How To Grow Edible Mushroom In Ghana In Commercial Quantity

Mushroom farming is one of the farming business that holds high prospect but has never gained ground in Ghana so far.

Whether you decide to grow your mushrooms in your garden (for private consumption) or in a big farm (for commercial use), it is important that you know some important steps to take when growing mushroom.

Few that are into mushroom farming are making serious money and the process of starting mushroom farm is quite simple.

Another good thing about mushroom farming is that it is not capital intensive.

And the demand for edible mushrooms is quite high in the market.

You can be making as high as two million every 3 months if you take up mushroom farming now in commercial quantity.

A mushroom is a kind of fungi that grows on the soil or on the body of its food, usually decaying tree trunks. It is the fleshy part of the fruiting body of a fungus.

Aside from the delicious taste of edible mushrooms, it also has numerous health benefits.

The button mushroom can help in reducing weight, shiitake are known to fight tumors.

The chanterelle contains a reasonable amount of vitamins.

While the oyster is currently being studied as a possible cure to HIV.

All these are the health benefits of mushrooms and many more.

Other Important Facts About Mushroom
Farming

Before we discuss the various steps involved in growing
your own mushrooms, here are a few other facts about
mushrooms you should also know.

Mushrooms mostly grow in moist or damp places.

In
other words, it needs water to grow.

It must be grown where there is shade to protect it from
wind and sun.

It also needs oxygen for survival.
Not all mushrooms are good for consumption.

Some
species of mushrooms are toxic, some are poisonous,
while some are edible.

There are four categories of mushrooms. They are:-

Saprotrophic:

These are the types of mushrooms that grow
on decaying wood, plants and animals.

Saprotrophs contain acids and enzymes that help to
decompose or break down dead or decaying tissues for
their absorption.

Examples of such type of mushrooms are Oysters,
Shiitake, Morels e.t.c

Mycorrhizal:

This category of mushrooms are difficult to
cultivate because of their nature. Mycorrhizal mushrooms
have a kind of symbiotic relationship with the trees and
plants they grow on.

That is, the mushroom and its host
derive mutual benefit from each other.
This is so because,
the mushroom weaves its mycelia into the root of the tree
or plant.

By so doing, contributes extra moisture and
nutrients to the tree, while getting sugars such as glucose
from the plant in return.

Examples of Mycorrhizal mushrooms are Chanterelles , and
Porcini.

Endophytic:

What distinguishes the Endophytic mushroom
from the Mycorrhizal is the fact that it is easier to cultivate.

It can be grown in the absence of its host.

The endophytic
mushroom partners with its host, providing it with nutrients
and resistance to pathogens.

Parasitic:

The parasitic mushroom’s relationship with its
host is one-sided.

In that, the host suffers from infections
of the mushroom until it dies.

The Honey fungus , Caterpillar and Lion’s mane are all good
examples of parasitic mushrooms.

In starting your mushroom farming, you must chose some
of the best species according to the market demand and
your environment.

Here we present to you some of the most
desirable edible mushrooms you can start your mushroom
farming in Ghana with.

Choose Edible Species For Mushroom
Farming

Like we said earlier, not all mushrooms are edible.

So, the
first step in growing your own mushrooms, is to identify the
species that are good for consumption.

Some varieties of edible mushrooms that you can choose
from are listed below:

Chanterelles (Cantharellus Cibarius)

Rich in vitamin C, D and containing a high amount of
potassium, the chanterelle is commonly grown in Asia,
North America and the northern parts of Europe.

Shiitake (Letinula Edodes)

The shiitake is a variety of mushroom mostly grown in
Asian countries, especially in Japan where its name
originated from. It has been known to reduce tumors.

Morels (Morchella Esculenta)

Morels is composed of vitamin C and antioxidants, it
protects the body from toxic materials and also protects the
liver.

Oysters (Pleurotus Ostreatus)

Oysters are known to have anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial
effects. It can also help in reducing the level of cholesterol
in the body.

After you have chosen the species you want to grow, you
can then go ahead to purchase its spawn.

The spawn of the
particular variety of mushroom you wish to grow is the
material that carries the mycelium of the strain of the
mushroom pending when it will be cultivated.

It could be
sawdust, grain or any substance that can hold the strain of
mushroom until it is ready to be cultivated.

Decide On The Medium To Grow Your
Mushroom

There are two mediums that you can use in growing your
mushroom.

You can grow your mushroom on sawdust or
straw, or you can cultivate it on a log wood.

If you are growing your mushrooms on saw dust, you must
do the following:

1. Ensure that the sawdust or straw is free from micro-
organisms or anything that may disturb the growth of the
mushrooms.

2. Spread your medium into a container that can provide
enough room for proper growth of the mushrooms.

3. Mix the mushroom spawn with the medium inside the
container.

4. The mushroom spawn needs a certain amount of heat to
enable its roots settle in the medium.
Therefore, you must
heat the container with the mushroom spawn and the
medium or place it in direct sunlight for a while.

5. After heating the medium and the spawn, the next thing
to do is to put the mixture in a dark room.

It could be
a cabinet or drawer, but it must be a darkened environment
where the temperature is not too high.

6. When you have done all that you need to do. You must
leave the mixture in the drawer or cabinet for about three to
four weeks for it to grow.

Meanwhile, cover the mixture with
soil and continue to spray with water to keep it damp even
as the mushrooms grow.

In the case of logs, you must make sure the woods are safe
for the growth of your mushrooms.

Cut holes into the
woods and then introduce the mushroom spawn into the
holes in the log woods.

Put the logs under a shade, with
continuous spraying of water until the mushrooms start to
develop.

Whatever medium you decide to use in cultivating your
mushrooms, you must make sure you put all the measures
that we have discussed in place.

Then you can be sure to
have a bountiful harvest of mushrooms at the end of the
day.

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