Mushroom growing in Uganda – Mushrooms or popularly known as “obutiko” are a delicious and common delicacy among many Ugandan homes, here is all you need to know about mushrooms, their growth, and how to harvest them.
Usually, mushrooms are a product of fungi and since they lack any chlorophyll, they mostly feed on animal and plant matter. Also, mushrooms have a short growth span of only four weeks which only puts it at a better place to venture into this lockdown.
Mushroom have plenty of nutrients that are very crucial for your well being which include vitamins, minerals, antioxidants as well as a low-calorie content. Crimini mushrooms are known for their high content of zinc, an essential element for the immune system and growth in children.
Mushrooms are good for controlling blood pressure since they are rich in potassium which is known to reduce on the tension in blood vessels which in turn reduces on the chances of getting high blood pressure.
Your immune system could be boosted by mushroom consumption since mushrooms stimulate the production of microphages within the immune system which improves on it’s ability to fight off foreign bodies.
Research has also found that a mushroom filled diet alongside combinations like exercises and health lifestyles, mushooms could play an essential role in ensuring weight loss to whoever consumes them.
How to grow mushrooms.
There are two varieties of mushrooms which include the oyster mushrooms and button mushrooms, this is the procedure to follow while growing mushrooms;
A farmer is required to have a sterilization facility like a pressure cooker, a metallic drum or a big saucepan that are meant to sterilize the substrate. The substrate in this case could be coffee or cotton seed husks, legume trash, saw dust or rice straw meant to be used as a growing medium.
The spawn are the seeds and a mushroom house that is meant to facilitate the growing process and is one of the key requirements to facilitate the entire growth process of mushrooms.
As for oyster mushroom cultivation, the substrate is soaked in water overnight then it gets drained over a wire mesh or a slate concrete till it is left with approximately 70% water content.
After this, the substrate is put into a sterilizer where it is heated for about three hours after which the substrate is given time to cool and aseptically dispense in between 4 to 5 kilograms into either a new black or green polythene bag.
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To each bag, approximately 100 grams of spawn is added and sealed as they await the next growth stages.
The bags that were sealed are transfered into dark incubator rooms with temperatures ranging in between 25 to 28 °C in which they are stored for two weeks. After which, they are transfered to the growing room that must have light with temperature ranges in between 23-25°C.
Using a sharp razorblade, slit each bag vertically so as to create a provision from which the mushroom will emerge. Mist spray the room twice a day in both the morning and evening so as to have a high humidity and in turn facilitates the growth of mushrooms.
All facts held constant, the end result of the oyster mushrooms is estimated to be two times the weight of the dry substrate that was initially used.
How to harvest.
Once mushrooms are white and umbers shaped, they are ready for harvest. You could either sale them fresh or for preservation purposes, they could be dried or canned in salt solution.