Thursday, June 8, 2023
Home Farming Tips How To Grow Mushrooms

How To Grow Mushrooms

by Wangah Wanyama
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In Uganda, most mushroom farmers grow these edible fungi in a mixture of lime, cotton husks, rice straw (or any other agricultural residue). A 50-kilogramme sack of rice straw goes for sh10,000 in Kasangati. A 50-kilogramme bag of cotton husks is mixed with two kilogrammes of lime and seven 20 litre jerrycans of water. The mixture is left to soak in a drum for a day, then laid out to dry. The next day, five cups of rice husks are added to the mixture. On the third day, it is then steamed at a high temperature of more than 100 degrees Celsius for four hours to sterilise the mixture. Nuwagaba explains that mushrooms are very sensitive and any contamination can destroy the entire garden. Hygiene is therefore paramount when it comes to mushroom production. 

After the mixture has cooled, it is packed into black polythene bags kaveera (garden). The mushroom spawn are then introduced to the garden, thoroughly mixed by hand before tying each kaveera tightly. Small holes are poked into the kaveera using toothpicks to allow the mushrooms to breath. The gardens are then taken to a dark incubation room for two weeks. Before each step in the process, hands are washed with disinfectant bleach.

The gardens are then put in a dark room for a fortnight to incubate. After 14 days, the spores have fully colonised the garden. On the 15th day, the gardens are moved to the growing room. By this time, the spores are growing, poking through the holes in the polythene bag.

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