ONLINE MUSHROOM PRODUCTION TRAINING- HOW TO GROW OYSTER MUSHROOMS USING SAWDUST, ONLINE MUSHROOM PRODUCTION TRAINING
Our trainer for today is our wonderful admin, Mr Emmanuel William.
He is the founder of Wemmab Enterprise, a business into Mushroom production and food processing. He is a multi talented young man with a wide experience in various skills and Agricultural processes specifically.
He is a kind and compassionate man who has shown much interest in the development of youth. He reaches out to youth in various schools with the aim of influencing their lives positively.
Let’s welcome him.
I am Mr Emmanuel William. I am a farmer, a blogger, a lover of entrepreneurship, youth development, and lots more.
I will be your trainer for today.
Thanks to my able team member for the introduction.
I have been into several Agricultural and food production businesses but at present, I am into Mushroom production and processing of food items such as Catfish and others.
I am passionate about impacting the lives of students and therefore I
I train people especially students on various skills such as Farming, Website design, blogging, etc.
The level of crime rate carried out by youth has made me give my best to reaching out to many students. Some of my students are in this group and following through the training.
I take students of Govt secondary schools on free training on various skills. I also take adults on one on one training on Mushroom production, website design and blogging.
You can connect with me via:
Also website @ www.wemmab.com
You can check me on other social media by the name Emmanuel William.
Today’s training will be a short one because Mushroom production is very wild and we will be focusing on just one aspect of the training.
Please note, this training is totally free and I don’t intend to organize any master class except you decide to book me for a one on one training. I usually enjoy taking people on physical training except when distance is a barrier.
At the end of this training, everyone will have access to a free ebook that explains Mushroom production perfectly.
We will be focusing on:
HOW TO GROW OYSTER MUSHROOMS USING SAWDUST
Oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus spp.) are a popular and nutritious variety of edible mushrooms. They are known for their delicate texture, mild flavor, and versatility in various culinary dishes. Oyster mushrooms come in different colors, including white, gray, yellow, or pink, and they have a distinct oyster-like shape, hence the name.
They can be grown using your waste materials in the environment.
Growing oyster mushrooms at home or on a larger scale offers several benefits:
Nutritional Value: Oyster mushrooms are rich in protein, fiber, vitamins (especially B vitamins), and minerals such as iron and potassium. They are low in calories and contain no cholesterol, making them a healthy addition to your diet.
Sustainable Cultivation: Oyster mushrooms can be cultivated using agricultural waste materials, such as sawdust, which makes them an eco-friendly choice. By utilizing these waste materials, you contribute to reducing organic waste and promote sustainable practices.
Fast Growth and High Yield: Oyster mushrooms have a relatively short growth cycle compared to other mushroom species. They can be harvested within a few weeks, and with proper care, they can provide multiple flushes of mushrooms, resulting in a high yield.
Versatility and Culinary Delights: Oyster mushrooms have a mild and savory taste, making them a versatile ingredient in various dishes. They can be sautéed, stir-fried, grilled, added to soups, stews, pasta, or used as a meat substitute in vegetarian and vegan recipes.
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Growing Oyster Mushrooms on Sawdust
One of the popular methods of cultivating oyster mushrooms is by using sawdust as a substrate. Sawdust is readily available, inexpensive, and provides a suitable medium for the growth of oyster mushroom mycelium. *The mycelium is the vegetative part of the mushroom that eventually develops into the fruiting body or mushroom.
Selecting the Right Oyster Mushroom Strain
Before you begin the cultivation process, it’s essential to choose the right oyster mushroom strain. Different strains of oyster mushrooms have varying growth characteristics, flavor profiles, and adaptability to different environmental conditions. Some popular oyster mushroom strains include Pleurotus ostreatus, Pleurotus pulmonarius, and Pleurotus cornucopiae.
Consider factors such as the availability of the strain, desired mushroom characteristics (color, size, flavor), and your local climate conditions when selecting a strain. It’s recommended to obtain oyster mushroom spawn from a reputable supplier or a mycology laboratory to ensure quality and viability.
To grow oyster mushrooms using sawdust, you’ll need the following materials:
Oyster mushroom spawn: This is the mycelium-impregnated material that serves as the “seed” for mushroom growth. Purchase oyster mushroom spawn from a reliable source.
Sawdust: Choose hardwood sawdust (such as oak, beech, or birch) without any additives or chemical treatments. Fresh sawdust is preferable, but you can also use aged or dried sawdust.
Binder: A binder is needed to hold the sawdust together and provide a more solid substrate for the mycelium to colonize. Common binders include wheat bran, rice bran, or cornmeal.
Water: Ensure a clean and chlorine-free water source for the cultivation process.
Containers: You’ll need containers or bags to hold the sawdust substrate. Options include plastic bags, buckets, or trays, depending on the scale of your cultivation.
Sterilization equipment: Depending on your chosen sterilization method (heat or chemical), you may need a pressure cooker, autoclave, or chemical sterilizing agent.
Irrigation equipment such as knapsack sprayer, pump or any good watering device.
Preparing the Sawdust Substrate
Preparing the sawdust substrate is a crucial step in growing oyster mushrooms.
Follow these steps:
Measure the sawdust and binder: For a basic sawdust substrate, use a ratio of approximately 5 parts sawdust to 1 part binder (by volume). Adjust the quantities based on your specific recipe or substrate formula.
Mix the sawdust and binder: Thoroughly combine the sawdust and binder in a large container or mixing vessel. Ensure even distribution of the binder throughout the sawdust to provide a consistent substrate for mushroom growth.
Moisture adjustment: Gradually add water to the mixture while continuously mixing until the substrate reaches the proper moisture content. It should be damp but not dripping wet. Conduct the squeeze test by taking a handful of substrate and squeezing it gently; if a few drops of water come out without excessive dripping, the moisture level is suitable.
Resting period: Allow the substrate mixture to rest for a few hours or overnight. This resting period allows the moisture to distribute evenly throughout the substrate and enables the binder to absorb excess moisture.
After preparing the sawdust substrate, you are ready to proceed with sterilizing the substrate to eliminate competing organisms and create a favorable environment for oyster mushroom mycelium growth.
Sterilizing the Substrate
Importance of Sterilization
Sterilizing the sawdust substrate is a crucial step in oyster mushroom cultivation. It helps eliminate competing microorganisms, such as bacteria and molds, that could hinder the growth of oyster mushroom mycelium. Sterilization creates a clean and favorable environment for the mycelium to colonize the substrate without competition.
Heat Sterilization Method
One common method of sterilizing the sawdust substrate is through heat treatment using a pressure cooker, an autoclave or an Iron drum.
Fill your containers with the prepared sawdust substrate, leaving some headspace for expansion during sterilization.
Load the containers into the pressure cooker or autoclave, ensuring proper spacing between them for adequate steam circulation.
Add water to the pressure cooker, autoclave or iron drum, the water level should be just below the bags.
Close and seal the pressure cooker or autoclave, following the appropriate safety guidelines.
Heat the pressure cooker or autoclave to the desired temperature, typically around 15 PSI (pounds per square inch), and maintain the temperature for the recommended duration, usually 1-2 hours.
After sterilization, allow the containers to cool down completely before proceeding to the inoculation step.
One key thing to take note of in Mushroom production is the word Sanitation.
You will only experience success in Mushroom production if you perfect person in terms of cleanliness, else your whole effort can be a waste even though I said Mushroom production is very easy.
Not been able to make your working environment clean can frustrate all your efforts
Chemical Sterilization Method
Alternatively, you can use chemical sterilization to treat the sawdust substrate. Chemical sterilization involves using disinfectants or fungicides to control contaminants.
Here’s a general approach:
Prepare a solution of the chosen sterilizing agent, such as hydrogen peroxide or bleach, following the recommended dilution ratio.
Submerge the sawdust substrate in the sterilizing solution, ensuring it is fully soaked.
Allow the substrate to soak in the solution for the specified duration, typically around 12-24 hours.
After the designated time, drain and rinse the substrate thoroughly with clean, sterile water to remove any residual chemicals.
Allow the substrate to drain and air-dry partially before proceeding to the inoculation step.
Note: Be cautious when using chemical sterilization methods and ensure that the chosen sterilizing agent is safe for the mushroom mycelium and does not leave harmful residues.
By sterilizing the sawdust substrate, you create a clean and favorable environment for the oyster mushroom mycelium to thrive, increasing the chances of a successful cultivation.
Inoculating the Substrate
Obtaining Oyster Mushroom Spawn
Oyster mushroom spawn serves as the inoculum for introducing the mushroom mycelium into the sterilized sawdust substrate. You can obtain oyster mushroom spawn from specialized suppliers, mycology laboratories, or by saving spawn from a previous successful batch. It’s important to ensure the spawn is fresh, viable, and free from contamination.
Spawning the Substrate
Once you have your oyster mushroom spawn ready, follow these steps to inoculate the sterilized sawdust substrate:
Create a clean and sterile working environment by disinfecting your hands, tools, and work surface.
Open the container of sterilized sawdust substrate and create a layer of the substrate in the bottom of your growing container. The thickness of the substrate layer depends on the container size, but generally, a depth of 2-3 inches (5-7.5 cm) is recommended.
Break up the oyster mushroom spawn into small pieces or crumble it over the substrate layer. Distribute the spawn evenly to ensure uniform colonization.
Repeat the layering process, alternating between substrate and spawn layers until you fill the container, leaving a final layer of substrate on top. The number of spawn layers may vary based on the container size and the amount of spawn you have.
Lightly press down on the substrate layers to promote contact between the spawn and substrate.
Yes, I am sure many people are surprised about what a Mushroom spawn looks like. 😀
The things I am sharing here for free are actually what people pay expensive fees for.
Mixing Spawn and Sawdust
Alternatively, you can mix the oyster mushroom spawn and sawdust substrate together before filling the growing container. In this method:
Transfer the sterilized sawdust substrate to a clean container or mixing bag.
Break up the oyster mushroom spawn into small pieces and evenly distribute it throughout the sawdust substrate.
Mix the spawn and sawdust substrate thoroughly to ensure the spawn is well-distributed.
Once the spawn and sawdust substrate are mixed, fill the growing container with the mixture, leaving some headspace for the substrate to expand.
Regardless of the method you choose, ensure that the inoculated substrate is evenly distributed and free from clumps or air gaps. Properly distributing the oyster mushroom spawn within the sawdust substrate increases the chances of successful mycelium colonization.
After inoculation, seal the container with a breathable filter or cover with aluminum foil, allowing for gas exchange while preventing contamination. Place the container in a suitable environment for incubation, providing the necessary conditions for the mycelium to colonize the substrate.
During the incubation phase, the oyster mushroom mycelium will colonize the substrate, forming a network of white threads known as the mycelial network. This stage is crucial for the development of a strong and healthy mycelium before transitioning to the fruiting stage. Here are some key considerations for the incubation phase:
Creating the Ideal Growing Environment
Temperature: Oyster mushrooms thrive in temperatures ranging from 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F). Maintain a consistent temperature within this range throughout the incubation phase. You can use a heating pad or a temperature-controlled space to ensure optimal conditions.
Humidity: Oyster mushrooms require high humidity levels for successful mycelium growth. Aim for a relative humidity (RH) of around 80% to 90%. You can achieve this by misting the air or using a humidifier to maintain the desired humidity level.
Air Exchange: While the mycelium needs a high humidity environment, it also requires fresh air exchange to prevent the buildup of carbon dioxide. Ensure proper ventilation by providing small openings or using air filters to allow fresh air circulation without inviting contaminants.
Temperature and Humidity Control
Monitor and adjust the temperature and humidity levels regularly to ensure they remain within the optimal range. Use a thermometer and a hygrometer to measure and maintain the appropriate conditions.
Protecting the Spawn from Contamination
During the incubation phase, it’s crucial to protect the inoculated substrate from contamination. To minimize the risk of contaminants, follow these guidelines:
Maintain a clean and sterile environment: Keep the growing area clean and free from potential sources of contamination. Regularly sanitize surfaces, tools, and your hands before handling the mushroom cultivation setup.
Monitor for signs of contamination: Check the inoculated substrate regularly for any signs of unwanted growth, such as mold, bacteria, or unusual colors. If you notice any contamination, take immediate action to address it before it spreads.
As time goes on in the course of your operation, you will need to get some of this equipment to make things easier.
This is to check the temperature and humidity level.
Separate different strains or batches: If you’re working with multiple strains or batches of oyster mushroom cultivation, keep them separated to prevent cross-contamination in case one batch gets contaminated.
During the incubation phase, the mycelium will gradually colonize the sawdust substrate, and you’ll see the white mycelial network spreading throughout the container. It typically takes around 10 to 14 days for the mycelium to fully colonize the substrate, but this timeframe can vary based on various factors such as temperature, strain, and substrate composition.
Once the substrate is fully colonized, and the mycelium appears dense and healthy, you’re ready to move on to the next phase: fruiting, where the oyster mushrooms will start to develop and mature.
The fruiting stage is when the oyster mushrooms develop and mature, producing the edible fruiting bodies that we commonly recognize as mushrooms. Here’s what you need to know about the fruiting process:
Providing the Right Conditions
To encourage fruiting, you’ll need to create an environment that mimics the natural conditions that trigger mushroom formation. Consider the following factors:
Temperature: Adjust the temperature to around 15°C to 20°C (59°F to 68°F) for most oyster mushroom strains during the fruiting stage.
Humidity: Maintain high humidity levels of around 85% to 95% RH to support mushroom development. You can achieve this by misting the air, using a humidifier, or employing techniques like placing trays of water near the growing containers to increase humidity.
Light: Oyster mushrooms do not require direct sunlight but benefit from indirect light or diffused natural light. Provide ambient light in the growing area or use artificial light sources, such as fluorescent or LED lights, to simulate daylight.
Are we following?
Mushroom Development and Harvesting
Primordial Formation: After a period of fruiting conditions, small clusters of pin-like structures, known as primordia, will begin to form. These primordia will develop into mature mushrooms.
Mushroom Growth and Maturation: The primordia will grow in size and start expanding into fully formed mushroom caps. Over time, the caps will open, revealing the gills underneath.
Harvesting: Harvest the mushrooms at the desired maturity stage, typically when the caps are fully opened but before the gills start releasing spores. Use clean, sharp scissors or a knife to cut the mushrooms at the base of the stem. Avoid damaging the mycelium or disturbing the substrate during harvesting.
There is the simple way around the whole process but as time goes on you will eventually have to go through this process if you intend to produce in large scale.
The simple way around it is to buy already prepared substrate bags that has undergone ramification process.
All you do then is to wet consistently but you will have to put them under a good climatic condition.
Sanitation and temperature are two key factors when it comes to Mushroom production.
The moment you neglect this two, then you be prepared to struggle through the whole process which will be frustrating.
I don’t hide things from my students, I will rather tell you about the challenges before you embark on the journey.
Multiple Flushes: Oyster mushrooms are known for their ability to produce multiple flushes, or waves, of mushrooms. After the initial harvest, provide optimal conditions again for the mycelium to rejuvenate and produce additional flushes. Repeat the fruiting process by adjusting temperature, humidity, and light accordingly.
Maintaining proper hygiene practices throughout the fruiting stage to prevent contamination is required. Regularly inspect the growing containers or bags for any signs of pests, diseases, or mold, and take necessary actions to address them promptly.
If the growing conditions are followed well, you can enjoy multiple harvests of oyster mushrooms from your sawdust cultivation setup.
I mentioned earlier that everyone will have access to a free ebook that explains mushroom production. It’s good to gain knowledge and seek the guidance of a Mentor before starting the journey.
You can reach out to me for personal guidance or physical training for yourself or a group of people.
The ebook has been uploaded on my website for all who will like to have it.
All you need to do is:
1- Visit the website @ https://wemmab.com
2- Scroll down to the bottom part of the site to where you will see E-book.
3- Click the E-book tab and download the book “Manual for Mushroom Cultivation”
Download the book first, go through it, and then feel free to ask me questions at any time.
Note: The book is free!
You can also read about everything you need to know about Mushroom cultivation on the site @ wemmab.com
Thank you for your time.
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