Mushroom Uses and Its Cultivation

Mushroom is one type of edible fungus, the scientific name of this Mushroom is Agaricus bisporus. This was cultivated in almost all parts of southern India.

Uses of Mushrooms:

Very few persons have known the importance of this Mushroom. These act as antibacterial and increase immune system, work as cholesterol-lowering agents.

Mushroom are having

  • Low calories, sodium, and carbohydrates
  • Less fat (so it is cholesterol free)
  • Nutrients potassium, riboflavin (vitamin B12), vitamins –  B2, C, D&E, fiber, and Selenium.

Because of its healing powers, mushrooms are using in traditional medicines. Mushrooms are also used in the treatment of Alzheimer, Hypertension and some cancer treatments.

History:

Mushrooms have consumed since earliest history, Ancient Greeks perceived that mushrooms give strength to warriors in Battlefield.

The Romans called mushrooms as “food of the gods” and Chinese called as “elixir of life”

Types used in cultivation:

In Mushrooms, more than 2000 species exist in nature but in this, around 25 are accepted as edible. And only a few are chosen to cultivate commercially.

In this three types are very suitable for Indian environment to cultivate. Those are button, straw and oyster types.

Cultivation:

Mushrooms are cultivated in special compost. It should be either in natural or synthesized. Temperature ranging required for growing is 24-26oC for mycelium and 16-18o C for fruit bodies.

1)Natural Method:

In this composting done in open area but it must be covered by polythene cover for protecting from rains.

In this compost making from fresh naturally collected horse dung.  Add Urea, chopped wheat straw and poultry manure in this process.

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It can easily grow up in small-sized portions like rooms, shed, hanging baggage types etc… but it should be well cleaned and ventilated.

Process:

Take the wheat straw and horse dung. Spread it over the yard and sprinkling water on it to become wet. Put the manure on it and spread it gently on the pile.

Manure on the pile is heated up after 3 days due to fermentation and it produces ammonia. It is opened up in every 3 or 4 days once and repeated it in 4 times.

Add gypsum to the mixture in 3rd and 4th times turning. At final turn use pesticides with water and sprinkling it on manure.

2) Synthetic Method:

In this composition done in manually. Ingredients required for this is Urea, Wheat straw & bran, Gypsum, and ammonium sulfate.

 Process:

Take the straw and spread it uniformly on the composting yard area and pour water on that in sprinkling method. It is wetted after some time.

For better quality of compost chicken, manure and molasses will add to straw bed (pile) making time.

Pour mixed ingredients (except gypsum) on the wetted straw. Did this process, height, and width of entire pile reaching up to one meter.

Entire process the pile must be open and remake it in five times. 4th day, 8th day, 12th day (add gypsum), 16th day (add gypsum) and 20th day (spray pesticide). Never forget to add water in sprinkling way in every shifting because water is evaporated in the pile.

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When the above mixtures smell like fresh hey it is ready for filling in trays. After this, we must be spawning the trays. Meaning of Spawning is, scattering the beds with mycelium (spawn) of the mushroom. The trays should cover with newspapers sheets for protection from the direct poured water.

(Note: Trays must be having 15 to 18 cm depth.)

The humidity of the air in the shed should be build up by powering or sprinkling water on the floor or walls of the shed. Because of, the temperature inside the shed must be maintained at 23C or nearby. In spawn run time (12 to 15 days) no need of fresh air so doors should be closed.

The casing is done after completion of spawn run time. The surface of the compost is covered with casing soil which is finely crushed fresh cow dung and garden soil. It is spread over the plastic sheet. The casing material is sterilized to kill insects.

In this casting time lot of fresh air required and temperature must be maintained within 180 C. The pinheads are visible after 15 to 20 days of casting. After 5 to 6 days of pinheads stage, Small sized white buttons are developing.

Right stage to harvest mushrooms is when the cap of the bud is still tight over the short stem. In case the buttons are become to mature, the membrane which is in below the cap will rupture.  And the cap will open up an umbrella-like shape.

A mushroom yielding gives 3 to 4 kg for tray in normal conditions. If we take care in all stages it gives 5 to 6 kg in one tray itself.

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Mushrooms are best for consume in fresh only. So try to market as early as possible. The storage period of mushroom is less so try to store in Refrigerators that for short time only.

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