Some time back I came across this nice article by Dr. NandKumar Kamat about growing Oyester mushroom at home and since then my hands were just to carry out the experiment myself.
Two roadblocks in this experiment were to be getting the mushroom spawn (kind of mushroom seed) and paddy straw, incidentally the only two significant raw materials required to grow mushrooms at home.
Department of Horticulture, Biotechnology Center, Hulimavu sells Mushroom spwan for just Rs. 8/- a packet, and that solves one of the problems. Here is how it looks.
The next raw material i.e., paddy straw, takes some searching in a city like B’lore (Google perhaps can’t help you out here with their current suit of products). Probably the fruit vendors or glass shops can help here as their materials normally comes packaged in straw.
But once you have these two ingredients, the rest is a cakewalk. There are already numerous sites including the above article which speak in detail about how to cultivate mushroom.
So, I think i’ll emphasize on saying it pictorially.
This spawn packet is enough for roughly 2 standard size plastic bags full of growing medium (in our case it’s paddy straw, i hear there are other mediums also).
Again roughly, if you take one plastic packet bag full of dry straw, after post processing (soaking in water), it will be just enough for 2 plastic bag full of growing medium.
So, I just cut 1 bag full of dry paddy straw into pieces of 3″-4″ inch each, for the lack of a better cutting instrument, i used our kitchen scissors. Well, my wife wasn’t very happy about it, but somehow convinced her, by promising a bumper crop of mushrooms 🙂
Step 2.Soak the cut paddy straw in a bucket of water overnight.
Once soaked overnight take out the paddy straw and boil them in fresh water. This is done to kill the surface contaminants. So, just boil it for the amount of time we normally boil plain water to make it fit for drinking. Just in case one is doing
Once boiled, drain out the water and put the straw for drying. May be on a
Take two plastic bags of average size, pastic packets in which the mens briefs come are just ok for this purpose. Cut few holes in them for giving passage to air. In those bags put the straw upto 3-4 inch height, then put handful of mushroom spawn ideally
then mushroom spawn. Continue this, such that you 4-5 layers of straw and mushroom spawn in a bag.
tie the top of the bag and keep in dry and cool place for 18-20 days. I chose my old TV carton for this purpose. Here is how it looked at this stage:
For the next 20 days, its test of one’s patience. As the only thing required to be done in this period is to leave it alone. At the end of 20th day, cut open the plastic, and here is how it looked:
For the next 12-15 days, once in every 3-4 days you will get mushroom cropping up on this. Only thing required is to keep spraying some water onto it 3-4 times a day.
So, I did get the reward for all this work in the form of this: