Westfir | Oregon
6-Day Hands-On Course
Food and Mushroom Cultures Included – Lodging and Camping Options
2021 Dates now open
Join us to learn the practices of mushroom growing in this unique 6 day course from a team of experienced cultivators on a dedicated farm school.
This course is an excellent primer for anyone thinking of working with mushrooms for food and medicine, sustainable agriculture, ecological landscaping, soil building, or business development.
Themes of the Week:
- Laboratory set-up and Skills
- Low Tech and High Tech methods
- Mushroom Mycelium (spawn) Growing
- Growing Mushrooms in the Greenhouse
- Mushroom Gardening
- Identification, Nutrition, and Cooking
- Medicinal Mushrooms and Use
- Mushroom Farm Development
- Growing Mushrooms on Organic Wastes
This is not just an overview, we will be cultivating mushrooms from start to finish, with a wide variety of species at various stages of development, and we will perform every step.
The daily classes are held in a mix of indoor and outdoor spaces, and are mostly hands-on, with a few power-point lectures throughout the week. Mushroom cultivation is a mix of very clean and very messy activities, and we will be teaching in a variety of spaces including a professional laboratory, mushroom farm, homestead gardens and indoor classroom. Every process and activity is presented for you to engage with as much as you wish, with emphasis on helping you develop skills and understanding.
Course size is kept fairly small (20 people) to ensure that everyone can participate in every stage and be able to have any questions addressed. Typically we have guests who travel from all over the US and Canada, Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America, so expect to learn a lot from the diversity of unique people who will also be joining. We will have a French interpreter on staff for this course as well.
The main instructor is Ja Schindler, the director of Fungi For The People. He has been a mushroom cultivator and student of fungi for over 15 years, in both research and production scales, and has facilitated hands-on mushroom workshops to over 5,000 individuals since 2009 as an act of social and environmental activism. Ja brings together progressive cultivation methods, environmental research, rich cultivation history, a vast knowledge of fungal ecology, and creative approaches to connecting with diverse peoples into an engaging learning experience.
This Course Also Includes:
100+ Page Workbook: Details on a variety of cultivation techniques, material choices, glossary of terms, and technical references.
Mushroom Spawn: You will receive 8+ varieties of edible and medicinal mushrooms to leave with! 6 of these will be of your choosing in pure culture petri dishes.
Wholesome Meals: Lunch and Dinner will be provided daily, and is included in the price. Vegetarian, Gluten Free diets are accommodated for, and most of the food is grown right here in Oregon, with Gourmet Mushrooms and Medicinal Mushroom Teas.
Free Tent Camping On-Site: Tent camping is offered on our 17 acre property here in Westfir, Oregon. A shared camp kitchen is available for your convenience, with shower available for use. This is specifically tent camping, not RV, see link below for a RV host within walking distance of our site.
Offsite-Lodging: The course is located within short distance to a variety of accommodations in the city of Oakridge, at your cost and arrangement. The course site is in Westfir, Oregon. Address given upon registration.
Tent camping space on-site is free. Local accommodations can be booked at these suggested locations at your expense and arrangement:
- Air B-N-B Westfir / Oakridge
- Blue Wolf Motel
- Best Western Oakridge Inn
- Oakridge Lodge and Guesthouse
- RV Campground within walking distance : Casey’s Riverside RV Park
9:00 am to 6:30 pm Monday – Saturday with Lunch from 1-2pm
Additional evening presentations and open laboratory hours are optional (but strongly encouraged!)
Course registration includes:
All course Fees and Materials
- Mushroom Starter Cultures
- 100+ Page Course Manual
Lunch and Dinner Monday – Friday
Tent camping options on-site
Course price: $ 750
Full registration, or $350 Deposit
Fine Print: Deposit remainder due by 1 month prior the start of chosen course date. Full refund given for cancellation 90 days prior to course start. Course dates are typically full 2 – 4 months in advance.
March 22 – 27th 2021
Session is Full
June 21st – 26th 2021
Session is Full
September 5th – 10th 2021
If you experience any difficulties with the above links please contact us through the form on page bottom
Partial Worktrade is now offered for 2020, see HERE if interested.
For schedule of upcoming courses Follow our page to get first announcements
Details of the Course:
Basic Lab set-up and Skills | Mushroom Mycelium (spawn) Growing
We will walk everyone through the basics, from introducing sterile technique and building starter laboratories, to starting cultures from of cuttings and spores, all the way up through small scale commercial spawn production. This includes preparing and working with petri dishes (Agar), grain, wood products, liquid cultures, and fruiting substrates. A depth of information is presented, but the pace and language used also accommodates folks unfamiliar with mushroom growing.
The techniques are presented in a simple format, and everyone will be able to practice hands-on. We will also be covering a simple open-air technique which I have developed to save you from spending thousands of dollars on equipment and start growing mushrooms as soon as the course is over!
Mushrooms in the Greenhouse
Indoor mushroom cultivation techniques can vary from passively growing in the shower, to building dedicated grow houses for mushroom production. In this segment of the course we will be covering how to create artificial growing conditions for a variety of mushrooms, both in the soil and through the use of bags and containers. Irrigation strategies, air circulation, temperature control, and natural pest abatement will also be covered.
A multitude of How-To’s for growing mushrooms right along with all of your vegetables. We will cover companion plantings, mushroom mulches, simple and free mycorrhizae applications, as well as identifying common edible mushrooms already in your garden.
Growing Mushrooms using Appropriate Technologies
There are plenty of ways to grow plenty of mushrooms, and we will be covering many of the standard routes of mushroom cultivation as well as employing some more recently adapted techniques for making better ecological and economic decisions. Some of these include working with rocket stoves, generating and working with bio-char, passive solar technologies, as well as anaerobic processing. These are all simple real-world approaches which have found their way into many sensible operations, we will be unfolding some new ways to integrate them into mushroom cultivation during this course.
Food Forest Integration | MycoForestry Practices
Eugene has a diversity of food growing sites where we will study the fungal social interplay, uncovering the layers of spaces where we can encourage healthy mushroom societies of our choice, in both the soils and the trees. Topics of parasitism prevention, mycorrhizal applications, leaf matter mushrooms, and specific mushroom habitat zones will be covered, as well as making appropriate mushroom patches. There are many applications for growing Mushroom Food Forests! This will involve taking the techniques of mushroom cultivation into the bigger picture of ecological stewardship.
We will work the skills developed during the week into the deeper realm of detoxifying soils and waterways with the help of fungi. Introductions to site reading, pollution pre-filtering, bacterial effluent buffering, and soil rebuilding will all be covered through the course.
MycoPermaculture | MycoResiliency
Growing mushrooms for food and medicine at physical Permaculture interfaces such as Bioswales, Hugelculture beds, Greywater systems, and natural structures. Getting more return from our work output, as well as working with fungi to solve problems are themes carried with each step of this course, the intent being to make mushroom cultivation an easier transition for your life. We will also open up the concept ecological biodiversity conservation opportunities available through mushroom cultivation.
Some Mushroom Varieties we will work with:
White Elm Oyster – Hypsizygus ulmarius
Phoenix Oyster: Pleurotus pulmonarius
Golden Oyster: Pleurotus citrinopileatus
Reishi – Ganoderma lucid sensu auct.
Garden Giant – Stropharia rugoso-annulata
Shiitake – Lentinula edodes
Shaggy Mane – Coprinus comatus
Shaggy Parasol – Chlorophyllum rachodes
Chicken of the Woods – Laetiporus conifericola
Enoki – Flammulina velutipes
Lion’s Mane – Herecium erinaceus
Maiitake – Grifola frondosa
Feel free to contact Ja Schindler with any questions by submitting this form: