edible mushrooms at home is not rocket science. In fact, you can
start growing mushrooms within the next few weeks if you start
preparing the substrate and cultures today. Unlike more traditional
agricultural practices that involve herbs, fruit trees, vegetables,
etc., mushroom farming is anything but difficult.
reason for this is quite simple: unlike plants, fungi is extremely
resilient and it can literally take care of itself if ideal
conditions are attained. A single batch of inoculated wood chips can
yield mushrooms for years at a time.
the best thing about this is you can easily increase the total
mushroom yield by producing/purchasing viable spawn. If you are like
most mushroom enthusiasts, you are probably drawn to the idea of
producing your own pure mushroom culture. This is done by adding
mycelium to a sterile base that has been supplemented with the
culturing process is actually the time-consuming part of the whole
process. You need to check the agar media for contaminations and you
would also have to cross-check the appearance of the mycelium growing
on your petri dishes to ensure that you are not growing the mycelium
of some wild fungi.
is culturing performed? Culturing is performed to produce viable
mycelium that would then colonize the sterilized material that would
later become the spawn or "seeds" that would then be used
to inoculate the substrate. Culturing might be hard work but it
really does pay off because once you have healthy batches of pure
culture you can just store the cultures in a freezer for later use.
talk about the substrate that you will be using to grow your
mushrooms. In most cases, you would probably need some form of loose
substrate like straw or husks. Some edible mushrooms like the
shiitake mushroom) would only grow on organic or synthetic logs.
edible can only be grown properly if sawdust or plug spawn are used.
There are several ways that you can incorporate sawdust spawn or plug
spawn into an organic or synthetic log. The most common method is
drilling large holes into the wood.
hand injector is then used to directly apply the sawdust spawn into
the wood. If the mushroom farmer has opted for plug spawn, the wooden
plugs are simply hammered into the holes and then sealed with a
special wax. Some mushroom farmers saw out small wedges from shorter
cuts of wood.
resulting space is then filled with sawdust spawn and then sealed
once again with the wedge of wood. Of course, you can drill holes in
smaller logs and use plug spawn instead of sawdust spawn. Sawdust
spawn requires extra care so if you are pressed for time, use plug
varieties like the oyster mushroom do well if they are grown in
bottle or plastic bags. The plastic bags are filled to the brim with
inoculated substrate and then left in a temperature-controlled
growing area. The humidity of the growing area should be controlled
through misting or by installed a centralized humidifying system.