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January 20, 2013

Mushroom modules on display in Feb. 9 Field Day

NORMAN — 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 Dept. 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.

Oklahoma Mushrooms will host a field day in southeast Edmond on Saturday, Feb. 9 to show off its semi-trailer mushroom farm. Tours will be available at no charge beginning at 2 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.

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,” said Saorsail.

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, please contact Jason Harvey at 522-5563. Additional information is available on the Oklahoma Dept. of Agriculture, Food and Forestry website at www.ag.ok.gov under the Market Development Division page.

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