Highline Mushrooms will continue the Gardener Appreciation Day tradition on May 7, handing out free compost to those interested in gardening this spring and summer.
On Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the mushroom farm north of Airdrie will have two loaders to fill trucks with compost, up to one ton in size.
"Spent mushroom substrate will be given away and loaded for free while supplies last," stated a press release from Highline Mushrooms. "This loading area will be at the east side of the farm. Follow directions to where they are loading."
Gardeners can also load their own containers at no charge while supplies last, according to the release, at an area on the right side of the facility's driveway.
According to Highline Mushrooms, spent mushroom substrate is suitable compost to help lawns; shrubs, gardens and trees flourish, even in the worst of soils.
"It adds vital nutrients and organic matter that plants need for healthy and long lasting growth," the release stated. "Peat moss makes up a small part of the compost, further enhancing its soil conditioning properties."
The company added this highly organic substrate is the fertile medium used to grow commercial mushrooms. Because the growing needs of mushrooms and green plants are different, very little of the nutrients in the compost that green plants utilize are used up in the mushroom-growing process.
"Spent mushroom substrate is probably the finest and yet most cost-effective substrate you can use in your garden," the release stated. "Spent mushroom substrate is a totally organic, moist, rich mixture of straw, peat moss, lime, gypsum, and poultry litter.
According to Highline Mushrooms, it’s ideal for a variety of uses, such as breaking down clay soils, mulching, lawn dressing, tree planting, soil improvement, and growing vegetables.
Spent mushroom substrate is a very good soil supplement, the release added, but it is not advised to be used as a soil replacement.
The Highline Mushrooms West – Crossfield Farm is located on the east side of Queen Elizabeth II Highway, between Airdrie and Crossfield.