Mushrooms are the Fruiting Bodies of a fungus, just like apples are the fruiting bodies of an apple tree.
In the vegetable kingdom the mushroom is ranked with the heterotrophic organisms. In contrast to the higher green plants, these heterotrophs are not capable of photosynthesis
NUTRITIONAL VALUES OF MUSHROOMS:-
Mushrooms contains an extra amount of vitamins B2 & B3, These vitamins take care of the metabolism & the release of energy from carbohydrates, proteins, & fats, Vitamin B2 is also necessary for a healthy skin, folic acid is necessary for growth & the Production of Blood.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF MUSHROOMS:-
1. Button mushroom:- button mushrooms grow during the winter season.
2. Oyster mushroom:- Oyster mushrooms on the other hand are grown in the northern plains
3. Paddy straw mushrooms:- Paddy straw mushrooms can grow in temperatures ranging from 35-40 degree calcius,
Are the three major types of used for cultivation in India. All these mushrooms of commercial importance are grown by different methods & Techniques mushrooms are grown in special beds known as compost beds.
HOW TO GROW MUSHROOMS (BUTTON MUSHROOM):-
The first step to grow mushroom is composting that is done in the open compost yard, for button mushroom farming is prepared on clean, raised platforms made of concrete, they should be raised so that the excess water does not get collected at the heap. Though the composting is done in the open they should be covered to protect from rain water. Compost prepared is of 2 types natural & synthetic compost, the compost is made in trays of dimensions 100*50*15cm
B.FILLING THE COMPOST IN TRAYS:-
The prepared compost is dark brown in color. When you fill the compost into trays it should be neither too wet nor too dry. If the compost is dry then spray the few drops of water, if too damp then let some water to evaporate. The size of the trays for spreading the compost could be as per your convenience but is must be 15 to 18cm deep. Also make sure that the trays are made of soft wood, the trays must be filled with compost to the edge & leveled on the surface.
Spawning is basically the process of sowing the mushroom mycelium into the beds, the spawns can be obtained from certified national laboratories at nominal price spawning can be done in 2 ways-by scattering the compost on the bed surface in the tray or else mixing the grain spawn with compost before filling the trays after spawning cover the trays with old newspapers the sheet is then sprinkled with little water to maintain moisture & humidity. There must be a head space of at least 1 meter between the top tray & the ceiling.
Casing soil is made by mixing finely crushed & sieved rotten cow dung with the garden soil, the PH should be on the alkaline side, once ready the casing soil has to be sterilized it kill the pests, nematodes, insects & other molds. Sterilization can be done by treating it with formalin solution or by steaming after the casing soil is spread on the compost the temperature is maintained at 250c for 72 hours & then lowered to 180c. Remember that casing stage required a lot of fresh air therefore the room must have sufficient ventilation facilities during the casing stage.
After 15 to 20 days of casing the pin heads start becoming noticeable, white coloured small sized buttons start developing within 5 to 6 days of this stage mushrooms are ready for harvesting when the caps are placed tight on the short stem.
During harvesting the cap should be twisted off gently for this, you need to hold it gently with the fore finger, press against the soil & then twist off. The base of the stalk should be chopped off.
ADVANTAGES OF MUSHROOMS:-
- They have cancer fighting properties
- Mushrooms are immunity-boosters
- They help lower cholesterol
- They are high in B & D vitamins
- Mushrooms have anti-inflammatory powers
Key Words:-Mushrooms, Compost, Photosynthesis, Cultivation, Vitamins, Spawning, Casing, Cropping, Harvesting, Immunity boosters, Cholesterol ,Anti-Inflammatory, Humidity.
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