Mushrooms are not plants because they do not photosynthesize like how plants do. Moreover, they also lack chlorophyll making it impossible for them to produce their own nutrients. Mushrooms are both edible and non-edible. The edible ones are rich in proteins and yummy too. However, there are many species of mushrooms that are very poisonous and harmful. Mushrooms are best when eaten fresh. Therefore, one can think of growing them at home in order to enjoy the fresh taste of mushrooms anytime one wants to. Nevertheless, mushroom farming is a time consuming and delicate business and requires a lot of patience and care. A damp, moist, dark and humid place is what a mushroom loves to grow in, and with little care you can get a good yield of these delicious fungi in your very own basement room or garden shed. This article will give you tips on how to grow mushrooms in the comfort of your own home. Read on to learn more.
- You need to allot a separate place in your home for mushroom farming. Mushrooms give out Co2 and therefore it is better to use a garden shed or a basement to grow mushrooms. Using a basement room or a garden shed will ensure sufficient space for mushroom farming and will also make it possible to maintain the required temperature and humidity.
- You can make use of certain equipments in order to control the temperature and humidity suitable for mushroom farming. You can use an electric vaporizer, a portable fan, few wooden trays, regular lights, plastic bags and a wire basket to grow mushrooms.
- Once you have decided upon the place for farming and once all the gear is at your disposal, it is time for you to select the variety of mushrooms you would like to grow. Button mushrooms, oyster, portabella, shiitake, enoki etc are some of the easy to grow mushroom varieties you can choose from. These varieties can either be grown with the help of spawns or by using mushroom growing kits.
- Mushroom spawns are similar to plant seeds. Mushrooms produce spores which are also used by some cultivators to farm mushrooms of the same family. The spores are collected and then immunised into sterilized grains in order to develop the spawn cultures. These developed spawn cultures are then cultivated on organic compost which provides the required nutrients to the mushrooms as they cannot produce nutrients for themselves because they lack chlorophyll.
- You can either purchase a mushroom kit to save time and energy or you can make your own compost. You will have to combine together plant waste like crushed straw and corn cobs along with coffee grounds or nitrogen supplements in order to form your own compost.
- Once you have bought the kit or have made your compost, it’s time to steam the wire basket or boil it in hot water for a few hours in order to pasteurize it. The pasteurization of the wired basket is important to get rid of the microbes and pests in the compost. After boiling it for a few hours, drain out the water and let the compost cool in a wooden tray. Once the compost is back to normal temperature, sprinkle the spawns over and mix the compost thoroughly. Stuff in the mixture into different plastic bags and seal them tightly.
- After sealing the plastic bags with the compost-spawn mixture, cut out small ventilation holes at some distance on the bag making sure to keep the temperature at about 60o. Put on the fan and vaporizer once the pores are cut out to provide required ventilation and humidity to the compost mixture. Switch off the lights after putting on the fan and vaporizer and let the spawn develop in darkness for about 2-3 weeks.
- After 3 weeks you will see that the compost in plastic bags is filled with white filaments. These white filaments are nothing but mushroom roots known as mycelium. Tear off the plastic and cover the mycelium filled compost with peat moss.
- This mycelium will give rise to small, tiny pin growths that will sneak out through the covering of peat moss. Some 10-20 days after you covered the compost with peat moss, you will notice that the tiny pins have developed into mushrooms ready to get harvested. You can recycle and reuse the compost in order to grow mushrooms again.