Special to The Sun
Oklahoma Mushrooms will have a field day in southeast Edmond on Feb. 9 to show off its semi-trailer mushroom farm. Tours will be available at no charge beginning at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. with attendance limited to the first 20 people to register for each tour. A registration form for the field day is on the www.mushroommodule.org website. A map and directions to the site will be provided following registration.
The “mushroom module” was designed by Jaclyn Saorsail of Om Gardens Mushroom Farm in Norman during a three-year research grant project. The research was conducted under a USDA Specialty Crop Research Grant administered by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.
Two experimental mushroom grow rooms were created from a used refrigerated semi-trailer and a large shipping container. The semi-trailer proved to be easier to complete and operate. A detailed instruction manual is available on the website www.mushroommodules.org.
The mushroom farm is now owned by Heather Parrott of Oklahoma Mushrooms in southeast Edmond. Saorsail, Parrott and grow room manager Robert Wehrle will lead tours of the farm and answer questions about getting into mushroom farming.
“Realistically, it could take $50,000 to start a mushroom farm,” Saorsail said. She sees it as a viable alternative for people who already own farms and are looking for a way to diversify their income. Saorsail feels that mushroom farming could be integrated with vegetable production or bio-remediation projects fairly easily.
For information on agricultural enhancement and diversification grants, contact Jason Harvey at 522-5563. Additional information is available on the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry website at www.ag.ok.gov under the Market Development Division page.