specialty mushroom producers grow mushrooms mostly indoors in controlled conditions – but there are also ways to cultivate them outdoors. Those with woodlots or agroforestry plantings can grow specialty mushrooms outdoors on hardwood logs, or in garden beds. Regardless of where these mushroom species are grown, practiced cultivators help to create ideal conditions for their complex lifecycles.

Learn the many cultivation practices

Edible wild mushrooms are more than just your next meal
URBANA, Ill. – Every spring, enthusiastic woodland hunters scour forests across Illinois in search of an elusive and delectable fungi, the morel. Determined foragers delight in the thrill of harvesting wild morel mushrooms, Morchella spp, that can’t be bought at a grocery...

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