THE ART & SCIENCE IN ONE.
Welcome into the magnificent world of FUNGICULTURE- mushroom farming! Mushroom farming is both a science and an art. The science is developed through research the art is perfected through curiosity and practical experience. However, mushroom farming requires precision. It is not as simple as what some people often think. If you ignore one critical step, you are inviting problems, which could lead to a reduced mushroom crop.
Hard work is paid of when is harvest time!
We would like to share with you low tech mushroom growing techniques for both indoor and outdoor cultivation.
What are mushrooms?
NOT PLANTS- NOT ANIMALS
What we call a mushroom, it is the FRUITING BODY of the larger complex organism called FUNGI. Fungi have been around for millions of years. Mushrooms together with bees are the most important living organisms on the Planet. Without fungi, we would not have a life on this planet as we know. Fungi are not plants, but they also aren’t the animals.
They represent their own unique living kingdom. In fact, DNA components have shown that fungi are more closely related to humans and animals than to plants. Their compounds, their metabolism is very similar to ours, one of the reasons why we benefit from them!
The Largest Single Living Organism on Earth is a mushroom, Honey Fungus in the Blue Mountains of Eastern Oregon. It was estimated to cover 9km2 and to be at least 2400 years old.
The importance of Mushrooms for the Nature
MUSHROOMS DETOXIFY THE EARTH LIKE ALGAE THE WATER.
Mushrooms fulfil very important tasks in the Nature, they constitute one fourth of the Earth entire biomass, this makes fungi the largest kingdom on the planet. It is said that if not mushrooms, forests would die within forty years. Without forests, without trees we will not have oxygen. We would be flooded with all the waste products and surface of the Earth will be covered in them. The whole wildlife depends on fungi, they exchange the food with plants and help them grow and provide shelter and food for many animals.
➢ FUNGI ARE RECYCLING THE PLANET AND RELEASE THE NUTRIENTS: Decomposition of organic substances as part of a natural cycle. There is no organic substance that cannot be decomposed by mushrooms. Mushrooms break down dead organisms into their components that then enter the natural cycle again as nutrients. Mushrooms are among the few organisms that can break down wood. That’s why mushrooms contain substances that we do not find in any other food.
➢ FUNGI ARE CAPABLE OF BREAKING DOWN PLASTIC!
➢ FUNGI HELP WITH DECONTAMINATION OF THE SOIL: Fungi store heavy metals & radioactive substances in the fruiting body. They also decompose chemicals in less toxic substances.
➢ FUNGI LIVE IN SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP WITH PLANTS: Mushrooms contribute to the growth of 80 to 90% of the plants and are important food for animals and insects. Mushrooms help minerals and nutrients in the earth to be processed by plants.
➢ FUNGI KEEP BALANCE IN WATER DYNAMICS: Fungi perform important services related to water dynamics and nutrients recycling, along with bacteria and insects. Fungi can keep the water in the soil, and this bring nutrition to eroded areas.
➢ FUNGI HELP TREES PRODUCE OXYGEN and are responsible for production of approximately 72% of Nitrogen (Azot) in the Air.
The importance of Mushrooms for Humans
MUSHROOMS ARE GREAT SOURCE OF VALUABLE COMPOUNDS
The importance of mushrooms for human goes way back. Apart from their function as a food, the healing effect of mushrooms has been prized for thousands of years in Asia and North America. They were even already used in this function in ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire. In old Egypt people already knew how to use fungi for baking and brewing. In Central Europe, the healing powers of certain mushrooms were known far back in the Middle Ages, but the knowledge about edible and medicinal mushrooms was virtually lost later.
People have been aware of the value of mushrooms as a food for thousands of years. Today they provide us with a healthy and exceptionally tasty food to enrich our menus. Mushrooms can be dried and stored for a long time without losing any of their valuable components. Mushrooms are exceptionally rich in valuable organic vital substances and contain very few calories.
They are therefore suitable for weight loss and to maintain a healthy weight. Since “Ötzi”- the Iceman mummy find, it is also known that mushrooms were used not only in Asia but also in Europe more than 5300 years ago for medicinal purposes.
Today, eco- leather and packaging is made of mushroom mycelium.
IMPORTANCE FOR HUMANS AS FOOD SOURCE
➢ FERMENTATION (Alcohol, Beer, Wine, Diary products, Yeast), different fermentation process can improve food quality
➢ BAKING: bread, cakes, biscuits, etc
➢ MEDICINE: Source of many medicines, antibiotics, new study on depression treatment with mushrooms. Since the discovery of penicillin (antibiotics), a mould fungus, by Alexander Fleming, modern medicine is also aware of what positive effects fungi can bring. Immunosuppressants (cyclosporin) are also extracted from mushrooms.
➢ Mushrooms collect minerals, especially trace elements and this our food often lack nowadays. Mushrooms also collect heavy metals & radioactive substances, for that reason it is important to know the pollution level in your area when collecting wild mushrooms. When comes to cultivated mushrooms, we prefer local. We know on what substrates our mushrooms have been farmed.
➢ OLD TRADITIONS. Cultures with a shamanic tradition use psychotropic mushrooms to open the mind towards healing. Siberian shamans for example were using Fly Agaric in their ceremonies.
Reasons to Grow Mushrooms
OWN GROWN VITAL FOOD
When comes to mushrooms, it is important to know where they come from and on what substrate they have been growing on. Mushrooms collect vital minerals from the food they grown on, but also, they collect heavy metals & radioactive substances. For that reason, we want to make sure the mushrooms we eat are going to benefit our wellbeing. In mushroom growing is vital to use local substrates, to make sure you grow the best quality food. You would like to grow what you are going to eat and what will support your wellbeing!
➢ MUSHROOMS ARE MEDICINE Many studies has been done on many types of mushrooms and is proven they contain compounds beneficial for our health, for example Penicillin.
➢ MUSHROOMS ARE FASTEST GROWN CROP OF ALL, in just 3-4 weeks from inoculation, you can have first harvest.
➢ MUSHROOM PRODUCTION MAKES THE LOWEST FOOTPRINT OF ALL CROPS, mushroom farming is environmentally friendly.
➢ SOIL FERTILISER: Spent mushroom substrate is an excellent fertiliser for the soil and other crops.
➢ GROWING MUSHROOMS IS FUN. You can engage the whole family in growing process, which can bring great entertainment for adults and kids and rebuild connection with the family. It’s a joy to watch them grow.
➢ COMMUNITY MUSHROOM FARMING is bringing people together, creating stronger bonds and healthy food.
➢ MUSHROOMS ARE AMAZING TEACHERS. Growing mushrooms is a great fun, but also is teaching us patience. To understand their nature and become successful in mushroom growing, we need to invest time and do the work.