Mushroom farming is one of the farming business that holds high prospect but has never gained ground in Nigeria so far. Few that are into mushroom farming are making serious money and the process of starting mushroom farm is quite simple. Another good thing about mushroom farming is that it is not capital intensive and the demand for edible mushrooms is quite high in the market. You can be making as high as two million naira every 3 months if you take up mushroom farming now in commercial quantity.
A mushroom is a kind of fungi that grows on the soil or on the body of its food, usually decaying tree trunks. It is the fleshy part of the fruiting body of a fungus. Aside from the delicious taste of edible mushrooms, it also has numerous health benefits. The button mushroom can help in reducing weight, shiitakes are known to fight tumors. The chanterelle contains a reasonable amount of vitamins, while the oyster is currently being studied as a possible cure to HIV. All these are the health benefits of mushrooms and many more.
1. Choose Edible Species For Mushroom Farming
Not all mushrooms are edible. So, the first step in growing your own mushrooms, is to identify the species that are good for consumption.
Some varieties of edible mushrooms that you can choose from are listed below.
Chanterelles (Cantharellus Cibarius), Shiitake (Letinula Edodes), Morels (Morchella Esculenta), Oysters (Pleurotus Ostreatus).
After you have chosen the species you want to grow, you can then go ahead to purchase its spawn. The spawn of the particular variety of mushroom you wish to grow is the material that carries the mycelium of the strain of the mushroom pending when it will be cultivated. It could be sawdust, grain or any substance that can hold the strain of mushroom until it is ready to be cultivated.
2. Decide On The Medium To Grow Your Mushroom
The second step is to decide on the medium you will be growing your mushroom. There are two mediums that you can use in growing your mushroom. You can grow your mushroom on sawdust or straw, or you can cultivate it on a log wood.
If you are growing your mushrooms on saw dust, you must do the following:
- Ensure that the sawdust or straw is free from micro-organisms or anything that may disturb the growth of the mushrooms.
- Spread your medium into a container that can provide enough room for proper growth of the mushrooms.
- Mix the mushroom spawn with the medium inside the container.
- The mushroom spawn needs a certain amount of heat to enable its roots settle in the medium. Therefore, you must heat the container with the mushroom spawn and the medium or place it in direct sunlight for a while.
- After heating the medium and the spawn, the next thing to do is to put the mixture in a dark room. It could be a cabinet or drawer, but it must be a darkened environment where the temperature is not too high.
- When you have done all that, you must leave the mixture in the drawer or cabinet for about three to four weeks for it to grow. Meanwhile, cover the mixture with soil and continue to spray with water to keep it damp even as the mushrooms grow.
If you are growing your mushrooms on logs, you must make sure the woods are safe for the growth of your mushrooms. Cut holes into the woods and then introduce the mushroom spawn into the holes in the log woods. Put the logs under a shade, with continuous spraying of water until the mushrooms start to develop.
Whatever medium you decide to use in cultivating your mushrooms, make sure you put all the measures discussed in place. only then you can be sure to have a bountiful harvest of mushrooms at the end of the day.