Nowadays, the consumption demand of mushrooms in the market is increasing because of its high protein content, which is good for our living cells. However, not all consumers could afford buying this product due to its high price.
To meet the increasing demand, as well as reducing the problem on agricultural waste materials, WVSU’s Research and Development Center is introducing an indoor mushroom cultivation which could be processed only in our backyard.
Rubin Faria, member of the WVSU’s research team said mushroom spawns are available at their research office at P 25.00 each pack which could already produce 3-4 kilos of mushroom.
“Mushroom growing requires low cost materials and technologies but offers a high and quick return on their money”, he said.
Faria also said interested farmers could buy spawns from them and start cultivate the mushroom after preparing their simple crate.
To prepare, Faria said, straw mushroom can be grown on a variety of agricultural waste materials like banana leaves, water lily and rice straw. He said the ideal banana leaves to be used for the crate are still hanging on the plant.
He said these materials are driedand bundled into at least one foot long and at least four inches in diameter. The bundled banana leaves are soaked in clean water for atleast four hours but it can be extended up to 24 hours.
Faria added while soaking, you could start constructing a wooden crate open on all sides. The length must be two feet with one-feet width and height. He stressed the crate should have four legs so that there will be space from the ground.
Faria also advised farmers to secure four empty milk cans and place used oil in each of these cans. Put each leg of the crate inside each can to prevent crawling insects to come into the crate which will effect the mushroom growth.
Faria stressed after the preparation, drain the soaked banana leaves for about 30 minutes. Pile the bundles of banana leave tightly inside the crate. The lengthof the bundles should be along the width of the bed. Trim all the loose ends of the banana leaves around the crate.
He said to plant the spawn about the size of the thumb at about 2-3 inches and four inches apart. The spawn should be planted on all sides of the crate. The remaining spawn can be placed on the top portion of the banana leaves in the crate.
He also said to cover the planted crate with a black plastic sheet. This will bring the temperature of the crate at a level which would be favorable for the growth of the mushroom mycelia. Also, this will retain the moisture in the crate or which needs not to be watered.
Faria stressed after 7-8 days, theplanting spawn and the plastic sheet should be removed and replace the cover of the crate by a clear plastic that must be loose enough so as not to build so much heat.
He said containers of water can be replaced at the bottom of the crate as sources of additional moisture for the growing mushroom.
Three days after opening the crate, Faria said, small white bodies will develop in the bundles of the banana leaves. These are the pin-heads which will eventually develop into full-grown mushroom. The mushroom could already be harvested 12 to 18 days after planting. IMT