The Secret Art of Growing Mushrooms

Learn how to make your own wood-based substrate on which to grow Shiitake mushrooms

28 Jan 2012

There are several ways of making substrate (substrate is the growing environment for mushrooms). The three most common methods are with a compost-base, with a sawdust-or wood-chip based mixtures, and using straw. In this workshop we will make a sawdust substrate. You will take your substrate bag home after the workshop, where you can wait to see the mushrooms grow in the comfort of your own home.


Shiitake 3rd stage - Shiitake in the third stage of the growing process. Photographed in Mediamatic's urban mushroom farm. Part of the Paddestoelen Paradijs exhibition. Anna Meijer


30 years ago the white button mushroom was the only mushroom you could find in the supermarket. A lot of things have changed in the meantime, but most people still only eat the white button mushrooms. Getting people to grow and consume all the varieties of mushrooms has been a slow process. This workshop is innovative and exciting because growing your own mushrooms is a new form of agricultural technology.

We begin the workshop by sterilising the sawdust in a pressure cooker to get rid of the existing mold and fungus spores that are often naturally present on the wood. After we cool down the wood chips we add agra-vermiculite, gypsum and water to make the substrate mixture. Every substance is weighed and measured properly before we mix them thoroughly together and add water to the mixture. Once the substrate is ready, we add the mushroom spawn (Shiitake) and put the finished mixture in special filter bags and seal them. Instructions on how to take care of your mushrooms once you've taken them home will be given during the workshop.

Information and cost

The workshop takes place at Mediamatic BANK on Saturday January 28 from 13:00 to 18:00. Participation costs € 35 and you can use this page to buy a ticket. For questions, please contact Deborah Meibergen. Our workshop regulations are found by clicking this link.