Mushroom Cultivation

Mushroom Cultivation Overview

Different from plants and animals, mushrooms are fungi belonging to a separate kingdom of classification. They neither feed on nutrients like animals nor engage in photosynthesis like plants. Rather, mushrooms absorb nutrients externally by secreting enzymes around their food. As a result, they may be found growing on soils and any other areas from where they are able to absorb nutrients. The typical morphology of a mushroom comprises the nodule, pinhead, mycelium, primordium, and microscopic hymenium that enable them perform various physiological functions.
While a significant number of the fungi species are poisonous, there are edible mushrooms cultivated by humans for their nutritional benefits. Mushrooms contain over 90% of water and nutrient components including carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Their nutritional benefits include reducing the risk of cancer, diabetes and heart diseases. Mushrooms are best cultivated under cool, humid, and dark conditions involving the following steps;

i. Making mushroom compost: this involves mixing wheat straw-bedded horse manure with water, nitrogen supplements and gypsum as a conditioner to form the mushroom compost.
ii. Finishing the compost by removing ammonia or pasteurizing it to destroy organisms developed during the compost making.
iii. Spawning: this involves treating the compost to mushroom spawn or “seeds”. It is done by broadcasting the spawn on the compost and mixing it thoroughly. An average of 2 – 3 weeks from the date of mixing is required for spawns to grow on the compost.
iv. Casing is done by dressing the spawn with a mixture of soil, peat moss, and limestone to hold moisture required to support the mushroom’s growth.
v. Pinning: involves shocking the mycelium to produce fruits by reducing carbon dioxide within the growing environment.
vi. Cropping: involves harvesting the mushroom.

Mushrooms were previously thought to be poisonous. However, the increasing health awareness and knowledge of the fungi’s nutritional benefit has increased its demand in recent decades. Today, the mushroom market capitalization is valued at over $30 million and estimated to grow by nearly 100% by 2027. Tengrain Science provides capacity building services for clients on mushroom cultivation and a range of other food production activities. Please give us a call!