Mushrooms is a fungus plant that has a lot of nutritional and health benefits to humans. It grow best in straw,sawdust and composted manure. These different growing media reflect the different nutritional needs of each species. However, each of these 3 species can be grown readily enough in sawdust or straw.Choosing a type of mushroom to grow is a matter of taste and the on type that’s in high demand.
The following steps should be followed for optimum production-
1. Buy Good Quality Mushroom Spawn
High-quality mushroom spawn and spores must be sourced. Growing mushrooms from spores takes more time and practice, and is best suited for a seasoned mushroom grower.
2.Sterilization of Growing Medium.
It is important to sterilize the growing media before inoculating with the spawn, this will help in destroying any micro-organisms that could compete with the mycelia. This can be done by placing it in a microwave safe bowl, add enough water to make the straw or sawdust damp and heat at high temperature for 3-4 minutes, or until the water has boiled off.This kills off any microorganisms, leaving the growing medium safe to receive the mushroom mycelia.
3.Sterilization of the growing medium.
A warm temperature encourages this growth.After choosing the growing medium suited for your mushroom species, place a few handfuls of it into a baking pan. Mix the spawn into the growing medium with your fingers, heat to 21 degrees Celsius and leave in a dark environment, such as a cabinet, for about 3 weeks. This will allow the mushroom mycelia to permeate the growing medium.
4.Place the growing medium into the proper environment.
After 3 weeks, you need to place the growing medium into an environment that is dark and cool; 13 degrees Celsius consistently. Cover the growing medium with a handful of potting soil and spray the entire mixture with enough water to dampen it thoroughly. Prevent moisture loss if desired and keep the environment cool as the mushrooms grow.
Within 3 weeks small mushrooms should be appearing. Therefore, their environment must be kept moist, cool, and dark to encourage their growth. Once the mushroom caps separate fully from their stems, they are ready to harvest. You can pluck the mushrooms out with your fingers or knife to prevent risks damaging the newly developing fungi beneath the surface.
It is best to rinse the mushrooms before eating and packaging. Harvested mushrooms can be packaged in a paper or polythene bags and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.