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Adult Opportunities

Grow Your Own Mushrooms (in person)

Learn about the importance of fungi in woodland ecosystems and how to grow your own mushrooms at home.

Content Detail

In this hands-on workshop at The Morton Arboretum, participants will learn how to grow mushrooms and develop their own understanding of the role fungi play in nature.   

Explore the role of fungi in the natural environment, especially in our own Midwestern woodlands, where fungi play a critical role in nutrient cycling. Learn the ecology of different mushroom-producing species that make some gourmet mushrooms ideal for cultivation and then discuss the fundamentals of growing mushrooms successfully at home. Techniques for mushroom cultivation both indoors and outdoors will be presented in this class along with a discussion of which varieties perform well in each setting. Then, create your own mushroom grow bag to take home. By the end of the workshop, you will   

  • understand the role of fungi in nature and in our lives,  
  • know about varieties of mushrooms in cultivation,  
  • apply methods to cultivate mushrooms indoors and outdoors, and  
  • create your very own mushroom bag.  

This workshop will be useful for curious beginners and hobbyist mushroom growers.   

This program meets in person at the Arboretum.  

Instructor: Marvin Lo, Luke McCormack, Kelsey Patrick  

Health and Safety: Program participants must abide by the Arboretum’s health and safety guidelines. Guidelines are subject to change, so please check back frequently.   

Age: 16 and older  



Marvin Lo, research assistant II, The Morton Arboretum  

Marvin Lo is helping the Arboretum study the effects of transplanting on physiological responses and survival rate of large bare-root deciduous trees. As a research assistant, Lo investigates altering the root systems of young trees, with the goal of increasing transplantability and survival in urban landscapes.  

In the research arboriculture lab, he studies tree biomechanics and current arboricultural practices using methods such as 3D modeling or data acquisition using various engineering principles. Outside of the lab, he cultivates his interests in the conservation and restoration of endangered native plants. 

Luke McCormack, research scientist, The Morton Arboretum  

Luke McCormack is a scientist at The Morton Arboretum, where he has directed research in the Root Biology Lab since 2019. Before joining the Arboretum, McCormack studied forest ecology at The Pennsylvania State University and was later a research affiliate at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. His work focuses on how roots interact with soils, fungi, and whole-plant processes to create healthy trees in complex ecosystems.

Kelsey Patrick, research fellow, The Morton Arboretum  

As an intern in the Root Biology Lab, Kelsey Patrick has supported projects tying below-ground processes to whole-tree biology, including root traits, below- and above-ground phenology, soil respiration, and root responses to waterlogged soils. In the research-designated forestry plots around the Arboretum, Kelsey works with a variety of instruments to track tree phenology throughout the year, using minirhizotron scanners to provide below-ground images that allow researchers to analyze seasonal root and fungal growth. Kelsey Patrick’s experience at the Arboretum has also been a great opportunity to work with volunteers, students, and citizen scientists, to learn and grow together.

What to Know    

This program meets indoors.

Be prepared to get dirty; wear appropriate clothes.

Program Schedule

This program includes all of the following meeting times: 

Saturday, April 22, 2023, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Cudahy Room, Administration and Research Center


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