BF 151: Outdoor Mushroom Cultivation

Growing Mushrooms on Logs, Stumps, and Woodchips

  Enroll in Course

Learn how to cultivate with the seasons in farms, fields, and gardens

Mushrooms are an emerging niche crop with many benefits, including improving farmer stewardship of forested lands and the ability to offer a unique and highly desired product. With a bit of practice, mushrooms can be easily grown outdoors on many materials and in alignment with the seasonal and cyclical nature of outdoor growing.

This course trains new and experienced farmers in the background, techniques, and economics of outdoor mushroom production. Students will learn the basic biology of mushrooms, cultivation techniques for shiitake, oyster, lions mane, and other easy to grow mushrooms, proper conditions for fruiting outdoors, managing pests and other issues, and harvesting and marketing strategies.

Target Audience

All levels - This course is for new farmers, or experienced farmers seeking to diversify their operations. It’s also relevant to woodlot owners and backyard gardeners, and forest stewards interested in this topic. Growing as a viable economic enterprise will be discussed, though techniques can also be applied at any scale. Mushroom growing is an easy topic for beginners with some experience farming and managing crop systems.

Course Objectives

At the completion of this course, you will:

  • Be able to describe the basics of outdoor mushroom production, harvesting, and marketing

  • Connect mushroom cultivation to the management of healthy forests
 and soils
  • Understand the logistics of management, sales, and legal issues related to mushroom farming


The bulk of the course happens on your own time, with discussions, readings, and assignments in Teachable, our virtual classroom. To add to the experience, webinars will be woven into the online interface of the course to allow you to meet on a weekly basis to learn from outside presenters and ask questions to address your farm issues in real time. If you miss one, they are always recorded and posted for later viewing.

Webinar Schedule

Live instruction for 2023 has concluded. You are welcome to enroll now to complete this course on a self-paced schedule and join our next live session in Fall 2024. All webinars are recorded and posted in your online classroom to watch anytime. Once enrolled in this course, you will retain access to all materials indefinitely and may return to participate in future live offerings of the course as well. Please join us!

Your Instructor

Aysha Venjara and Cecilia De La Fuente
Aysha Venjara and Cecilia De La Fuente

Aysha Venjara, a keen observer of nature and longtime gardener, thrives in the small curiosities of the world around us. A Hudson Valley native, she began volunteering on local farms and training in regenerative agricultural practices in 2013. It so happened that her biodynamic studies at the Pfeiffer Center in Chestnut Ridge, NY, were just down the street from the Sufi mosque she attended since childhood. The link between these two fundamental aspects of life, faith and farming, became a topic of deep exploration and formed the start of an incredible journey. In 2016, Aysha became the steward of a beautiful piece of land, 3.5 acres of a former biodynamic dairy farm, and a 1950’s barn, lovingly converted into a home by a designer and musician couple. The Falaha Center for Spiritual Agriculture, whose mission is growing faith, family, and fun through farming, was born out of a calling to both protect and share the gifts of the land and the home—most especially at a time when our connections to the earth, and one another, are under constant assault. Through the Falaha Center, Aysha uses small but thriving farm enterprises, namely log-grown shiitake mushrooms, pastured eggs, and educational workshops, to fund a food pantry garden program, on-farm mentorship for youth groups, and woodland conservation activities. Aysha is also a columnist for dirt magazine, a local Hudson Valley food and farming publication, and a facilitator for the Cornell Small Farms Program Woodland Mushroom Course.

Cecilia De La Fuente, an anthropologist and Community Mushroom Educator with Cornell Small Farms Program, has specialized in sustainability and urban agriculture having worked on diverse projects related to these topics. Currently, she leads Cosmoplantitas, a project focused on experimenting with accessible methods for cultivation and developing nutritional products to promote mushroom consumption as a more sustainable alternative.

Course Curriculum

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course officially starts and ends on the dates given above, when the instructor gets involved and begins hosting live weekly webinars. If you are registering after the webinars have concluded for the year, you will have immediate access to all the course materials, and will be able to participate in the next year's webinars if you choose to.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 7 days and we will give you a full refund.

Get started now!