WSU News

March 1: Mushroom cultivation course offered in Sultan

By Kate Halstead, WSU Extension

SULTAN, Wash. – Whether you have a tiny backyard or hundreds of acres, growing gourmet mushrooms can be a satisfying and tasty venture. In the Pacific Northwest, there are about a dozen mushroom species including oyster, shiitake, and maiitake, which can be grown using many of our native tree species. Ensuring success with this type of backyard farming, however, involves developing a good understanding of the process and knowledge of the techniques involved.

Learn about the different types of edible mushrooms that can be grown indoors and out in the region and how you can start your own “fungi farm” from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  March 1 at Ed’s Apples at 13420 339th Ave SE in Sultan, just off SR 2.

Jim Gouin from Fungi Perfecti demonstrates how to sterilize and inoculate straw with oyster mushroom spawn at a recent workshop.

Jim Gouin from Fungi Perfecti demonstrates how to sterilize and inoculate straw with oyster mushroom spawn at a recent workshop.

The course will cover different species that grow well in the local climate and forests, as well as a discussion of several growing media such as log, stump, and sawdust cultures. Demonstrations will include how to prepare and inoculate logs and harvest and care procedures to encourage optimum production.

Also included will be a featured demonstration of the low-tech processing and cultivation of oyster mushrooms using pasteurized wheat straw for indoor production. This cultivation method will appeal to those wanting to produce mushrooms in a very short time frame with minimal equipment. All participants will take home a packet of shiitake plug spawn along with complete instructions to cultivate your own outdoor mushroom logs.

Instructor Jim Gouin is a staff mycologist and consultant with Fungi Perfecti, an Olympia-based company that specializes in supplying home and commercial mushroom growers with everything needed for success. Jim also has a forestry background and teaches forest fungi cultivation workshops throughout North America.

The cost is $70 per person, which includes the workshop, handouts, a catered lunch, and 100 shiitake plugs to take home. Space is limited and your paid registration must be received by February 27, 2014 to ensure your spot. Register online at You can also download the form at and mail with your check. For registration information, contact Karie Christensen at (425) 357-6039 or e-mail

For more information on the course, contact Andrew Corbin,, (425) 357-6012.

Media contact:

Kate Halstead, 360-794-6081,

Source contact:

Andrew Corbin (425) 357-6012