Smart Planning & Creative Mechanics for Year-Round Mushroom Cultivation in Southwest Idaho
Our farm tour with Brody in February.
One of Idaho's original commercial mushroom growers, Brody Ferguson cultivates mushrooms year round at his specialized, home-based facility in Greenleaf, Idaho, just 30 minutes from the heart of Meridian.
He produces a wide array of the highest quality gourmet and medicinal mushrooms, including Oyster mushrooms, King Trumpets, Chestnuts, Shiitake, Lion's Mane, and Reishi, as well as a line of mushroom-based products including mushroom seasonings, tinctures, broth and grow kits.
Brody's Innovative Contributions to Year-Round Local Food Production
#1: Customized HVAC for Habitable Mushroom Climate
A dark, damp room -- worlds apart from the vast, sunny rows in the GreenWave Hydroponics greenhouse -- serves as the comfiest spot for gourmet and medicinal mushrooms to flourish.
Just like Amos, mushroom grower, Brody Ferguson, faces special challenges maintaining consistent levels of production through our long, cold winter.
Brody continually fine-tunes his facility for optimal conditions of moisture, temperature, and air circulation.
His grow room is outfitted with an ultrasonic humidification system. He is also in the process of custom building a heat recovery ventilator for ideal air circulation and more energy efficient temperature control. The ventilator will recycle air to cool the grow room in the summer and heat it in the winter. His custom ventilator is a much better alternative to a conventional HVAC system which clogs very quickly in a mushroom growth environment.
#2: Smart Weekly & Seasonal Planning
Brody has developed an organized process for each stage of production so that he has a reliable supply of fully grown mushrooms ready for market every single week throughout the year.
This means that, throughout the week, his germination room is actively filled with culturing and spawning mushrooms, while his grow room is simultaneously filled with maturing mushrooms.
Brody's smart planning extends beyond the weekly level, to a seasonal level. In the winter, he grows varieties of mushrooms that thrive in cooler temperatures, saving tropical, fluorescent varieties for the summer months. Winter varieties take twice as long to grow as his summer varieties, so each winter, he also has to tweak his inventory and the timing of weekly production to meet a steady demand.
Brody demonstrates that year-round cultivation requires thoughtful business strategy as well as innovative engineering and mechanics.
Nutrient Density by the Square Foot
Krista Shawley produces nutrient dense microgreens year round through a carefully fine-tuned process designed to mitigate temperature and humidity changes in the cold winter months. Read the microgreens case study.