Small Scale Mushroom Farm Setup Costs

how much does it cost to set up a small-scale mushroom farm i get asked that question a heck of a lot, so in this video we’re going to take you through about how much it’s going to cost for you to set up a mushroom grow which will produce between about 30 to 50 kgs of mushrooms per week. i think that 30 to 50 kgs per week is the sweet spot for one person to operate a small scale mushroom farm. we’re going to break this down into five parts. we’re going to cover off the fruiting, the lab, the incubation, the pre and post-production, and then any additional costs that the farm might incur so let’s crack on. *now that is a knife hand that would make general mattis proud* and see just how much this is going to cost. so for any small scale mushroom farm the first thing you need to build is a fruiting room or a fruiting chamber this is my fruiting room here and it can hold about 150 blocks my blocks are on a three week cycle which means they come in they flush once they flush twice and then i move them out of here. now to build a fruiting chamber there’s going to be a few things that will cost you money. the first you actually have to construct the room. construction of the fruiting room can be as easy or as complex as you like if you aim for 12 square meters you should be able to produce 30 kilos of mushrooms. the cheapest easiest and fastest way is to get an indoor hydroponics grow tent, expect these to set you back about 350. for a nine metre square grow space the second you need to humidify the room. i built my own humidifier which costs around 250 us dollars. I have a video of it linked in the corner. Alternatively you can purchase a hydro fogger which does the same thing for about 350 us dollars. the third you need lights in the room you can get 150 watts of good strong LEDs and a meanwell driver for about 120 us dollars. the fourth you need an exhaust fan for the room. An exhaust fan with some ducting will set you back about 90 us dollars. And the fifth is a shelving to grow your mushrooms on. This is my shelving here and i made that myself but it’s probably a bit easier just to buy shelving. Uou can buy shelving for about 65 dollars a piece or you can make your own like mine. I’ll put a link to my build in the top right hand corner so once all these things are done. you can expect the fruiting chamber to set you back about fifteen hundred us dollars minimum it is very easy to go over this mark when you add in all the small things you need to buy. The mushroom lab the mushroom lab can consist of a pretty basic setup. Ideally you want to choose an existing room that has concrete or vinyl floors and you need a few key things in here the first and the most important is a laminar flow hood like what i’ve got right here. the purpose of your flow hood is to pump air through it, and these HEPA filters here actually take out all the contamination out of the air so you’ve got clean air blowing over your workspace. this prevents other mold spores or bacteria getting into your bags or your dishes if you’re working in front of them. now until recently there haven’t really been any purpose-built mushroom going um flow hoods available there are some now which is good, my one actually cost quite a bit because i’m here in New Zealand. My HEPA filter panels themselves are about 480 us dollars with another 40 or 50 us dollars for the the pre-filter which is actually mounted behind these panels here. And my fan on top my blower was actually about 330 us dollars plus another 60-70 us dollars perhaps for my control unit here. So to build my flow hood actually cost me quite a lot of money, probably upwards of 1 thousand us dollars. Now you can get these a lot cheaper, the ones that are available pre-made now, of course you can make your own still and making it in america will probably be quite cheap, but if you want to save a bit of time and hassle you just buy pre-made. Again, this is a price i paid to build this unit in New Zealand. Building it in America will be a lot cheaper. Iou can buy purpose-built flow hoods from Myers Mushrooms in America. I recommend buying one if you want to save the time and making your own. people have pointed out on my flow hood that the sealing foam is facing the wrong way, this doesn’t matter because it’s present on both sides of the filter. it will cost you about six hundred dollars to get a flow hood. The second would be a good autoclave or some people use pressure cookers. you can see mine behind me all american make some pretty good autoclaves. I recommend picking one of these up. The starting price for a good sized All-American is about 800 dollars. The third item you need is a really good impulse sealer which i’ve got right here. My impulse sealer cost me about 230 us dollars. You want to get a good one bad ones don’t seal very well and often burn the bags. And of course you want this all on a stainless steel benching which is really easy to clean. You can get a good size stainless bench from amazon for about 140 us dollars. there are some additional costs in the lab which you’re going to have to consider. One is items like parafilm, but it’s not too expensive. another one is sterilized scalpels. Now I found boxes of ten sterilized scalpels for 5 dollars per box and these are all actually expired but um i’ve been using them for quite some time now and i’ve never had any contamination with them so i think that’s still good. also a few things like spray bottles, isopropyl alcohol, and paper towels of course to wipe your benching down. Expect an entry level lab to sit you back about 2000 us dollars but you can go over this mark with all the other things you need to buy. so here we are out in my incubation room. The best part about an incubation room is it doesn’t really need to be that pretty. all it needs to do is serve its purpose. now the purpose of an incubation room is to keep your mushroom blocks here at a set temperature for a specific amount of time. To do that all we do is either choose a room that’s pre-existing or if you want to go the hard route, make your own make sure it’s insulated, and get an air conditioning unit for the room. You can see my air conditioning unit right behind me. It’s actually behind this fan here so when that turns on this fan turns on with it and it blasts that air which is either being heated or cooled straight down the middle of the room you can get an air conditioning unit for about 300 dollars, and a fan for about sixty dollars. combined with an ink bird controller this will keep your incubation room at the correct temperature. At the moment I’ve only got one shelf set up in here. I actually had shelves lining this room as I was doing a lot of shiitake. I took them all down because one i didn’t really want to continue on growing shiitake and it used up a lot of room for incubation. right now i’ve only got this one shelf set up where i put all my oyster blocks on and each shelf here fits about 50 blocks at a time. right now i’m doing about 50 blocks a week, so it means that they come in here they sit in here for two weeks and then they’re gone. Which means at most i only ever have two shelves filled up. Earlier on today i actually took that whole top shelf this shelf here away and put that into fruiting. Tomorrow another 50 blocks is going to come in here and take that place. Next week these blocks will go, It is cost effective to make your own or you can buy ready-made shelving expect the shelving to set you back about 300 dollars. The good thing about incubation room is you don’t need a lot of stuff to make it work. You don’t need humidity, you don’t need lighting requirements, you don’t need fresh air exchange, all you need is a room where your blocks can be kept warm so they can grow their mycelium nice and quickly. An entry level incubation room will cost you about 700 dollars, it’s very easy to go with this mark if you have to build and insulate your own room. pre and post production there are some Things you must do to get your mushroom bags ready, and there are some things you must do after you’ve grown some mushrooms. To prepare a mushroom block there’s the expensive end of the scale and then there’s the cheap end of the scale. I’m right at the cheap end, and i just manually weigh each bag before i mix them together. The expensive end is where you buy an automated mushroom burger and you just need to hold the bag open press the button and all the ingredients or the substrate gets tipped into the bag for you. The expensive end is extremely fast and you can do hundreds and hundreds of bags an hour. The cheap end is a lot slower but if you’re not ready to spend thousands of dollars on a bagger it is good to start at the cheap end so you get a hang of things. to measure my bags i just use a cheap industrial scale and an automated water meter. These cost about 160 dollars. You can see my homemade sterilizers set up right here, and that’s actually running right now. This uses a homemade boiler and homemade steam tanks i’ll put a link to my build for this up in the corner it’s just running off the homemade PID controller which is controlling the temperature inside that barrel. You can make your own like mine for about seven hundred dollars, or you can buy a pre-made one for about thirteen hundred dollars. I run this multiple times per week and it’s fairly reliable. I’ve been using this for over a year now without much trouble. again you can buy pre-made steam sterilizers, they are slightly more expensive than it will cost you to make your own so if you are crafty with tools i do suggest just buying the parts and throwing one of these together. Cost for bagging and preparation can range from seven hundred dollars to about ten thousand dollars the more you spend the more time you save. Now post harvest i cannot stress the importance of having a really good commercial fridge these things here are invaluable and they go a long way in keeping your crop fresher for longer. You can see mine here now is at 0.6 degrees and it fluctuates from about 0.6 degrees to about 1.5 degrees, and one week i’ll fill up this fridge with a mushroom harvest. with this entire side here being fresh cut mushrooms and this side here is really kept for a lot of my spawn plates and cultures. Expect to spend about two thousand dollars for a decent commercial fridge. you’re going to need a few other things like food containers to stick your harvest in and some more stainless steel benching to cut your harvest up on. All of these add costs to the whole operation but you do really need most of them. And finally the cost of goods sold. This is the input cost you have to spend each week to actually get the ingredients together to produce the bags the three main costs will be unicorn grow bags hardwood or soft wood fuel pellets and a supplement like soy hulls. You ideally want to use hardwood fuel pallets, but I use softwood here in New Zealand with a degree of success simply because we don’t really have access to hardwood pellets. It cost me about 30 us dollars to produce 20 mushroom bags so that’s a cost of about a dollar fifty per bag. My bags weigh about 4.2 kgs each and even at fifty percent biological efficiency we’re looking at about a kilo of mushroom out of each bag in New Zealand you can fetch about 60 NZ dollars per kilo, which is probably about 40 us dollars per kilo. After we’ve got all those costs added up, if you really want to be conservative, double it. Starting a small scale mushroom farm isn’t that cheap and there are going to be a lot of hidden costs. You never know, you might have to get an electrician out, you might have to get a plumber out, you might have to buy a vehicle like i’ve got behind me. There are other costs you need to account for so please be conservative but if you are really keen to start one i recommend giving it a go. It is a pretty rewarding and fulfilling business to run.

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