Vegetables Farming-Mushroom Farming: Mushroom Farming is also called as Fungi culture. The name itself says that it is the process of producing food by means of growing fungi. Mushrooms are not plants and its cultivation is entirely different from other farming. Unlike plants, mushrooms grow through their own growth medium called biochemical decomposition process. Even though there are lot of species, mostly three types of mushrooms are cultivated in the market. They are Button Mushrooms, Oysters and Paddy Straw mushrooms, out of them Button Mushrooms are very popular and frequently used.
Types of Farming
- Mushroom cultivation is classified into two types, seasonal farming and commercial farming.
- Seasonal farming is generally carried on hilly areas for two to three crops where as commercial farming is done throughout the year.
- Mushroom cultivation is simple and can be done at home in addition to commercial platforms and industrial platforms.
- Generation of mushroom seeds is a scientific process and it cannot be done by individual farmers.
- These seeds are called Spawns and are available readymade in the market.
- In particular, the mushroom cultivation process begins with composting. Generally this process is carried in indoors as well as at outdoors, outdoor process takes longer periods than indoors.
- Mostly indoors are preferable as the yield will be more, even though it is somewhat expensive .
- In this process, paddy or wheat straw is mixed with horse manure or hen dung to get homogenous mixture. Usually a good compost can be prepared with 60 to 70 % moisture under a month.
- After the compost is made, it is subjected to a heat treatment of 80 to 90 degree centigrade for avoiding any bacteria formation.
- This is a safety precaution to prevent further contamination in near future.
- The compost is placed in polythene bag as layers, and for each layer the spawns are added. After this step, the mouth of the bag is tightly closed such that the air doesnt pass through it.
- The bags are kept at room temperature up to 3 to 4 weeks. Within this period the spawns turn into white.
- During this time, daily observation of each bag is necessary as spawns may get contaminated. The affected bags must be removed to avoid further spreading of bacteria to other spawns.
- After the spawns turn into white, make small holes on the bag in order to allow some air. The spawns in the bag will start to come out of the bad within a week.
- It takes nearly 4 days for the spawns to get complete maturity after the first flush. With an interval of week days, harvesting can be done for two to three times per month. In total, the entire process can yield 25 to 30 kilograms of mushrooms.