Small-scale mushroom cultivation: Oyster, shiitake and wood ear mushrooms

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Do you want to grow mushrooms? There are plenty of reasons to do so. Mushrooms are a good cash crop; they are rather easy to grow and are brimming with protein, B vitamins and minerals. They even have medicinal properties. Time between spawning and harvesting can be as short as three weeks. Furthermore, after the cultivation, you can still use the substrate as a good soil conditioner.

This Agrodok gives you detailed information on the cultivation of oyster, shiitake and wood ear mushrooms. Although many other types of mushrooms can be grown, we have chosen the ones that can easily be cultivated in developing countries using appropriate technology.

When choosing your method to grow mushrooms, you have to find an answer to the following questions:

  1. Which of the mushrooms do you want to grow? Check the market and the temperature ranges for fruiting.
  2. Can you obtain mushroom spawn (the “seed”) of the species you want to grow? Chapter 4 shows you how to produce your own spawn. If you cannot obtain or produce spawn it will not be possible to grow mushrooms.
  3. What kind of substrate would you need to be able to grow the desired mushrooms? See Chapter 5.
  4. How should you treat the substrate? This affects the investments you have to make. Details can be found in the chapters on the specific mushroom species.
Peter Oei
Bram van Nieuwenhuijzen