Ep. 119: Garden State Mushrooms - Pioneering Cultivation of Beefsteak Mushrooms (feat. Jacob Alvarez)

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Today on Mushroom Hour we have the honor of being joined by Jacob Alvarez. Jacob is an amateur mycologist focusing on dialing in cultivation methods for Fistulina hepatica, the beefsteak fungus. He started the “Beefsteak culture collection project” last year and has been collecting samples of the mushroom since early 2019. In May 2020 he made a significant breakthrough and successfully cultivated the first ever photo documented Beefsteak mushroom grow on a hardwood bag in the USA. He is based out Southern New Jersey where he owns & operates his farm Garden State Mushrooms. At the farm, he grows a wide variety of different gourmet mushrooms and continues his research figuring out better beefsteak cultivation methods. Beefsteak mushrooms are an intriguing mushroom that can be eaten raw, resemble meat in appearance and even bleed. The cultivation of the beefsteak mushroom can add some tremendous value to the mushroom market for small mushroom farms and he passionately believes the time to grow this mushroom is now! I’m excited to hear insights as to how to cultivate this mushroom and maybe be inspired to never give up on ideas even when things go very, very wrong.
TOPICS COVERED:

  • Discovering Wild Mushrooms and Introduction to Fistulina hepatica
  • Fistulina Fundamentals
  • Finding the Best Beefsteak Strain for Commercial Cultivation
  • 2020 Beefsteak Culture Challenge
  • Genetics and Process Over Substrate in Beefsteak Cultivation
  • Process of Collecting Wild Tissue Cultures
  • Extreme Photosensitivity of Beefsteak Mushrooms
  • Growth of Project and R&D Scaling
  • Economic Importance of Beefsteak Mushrooms for Small Farmers
  • Betting the Future of Garden State Mycology on Beefsteak
  • Juggling Research, Business, Fatherhood
  • Advice for Entering the World of Mushroom Farming
  • Creating Jerky, Sushi and More with Beefsteak Mushrooms
  • Open-Source Innovation

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