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Home Agribusiness Thinking Mushroom Growing? Here Is Your Full Guide!

Thinking Mushroom Growing? Here Is Your Full Guide!

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Mushrooms are a regular commodity in most supermarkets around the country. They have been grown since the 18th century in various countries.

What one needs to start

  • Dark room
  • Gardens and spawns
  • Cooking drums, hearthstones and firewood
  • Watering can

Steps in mushroom farming

  • Making mushroom compost: Compost preparation usually occurs in an enclosed building or a structure with a roof over it.
  • Pasteurising the compost to kill any insects, nematodes, fungi or other pests that maybe present in the compost.
  • Spawning. Spawn is distributed on the compost and mixed into the compost. A complete spawn run usually requires 14 to 21 days.
  • Casing is a top dressing applied to the spawn-run on which the mushrooms form. Clay-loam soil, a mixture of peat moss with ground limestone and spent compost can be used as casing.
  • Pinning. Mushroom initials develop after rhizimorphs have formed in the casing. The initials are extremely small but can be seen as outgrowths on a rhizomorph. Once an initial quadruples in size, the structure is a pin. Pins continue to expand and grow larger through the button stage, and ultimately a button enlarges to a mushroom.
  • Cropping. The terms flush break or bloom are names given to the repeating 3-5 day harvest periods during the cropping cycle. Harvesting can go on as long as mushrooms continue to mature. With good care, harvesting can go on for as long as 150 days. A one-square metre garden takes up to between 48 and 60 spawns and each can harvest a minimum of 2kg in three months. Cleanliness if one is to realize good quality mushrooms and high yields. Old spawns can be used as fertilisers in the plantations.

Health benefits

According to Samson Kiseeka a nutritionist, the health benefits of mushrooms include relief from high cholesterol levels, breast cancer, prostate cancer and diabetes.

It also helps in weight loss, and boosts the immune system.

The nutrients

  • Vitamins; vitamin B-complex, Vitamin D and Vitamin E
  • Mineral salts (iron, zinc, copper, selenium and potassium
  • Natural anti-oxidants
  • Ant-carcinogens
  • Proteins
  • Calories
  • Soluble fibre.

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