A mushroom is an above-ground fruiting body of a fungus having a shaft and a cap.
These are also used in the preparation of dyes for dying wool and natural fiber.
The mushrooms also have medicinal properties like anticancer, antiviral and immunity enhancement.
Mushrooms are used in the preparation of many kinds of flock medicine.
Mushrooms are a good source of proteins, vitamins, and carbohydrates. Hence, used as the best supplement for meat in terms of proteins.
Mushrooms are low calorific food. One can grow mushrooms organically at home.
Mushrooms are a good source of all minerals and contain high amounts of calcium, sodium, and potassium.
Due to their high protein, with low calories, no sugar, and starch these are recommended for heart patients and diabetic patients.
They contain low amounts of fats but are rich in essential amino acids like linoleic acid, palmitic acid, etc.
Mushrooms are a rich source of fiber which helps in better digestion and prevents constipation, and acidity problems.
Mushrooms also contain a good amount of moisture, almost 90 %.
Varieties of mushrooms
There are around 50,000 mushroom species; among those, only 10,000 are edible ones. However, among all those only six types are recommended for commercial cultivation. Those are
- Paddy straw mushroom
- Oyster mushroom
- Button mushroom
- Milky mushroom
- Jews ear mushroom
- Shiitake mushroom
Now, we will discuss briefly how to grow mushrooms at our homes easily in this article.
How to grow mushrooms indoors
Required materials for cultivation at home
We need very fewer materials which can be availed easily to grow mushrooms at our home.
- Mushroom spawns
- Plastic bags
- Spawn is a vegetative mycelial network of a mushroom developed after the germination of fungal spores.
- It contains mycelia along with a supporting medium, which provides nutrition to the fungus for growth and development.
Purchase the good quality spawn of the required type from reliable resources like mushroom growing points, training centers, etc.
Well, dried, fresh straw should be used for mushroom cultivation at home. Don’t use a wet, rotted straw. Avoid bringing straw from unhygienic places.
Select polythene bags of proper size, which are relatively thin enough to bear the weight of media in them.
Don’t use polythene bags, which are very thin. Because they might prone to tearing problems, which totally damages cultivation.
Mostly oyster and white button mushrooms are suitable for cultivation at home.
- In commercial cultivation, we will use machinery for sterilization as we are growing mushrooms at home; we can do sterilization of media by boiling on the stove in the kitchen.
- Collect the dried straw and shred the straw into small pieces and boil the shredded pieces of straw by adding water to it for 10 minutes.
Uses of sterilization:
- Boiling is very important in mushroom cultivation at home because it sterilizes the media from harmful microbes etc.
- It also softens the lignin and cellulose bonds present in the straw, which facilitates the easy growing of mushrooms and softening of straw to ensure better packing it in polythene bags.
- Stop boiling after 10 minutes. Avoid excessive boiling. Then squeeze the straws with your hands to remove the excess water.
Drying of the media
- Then spread and place the straw in a place with good aeration for drying purposes.
- Keep it overnight.
Filling the media into a polythene bag:
- Place the straw in the polythene bags by pressing firmly with hands up to a layer of 2 inches and place a layer of spawn and place a 2-inch layer of straw over the spawn.
- Repeat these layers of straw, spawn, and straw up to 8 -10 inches in height. Then there will be around 4 – 5 layers of spawn.
- Clean your hands properly before filling the media into the bags to avoid further contamination.
After completion of this operation, we have to twist the mouth part of the polyethylene bag and tie it with help of strings.
- Before closing the bag, remove the all air inside the polythene bag and do not make the straw very compact pressing should be done gently.
- Then after closing, makes small holes with the help of a pen, etc. to the polythene bag from where mushrooms growths will come out. Around 7 – 10 holes will be enough.
Placing it in favorable conditions for growth:
- Mostly mushrooms grow well in cool, dark, and moist places.
- Place the bag in a dark place.
- Within seven days, the spores start sprouting; we can observe this by finding the whitish color growth inside the bag.
Relocate the mushrooms:
- After ten days, the germination of total spawn will occur.
- Then bring out the mushrooms for a dark place and place them in a relatively lighter region of the house.
- Then make holes every 3 – 4 inches apart on the bag from which growth of mushrooms will come out.
- Spray the water with the help of a watering can or hand sprayer daily to the growing mushrooms.
- Avoid giving excessive watering. Maintain proper moisture inside the bag because mushroom growth and development are hindered by a lack of moisture.
- After 25 days we can observe excellent growth of mushrooms coming out from the holes which can be harvested and immediately used in the kitchen.
After 25 – 30 days, we can harvest the well-grown mushrooms by giving a small twist with a hand at the base mushrooms, or we can use a sharp knife to cut the base of mushrooms. We should ensure that there is no damage to the growing mushrooms during the process.
Harvested mushrooms can be stored in refrigerated conditions for some days. However, use these mushrooms as fast as possible.