The standard for the name "mushroom" is the cultivated white button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus; hence the word "mushroom" is most often applied to those fungi (Basidiomycota, Agaricomycetes) that have a stem (stipe), a cap (pileus), and gills (lamellae, sing. lamella) on the underside of the cap. These gills produce microscopic spores that help the fungus spread across the ground or its occupant surface.
"Mushroom" describes a variety of gilled fungi, with or without stems, and the term is used even more generally, to describe both the fleshy fruiting bodies of some Ascomycota and the woody or leathery fruiting bodies of some Basidiomycota, depending upon the context of the word.
Forms deviating from the standard morphology usually have more specific names, such as "bolete", "puffball", "stinkhorn", and "morel", and gilled mushrooms themselves are often called "agarics" in reference to their similarity to Agaricus or their order Agaricales. By extension, the term "mushroom" can also designate the entire fungus when in culture; the thallus (called a mycelium) of species forming the fruiting bodies called mushrooms; or the species itself.
|BEST TIME TO PLANT
Mushrooms prefer dark, cool, moist, and humid growing environments. In a house, a basement is often ideal, but a spot under the sink may be all you need.
Test the proposed location by checking the temperature. Most mushrooms grow best in temperatures between 13 and 16 degrees C, away from drying, direct heat and drafts
|TIME FROM SEED TO HARVEST
It should take about three to four weeks before you see the little mushrooms appearing. Shiitake mushrooms take a little longer and will be ready in about seven to eight weeks. They will be ready to pick once the cap has fully opened and has fully separated from the stem.
|AMOUNT OF WATER REQUIRED IN SOIL
Water addition is critical since too much will exclude oxygen by occupying the pore space, and too little can limit the growth of bacteria and fungi. As a general rule, water is added up to the point of leaching when the pile is formed and at the time of first turning, and thereafter either none or only a little is added for the duration of composting. On the last turning before Phase II composting, water can be applied generously so that when the compost is tightly squeezed, water drips from it. There is a link between water, nutritive value, microbial activity, and temperature, and because it is a chain, when one condition is limiting for one factor, the whole chain will cease to function. Biologists see this phenomenon repeatedly and have termed it the Law of Limiting Factors
The ideal growing conditions are a temperature between 18°C to 24°C, with 85% to 95% relative humidity during fruiting and 75% to 80% between flushes (fruiting periods)
|WATER REQUIRED - HYDROPONICS
Don’t use chlorinated water to soak your mushroom block. If your tap water is chlorinated, you can fill a container with the tap water and let it sit for 24 hours so that the chlorine will dissipate
Mushrooms grow much faster in cold water; don’t use tepid water to soak them
|HARVESTING AND STORAGE
The terms flush, break, or bloom are names given to the repeating 3- to 5-day harvest periods during the cropping cycle; these are followed by a few days when no mushrooms are available to harvest. This cycle repeats itself in a rhythmic fashion, and harvesting can go on as long as mushrooms continue to mature. Most mushroom farmers harvest for 35 to 42 days, although some harvest a crop for 60 days, and harvest can go on for as long as 150 days
Picking and packaging methods often vary from farm to farm. Freshly harvested mushrooms must be kept refrigerated. To prolong the shelf life of mushrooms, it is important that mushrooms “breathe” after harvest, so storage in a nonwaxed paper bag is preferred to a plastic bag.
Often grouped with vegetables, mushrooms provide many of the nutritional attributes of produce, as well as attributes more commonly found in meat, beans or grains. Mushrooms are low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free,gluten-free, and very low in sodium, yet they provide important nutrients, including selenium, potassium (8%), riboflavin, niacin, vitamin D and more.
This food is low in Saturated Fat and Sodium, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin C, Folate, Iron, Zinc and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin D, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Selenium