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Grow Tent for Commercial purposes

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#1 Spliff



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Posted 15 January 2017 - 12:14 AM

Hello Topia,


I, as I can presume a few others in this family, am greatly interested in the prospect of commercial growing mushrooms. Personally, the endeavour to design and build a system that is capable of such a task has kept me occupied for some time, trying to keep costs down (since I lack the capital) while still being able to produce competitively.


Recently I came across this product by a company. (Admins if this is advertising please remove and inform me, it is not my intention to break the rules). My intention is to simply share what is available...which I suppose, is advertising  :dry:


When I first saw this I was quite mad and frustrated. Since the design is something that is very similar I have been working on using PVC pipes and pond liner.


What are your thoughts on the practicality of this item? I can think of a few things, but want to hear what your experience has to say.





Edited by Spliff, 15 January 2017 - 12:25 AM.

#2 HankoDelicious



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Posted 15 January 2017 - 02:39 AM

I grow lots of edibles for the farmers market and some restaurants and have come across similar things and had similar questions. 


What would be the cost of such a grow tent? You should think of starting small and growing the business rather than pumping lots of money into it at once for big grow houses etc. 


Usually such pre-manufactured growing systems are quite expensive and do not always work for everybody, every mushroom grower needs to learn his own ways is my belief. 


That grow tent is very big, do you have places to sell such high volume of mushrooms at the price you hope to get? Do you have the capacity to fill it with grow bags? There is a whole lot more money you will need on top of the grow house to actually get mushrooms in there, bags, spawn, substrate, pasteurization costs/cookers, water, labor (most probably).


On the pictures of this company I could already see that there is some bacterial blotch problems on some of their mushrooms. I see they use misters, I'm not a big fan of misters for the very reason that they also caused me lots of bacterial blotch.  


My set up for growing is pretty low tech, I have no temperature controls, just humidity and sometimes the temperatures can reach 45Celcius here. But I have learned over time how to make my mushrooms cope with such conditions and they are thriving. 


My growhouse I have also built from scratch, for about 1,5 times price of a pre-manufactured set-up I have built one that is nearly 5 times bigger than the commercial grow house on offer.


Why does it need electric lights? I never understand the so called "benefits" of electrical light to sunlight, I give my mushrooms sunlight, they love it. It gives them a beautiful color and it's free. I had to use a special kind of greenhouse plastic that lets the light through but helps keep heat out. 


If you want to keep costs to a real minimum, start out with some shiitake logs. Growing on logs requires no special grow house, just a shaded area that you can water constantly.

Shiitake mushrooms are also premium price and logs produce abundantly.

The only down side is that the logs take a year or more before starting to produce mushrooms.  


I am also about to start experimenting with mushrooms that grown in beds, wine caps, which I think is a good lowcost way to grow mushrooms, but will see how that goes. 


All in all, I think I am trying to say is that mushrooms do need a lot of care to grow but these pre made products offers a lot of things you don't really need and a lot of things you do need at a very high price. 


Later today I will post some pictures of my newly built growhouse, perhaps you can get some ideas from that or make a decision. I will post a link when have made a post. 

  • Spliff, Gnomesayin, mjroom and 1 other like this

#3 JanSteen



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Posted 15 January 2017 - 09:53 AM

Here in the NL's they sell things called Party Tents. Those are basically what you're showing us Spliff. They cost around 50 bucks for a 3x3x3,5metres tent, aluminium piping, and everything needed to set it up. With some ducttape or glue, you could close the sides, but then again: ventilation would be nice too.
If you would add some pond-tarp on the bottom, you would have somewhat of a closed system. The plastics do breathe, and they let enough light pass through.

They look like this:

As for the commercial grows: I'm not experienced when it comes to selling anything, but I have struck a deal with a local restaurant. I'm kind off setting things up for that, but in no way do I expect to get any profit from it. To me it's a fun hobby, nothing more than that.

#4 Spliff



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Posted 17 January 2017 - 08:59 PM

Hey thanks for the replies HankoDelicious and JanSteen.


Hanko, your thinking is very much the same as mine. Its great to learn that you however actually are further along the path then me having delt with markets and restaurants. Its basically the same plan I want to follow. I think however I am more like JanSteen, with interest from a bunch of restaurants, and having had a few conversations with organisers of markets in my area.


The price is not given for the linked grow tent, but I agree that it would be marked up quite a bit to be far above what we can do ourselves. It is very big. I spaced it out on my lawn and immediately thought it was too big, especially for what I am wanting to do. 


Things I noticed was that the picture looked like it had a concrete base, so throwing this slab down would mean the need for a permanent address and ownership, also, I doubt that this is worked into the cost. Regarding the high volume, I do have access to materials, currently I live in farming country so plenty of straw, cotton husks, wheat stubble, and rice, this will undoubtedly require collection and transport (labour or cost), and also a larger area for processing and prep. I have the ol' 44 gallon drum setup for pasteurisation, but to fill this grow tent would require some serious energy. Also, I asked myself with this tent where the door was to move all this material in without the headache! I once worked for a commercial mushroom farm, their rooms of solid construction had the whole wall as a door, it ran on rollers to open so you could get a forklift in there and other machinery and able to seal tightly once done.


Then, selling all of that regularly, yeah, far too big.


To share with what I have been trying to accomplish, I have been focusing on a much smaller green house approach, but have kept my dimensions within the 3m x 5m range approximately. I intend to take this down the urban agriculture path, so the size is so that it can fit in a garage, but also a shipping container, once I reach that point. The grow tent I designed costs around A$1000 at retail prices. I used a hardware store catalog to estimate prices, and note this is only for the structure (excluded light, air, temp, humidity, (and additional costs like utilities, rent, zoning, and the what not)). 

This is where we differ though, and probably to my detriment, is my over complication of ideas, paralysis by analysis. I am fixated on semi automation. And this is where I question whether spending the money or DIY approaches. Things like humidity I have opted for a machine, I can find the model if you want, but it is capable of 30m^3 and has automatic control. Temperature seems to be my main focus now, advice I have received has been go for split air conditioning (as picture in the linked grow tent), although concerns of legal requirements I still need to explore (such as using gas, zoning, insurance), or would I rather try a hot water pipe running through the floor and control it with cold air from outside? It does get pretty hot where I am at, currently, 43C outside. 

Now, I am knowledgeable of Arduino electronics, and have managed to build something that turns plug points on off based on readings of temp and humidity sensors, that works already.

As you can probably tell, this is too big already.


Right now, I have a clean room setup like what JanSteen linked, this is where I just run small scale stuff using my current hands on approach, fine tuning those skills, experimenting.

Ill wrap it up there. Pretty long post...

#5 AmatuerShaman



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Posted 26 January 2017 - 03:12 PM

I just posted about using this in another thread but thought it might be helpful for you as well if constructing raised beds. An excellent material to allow FAE and control light and humidity is landscaping fabric. On outdoor mushroom beds I constructed simple frames and covered them with this to gain all the benefits I mentioned plus it was able to keep the slugs at bay so I could actually benefit from my efforts. As this material may vary in manufacture I was pretty careful to keep it from contacting my myc, the pc's I had at the time loved it. Good luck sounds like a cool project.

Edited by AmatuerShaman, 26 January 2017 - 03:14 PM.

#6 JustAnEyedea


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Posted 26 January 2017 - 07:30 PM

That tent is freaking sweet!

#7 OysterFarmer



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Posted 20 December 2017 - 06:13 PM

Piece of plastic, some rope and a sprinkler that gets turned on regularly to keep humidity up.  It will grow oysters as well as any commercial set up.

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