Mushroom farming is a prospective business venture that can earn you profits in just a few weeks as long as you put in all the right effort. Plus, oyster mushroom farming is fairly easy whether you are in an urban or rural area. One of the reasons most people prefer oyster mushrooms to button mushrooms is because they have low-fat content; therefore, they are suitable for controlling obesity. Oyster mushrooms are also beneficial in preventing the risks of diabetes and hypertension.
Here is how to start a successful mushroom-growing business.
Create a mushroom growing house
The first step is to create a mushroom growing room where you will stack mushroom spawns for growing. Mushroom spawns are substances inoculated with mycelium. Mycelium is the vegetative growth of fungus. The spawn comes in handy for transferring the mycelium into the material the mushrooms will grow, known as the substrate.
You can buy a ready-to-inoculate spawn, but the good thing is that you can produce your spawn through a sterile culture to cut farming costs. You also need a good substrate. Some of the widely used substrates for oyster mushrooms include straw, cardboard, hardwood sawdust, coffee grounds, and other organic by-products like cotton waste.
Spawning and disinfection
You must disinfect the floors and walls of the mushroom grow room, the substrate, and compost beforehand. To disinfect the compost, pour it in 100liters of water in a drum, leave it for a day, then take it out and spread it to dry. From there, you should do your spawning in a planned way. Put about 100gms of spawn per polythene bag, then three to four layers of compost. Then make small holes on the bottom of the polythene bag for airflow.
You should maintain the temperature in the growing room at around 78degrees Fahrenheit for at least 20days. Ensure no natural light enters the grow room, so you should cover all the windows and any cracks. You should only use a red light when you need to check on the mushroom bags. After some time, you will start noticing some small pinhead mushrooms around the holes in the polythene bags. That signals you are ready to proceed to this next step.
At this stage, maintain the temperature at 65-70degrees Fahrenheit, and you also need high humidity. During this phase, the plants also need natural light, unlike the incubation phase. So it would be best if you exposed them to at least 12hours of light a day. You also need to shock the mycelium to trigger fruiting, so you can move the bags to a cool area like the basement for a day then take them back to the grow room for fruiting. Cut open the bags to enable the mushrooms to grow.
You can harvest your mushrooms just before the mushroom caps fully uncurl. Twist the stem near the growing block as much as possible to harvest.
Market and sell
Finally, market and sell your oyster mushrooms to earn profits. Always remember to create a market for yourself as you grow the mushrooms to ensure maximum profits.