Mushroom farming is a growing trend around the world. This is because of the health benefits associated with these fungi. Every mushroom has a different growing medium. Some grow on the soil while others grow on hardwood or hardwood saw dust.
Mushroom gardening has been on in China for over 1000 years, however, in the society today mushroom gardening is becoming an important aspect of culinary . The most entertaining way to grow mushroom is using a mushroom kit. Depending on the kit, several variety of gourmet mushrooms can be grown. However, to successfully grow mushrooms, the following steps should be followed.
Steps In Growing A Mushroom
- Phase I – Making Mushroom Compost: Mushroom compost is a slow release organic plant fertiliser. The compost is made of mushroom growing organic materials like hay, straw, corn cobs, Hull and proteins . The composting phase of mushroom growing is usually done outdoor. However, there are instances when an enclosed building or a structure with a roof over it may be used. A wharf (A concrete slab) is required for composting. In order to properly water and aerate the ingredients, a compost turner is required also a tractor loader is also needed at this phrase to move the ingredients to the turner.
- Phase II – Finishing the compost: This phase is also known as pasteurisation. It is necessary to kill any insect, nematodes, fungi, pests or other insects that may be in the compost. Also it removes ammonia which was formed during phase 1 composting. The presence of ammonia in the compost may be harmful to the spawn growth of the mushroom. Generally, this phase can take place in three places depending on the production system in used. The production system can either be zoned system, bed or shelf system and the bulk system. The zoned system involves packing the compost into a six to eight high stacked wooden tray and moved them to an environmentally controlled phase II room. The bed or shelf system involved placing the compost directly in the beds, which are in the used when all steps for the crop culture takes place.
The compost must be uniformly filled in depth, density if compression. It is important for compost density to allow gas, this is due to the fact that ammonia and carbon dioxide will be replaced by outside air. It is important to understand the purpose of phase II when determining the proper procedure and sequence to follow.
- Phase III – Spawning : For mushrooms to grow very well, the compost must be inoculated with mushroom The mushroom arises from a thin thread-like cell called mycelium. To ensure that the mushrooms mycelium does not mix with the mycelium of other fungi, specialised facilities are used to propagate mycelium. Spawn is a vegetative propagated mycelium and are purchased by commercial mushroom farmers. Spawn is usually distributed on the compost and then thoroughly mixed into the compost. The time needed for the spawn to colonise the compost depends on the spawning rate and it’s distribution, The compost moisture and temperature and the nature or quality of the compost. Also period of 14 – 21 days is required for a complete spawn. Once a spawn and compost I’d fully grown, then the farmers proceed to the next level.
- Phase IV – Casing : This is a top- dressing applied to the spawn run compost upon which the mushroom is formed. Casing can be done using a mixture of peat moss with ground mosque. Casing acts as water reservoir and a rhizomorph formation zone. Rhizomorph are like thick strings that form where the very fine mycelium fuses together. Rhizomorph is very important in growing mushroom. This is because mushrooms initials, primordial and pins are formed on rhizomorph. It is important for casing to be pasteurised to eliminate any insects or pathogen it may be carrying. Casing must be uniformly distributed on the surface of the compost.
- Phase V – Pinning: After rhizomorph has been formed on the casing, mushrooms initials will start developing. The initials are usually very small but can be seen as outgrowth on the rhizomorph. Once an initial start growing and quadruples in size, the structure becomes pins. pins continue to expand and grow larger through the button stage , then finally the button enlarges to a mushroom. Mushrooms are usually harvestable 18-21days after.
- Phase V I – Cropping: The mushroom cropping is a rhythmic fashions, and mushroom harvest can go on for a long time unless the mushroom is no longer mature for harvest. Most mushroom farmers harvest for 35 to 42 days. However, some harvests can last for 65 days. For good result to be achieved, while others can last for 150 days. Air temperature is very important during For good results to be achieved, air temperature during cropping should be held between 57 to 62°F. This temperature range will help to improve the growth of mushroom.
It takes about 15 weeks to complete an entire mushroom production cycle. The final yield is a function of how well a grower has monitored and controlled temperature, humidity, pests etc. The production system used for growing mushroom can be chosen only after the basis of mushroom growing is understood.
Advantage Of Growing A Mushroom
- Growing of mushroom enables mushroom farmers to make use of idle structures.
- Growing of mushroom is not costly, it requires little initial
- Possible production all year round.
- Growing of mushrooms helps to conserve the environment, this is due to the fact that mushrooms are biodegrade.
- Use of Agriculture waste as substrate. These waste materials are mainly the ones from plans, factories and
Medicines and food have a common origin, mushrooms are one of the most rapidly growing food category. People who are health- oriented are keying into the use of mushrooms in their everyday life to improve their immune system.
Mushroom farming business is a growing business in the society today. The business is very lucrative and can make big profit after few weeks.