Homesteaders are constantly trying to find a new product they can produce on their land and that is smart. If you never try anything new, you will eventually find yourself left behind, struggling to make a go of your dream. By adding a new product every year, if not every season, you diversify your opportunities, reduce risk, consistently surprise existing customers, and attract new ones. That being said,
Mushroom farming, regardless of how big or small your homestead is, has many benefits. First, the health benefits of mushrooms are well known. They help decrease inflammation, lower cholesterol, improve bone health and boost the immune system. This is reason enough to incorporate mushrooms into your family’s diet. They are also a terrific source of protein, making mushrooms a must-have if you or any of your family members are vegetarian or vegan. If you are operating a no-kill farm, mushrooms are a nice protein product to offer your customers.
Another reason to grow red wine cap mushrooms is that they benefit your existing garden and land. Grown under your taller plants, the mycelial network can penetrate much deeper than your vegetables can, allowing your garden plants to access more nutrients than they would be able to on their own. Not only will red wine cap mushrooms assist your vegetable garden, but the rest of your land as well. The National Institute of Health determined through scientific experiments that cultivating red wine cap mushrooms, Stropharia rugosoannulata, increases the organic material and available phosphorus, improving soil nutrient
The third reason you should consider mushroom farming on your homestead is profitability. You can turn hardwood mulch and woodchips into a low-maintenance money-maker. Depending upon your location, expect red wine caps to sell for $8-$12 per pound. Because you can continually feed your mushroom bed and use the inoculated wood chips to make new mushroom beds, you only need reinvest time and energy, not money.
In addition to selling fresh red wine caps, you can also create value-added products to make even more money from your mushroom beds. Products such as marinated mushrooms, fresh mushroom pasta, and mushroom finishing salts are unusual and highly-profitable products at a farmers market.