Our renowned Gourmet Mushroom Cultivation course ran from 2013 to 2019, during which time we ran more than 34 courses and taught nearly 1000 students.

These face-to-face courses were held at venues across Australia, including Alexandria Park Community Centre, 107 Projects, Melbourne University, The Farm Byron Bay and Hepburn Primary School.

Classes were taught by Milkwood founder Nick Ritar, who is a passionate small-scale mushroom cultivator. Nick has trained with world-leading mycologist Paul Stamets from Fungi Perfecti and has been teaching mushroom propagation since 2011.

Now, we’ve developed this very popular workshop into a comprehensive online course – Home Mushroom Cultivation!

Past courses

Gourmet Mushroom Cultivation Workshop

Gourmet Mushroom Cultivation Workshop

This course was two jam-packed days of hands-on skills in edible mushroom propagation. Students learnt how to grow delicious oyster, shiitake, pioppino, enoki, reishi (lingzhi), lions mane, king stropharia and many other mushrooms at home, organically!

Students were encouraged to learn techniques that minimise waste and energy use and focus on resilient processes that take advantage of the seasons and micro-climates around their property, rather than the conventional approach of single-use bags and expensive climate-controlled environments.

They also learnt advanced liquid culture techniques to avoid the expense of creating a sterile environment to make grain spawn.

By the end of this course students had the skills to take any suitable store-bought or foraged mushroom, clone and propagate it in a variety of ways, and create a lifetime supply of mushrooms with minimal start-up costs.

Topics covered included the biology and ecology of fungi, how to expand liquid culture syringes, how to make your own re-usable liquid culture equipment, ‘cloning’ store-bought mushrooms to make your own pure liquid cultures, producing spore prints and using them to produce new strains, duplicating liquid cultures so you can keep a master bank of different species, using liquid cultures to inoculate organic grain to make your own spawn, how to use that spawn to inoculate freely available materials to grow massive amounts of mushrooms, how to modify recycled containers to grow mushrooms while avoiding single-use plastics, how to create the right conditions to encourage your fungi to produce the best mushrooms, how to create a garden of giant mushrooms in your own backyard, and how to inoculate logs with sawdust and dowel spawn in order to grow the highest quality shiitake mushrooms

Student reviews

“For someone who didn’t know a lot about mushroom cultivation, Nick’s course was a revelation to me. I’m now confident with all hands-on aspects of mushroom cultivation and very excited about getting my home-based mushroom farm for family consumption up and going. 10/10.”

— Jennie
Gourmet Mushroom Cultivation course participant

“I love the fact that Nick did not present the course for commercial production alone, where start-up costs are high. He recognised the need to keep start-up costs to a minimum for all production levels, providing alternative methods of setting up a mushroom venture.”

Gourmet Mushroom Cultivation course participant

“This course has so much great information for anyone wanting to grow mushrooms at home or even to scale up to a small business. Nick emphasises sustainable and earth-first practices. You come away feeling inspired, excited, and a little nervous about how obsessed you’ve become.”

— Emmy
Gourmet Mushroom Cultivation course participant

“I came to the course to find out about making my garden more fungi friendly and to understand why and how fungi initiates fruiting. I learned so much more. This course takes you through every step of fungi production and gives you enough information to cover home enthusiasts like me all the way through to setting up a commercial business. It was fascinating and Nick is a brilliant teacher.”

Gourmet mushroom cultivation course participant

How you can learn Mushroom cultivation with us now

We have loads of mushroom cultivation articles freely available, as well as many on mushroom foraging, in our online archive of useful things.

We have also turned our popular workshop into a comprehensive self-paced online Home Mushroom Cultivation course, designed especially for folks who want to grow low-waste fungi for food and fun!