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Growing mushrooms in chicken sheds

  • by JW

“Sustainable food production and consumption” [Urban Farm-It]


It’s happening in the States:

Craig Watts grew up on a small family farm in Fairmont, North Carolina. His parents grew tobacco, which earned the family a decent living, and Watts decided he wanted to become a farmer as well. He decided to use the land that had been in his family for hundreds of years to raise chickens. He discovered, fairly quickly, that it was an experience unlike anything he was prepared for...

Even if they did have space to run, industrially raised chickens are bred to grow so quickly that their organs regularly rupture and their bones break. Since they can barely hold up their own weight they spend much of their lives sitting in a mix of feces, feathers, and bedding called chicken litter.

For 22 years, Watts tried to make it work. Even though he didn’t like the job, he needed to recover the money he’d invested in the chickens when he signed on with Perdue. But despite being recognized as a top producer, Watts made next to nothing. For one thing, he didn’t own his own chickens. The company did. “I didn’t lose any sleep when we farmed before chickens,” says Watts, “but I lost a lot of sleep afterwards. There is no profit for chickens...

Four years after Watts gave up contract farming, he is in the process of converting his poultry farm into a mushroom farm. He has successfully conducted a pilot project and is beginning to scale up his mushroom growing operation. Transfarmation connected him with a mushroom expert to advise him on the process. It’s also filming Watts’ experience so it can be shared with other farmers, and the public… 

This former chicken farmer has had enough — Stone Pier Press

Transfarmation: “I didn’t have to worry about a huge corporation cutting me off and losing my income,” says ex-poultry farmer — Surge | Creative Non-Profit for Animal Rights


The Barrett Family are Converting Their Poultry Barns into a Mushroom Farm – YouTube

It’s catching on in the UK too: Growing Guide: How To Grow Your Own Mushrooms 

With ‘urban farming’ in particular catching on:

Welcome to Urban Farm-It! We are an organisation whose aim is to encourage and inspire a positive shift in our culture around sustainable food production and consumption. We wish to introduce people to the wonderful and alternative world of urban farming through accessible education and top quality resources.

About Us | Sustainable Food Growing Methods | Urban Farm-It and How to Grow Mushrooms on Logs | Urban Farm-It

Finally: Mushrooms are good for you – Vision Group for Sidmouth