Thursday, March 28, 2013

Aspiring Mushroom Producers See the Fruits of Their Labor!

Nick and Agape bagging innoculated sawdust.
Agape and Kwao Adams of Yerba Buena Farm in St. Mary, Jamaica, have successfully grown their first mushrooms! Since December 2011, when Agape first requested a visit from a Mushroom Specialist, the Adams have been interested in producing mushrooms as they are one of the only crops that can thrive in the shade of mature fruit trees. Agape reports that most of the land in their area is dominated by fruit orchards; this is great when the trees are in season, however, during the off-season the land is unproductive.

In March 2012, the Adams received their first visit from Mushroom Specialist Nick Laskovski of Waitsfield, Vermont. Together, they inoculated various log species with shiitake and oyster mushroom spawn. Unfortunately, the dry season began shortly after Nick’s visit, and the Adams weren’t able to supply the spawn with the amount of water they required. Pests devoured the spawn before the spawn could colonize the logs.

Nick returned to Yerba Buena Farm in December 2012, this time during the rainy season. Not only did the weather provide the moisture that the spawn needed, but Nick and the Adams experimented with a new inoculation method; rather than inserting the spawn directly into logs, they inoculated sawdust in plastic bags – a more controlled environment shielded from pests.
Agape showing off her mushrooms!
Last month, Agape reported, “We ate our first mushrooms! The bag method is a success for oyster mushrooms. We are in communication with Nick and he's helping us figure out how best to fruit them. We are really happy and hopeful about growing mushrooms!”

Eventually, the Adams hope to see local mushroom producers competing with foreign exporters to supply shiitake and oyster mushrooms to Jamaica’s resorts and hotels.


  1. I think this could work very well in Haiti as well and could dovetail with other farming activities currently being done with Makouti.