What to do with Spent Mushroom Blocks as a small farm?

A handful of rich soil with a green budding plant.

Find a local composter, and do one of the following;

  1. Donate the mycelium blocks for favors,
  2. Sell the mycelium blocks for cash,
  3. Trade the Mycelium Blocks for sawdust or other substrates.

This tip is geared if you have a lot of mushroom blocks and wondering what to do with them- while you are producing more each week (or day even).

-And this applies to Spent Mushroom Blocks, Bags, and Bricks. Basically the necromass of myceliated substrate.

If you pick option 1,

You’ll get a leg up in the community and in theory you’ll be able to get a favor for a favor. Being more connected to local farmers or composters will help out. Perhaps you can do future exchanges or deals? It doesn’t hurt to stick together in a community and learn a few new names, or get friendlier with helping eachother out.

Remember, we’re all in this together, just at different parts. Regardless, we’re all a part of the deal.

If you like dealing in cash, pick option 2,

Composters love Mycelium Blocks as they’re equivalent to gold in the compost world. They can turn your bricks into a more valuable premium compost that they can sell.

This tip has known to help reduce overhead and save some small farms. You’ll be able to make some money back, even if one of your grow room fails. The myceliated bricks can still help out, even if the mycelium is from a fungi that you’re not intending to grow. But ultimately, depending on the type of fungi growth you get, that call is up to the Composter.

If you pick option 3,

It’s an all around win-win. Depending on your geographical region, you’ll have access to different types of cellulous material. From wood to sawdust to maybe even raw coconut shells or even cococoir. You can turn their sawdust or suitable substrate into more mushrooms.

It’s a cycle of trade that helps eachother. The Composter wins, you win, it’s a win-win.

Just be advised that not all sawdust is created equal. Nor are all substrates created equal, so hopefully you’ve got a good lot number tracking system to find out what works and what doesn’t. Depending on what mushrooms you’re trying to grow, they can be picky eaters, and they may prefer harder wood or softer wood or some other nuanced factor that you’re probably tracking in five different notebook journals near your lab.

In theory,

Depending on the value of the trade, and being fair and whatnot. You might be able to sell spent mushroom logs or mycelium bricks of necromass, AND get sawdust. So, depending on your favors and negotiation skills, you might be able to pick hidden secret option 4, which is all of the above or atleast a combination of options 2 and 3.

This tip was inspired by,

The MycoWizards Podcast. I was able to gleem a valuable piece of information, since a lot of people typically just donate their mycelium blocks to whomever wants to take them. In one of the earlier episodes, some small farms were able to get by simply lowering their costs by doing this.

If you don’t know whose buying up the sawdust or compost, try asking the lumber mills or graineries where they send their extra ‘trimmings’. Chase a lead, I’m sure you’ll find someone that may be remotely interested. -And I do mean remotely, you might have to ship your mycelium blocks further than your local town if it comes to it. People will pay for the shipping, and if you deliver it yourself (as you pick up your sawdust or substrate), you might be able to pocket the shipping.

If you’re still not having any luck finding composters, try Green Paper Products’ Compost locater. They have a few selections for every state. Again, I recommend finding what’s local to you by going through your communities, but if you get no cigar, then you might as well use the internet and search engines.

To Recap,

If you’re a small farm with more spent mushroom blocks than gardening or farm space, it’s better to giveaway, sell, or trade your spent blocks to dedicated composters. There’s a feedback of synergy if you do it right, and this will ultimately help to reduce the overall costs.

If you don’t create a surplus of spent mushroom blocks and aren’t a small farm, you can go ahead and bury your spent blocks in the garden for more flushes or in hopes of a better fertilizer of sorts for your plants.

Anyways, here’s another great tip I also learned from MycoWizards;

Successful farms say: “we’ve made enough to farm another year”

Hopefully this helps you in your endeavors (or a friend you know). I wish you the best of luck!

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