” Nature alone is antique, and the

oldest art a mushroom.

~ Thomas Carlyle

Edible mushroom

Edible mushrooms are the fleshy and edible fruit bodies  of several species of macrofungi(fungi  which bear fruiting structures that are large enough to be seen with the naked eye). They can appear either below ground (hypogeous) or above ground (epigeous) where they may be picked by hand.Edibility may be defined by criteria that include absence of poisonous effects on humans and desirable taste  and aroma. Edible mushrooms are consumed for their nutritional  and culinary  value. Mushrooms, especially dried shiitake, are sources of umami flavor.Especially tasty and desired mushrooms are referred as “choice edible”

Edible mushrooms include many fungal species that are either harvested wild or cultivated. Easily cultivated and common wild mushrooms are often available in markets, and those that are more difficult to obtain (such as the prized truffle, matsutake  and morel) may be collected on a smaller scale by private gatherers.

Non edible mushroom

There are certain fungi which are not consumed because of the production of toxins like amatoxins and phallotoxins. The fungi which produce these toxins are referred as poisonous fungi or the toadstools e.g., Fly agarics and Amanita pantherina.  The consumption of these fungi results in death due to the activity of the toxins.

Seven of the world’s most poisonous mushrooms are: death cap (Amanita phalloides), Conocy bettilaris, web caps (Cortinarius species), Autumn skullcap (Calerina marginata), destroyin angels (Amanita species), Podostron a cornu-damae and deadly dapperliry (Lepiota brunneoincarnata).

Food values of mushroom

mushrooms contain a modest amount of fiber and over a dozen minerals and vitamins, including copper, potassium, magnesium, zinc and a number of B vitamins such as folate. Mushrooms are also high in antioxidants like selenium and glutathione, or GSH, substances believed to protect cells from damage and reduce chronic disease and inflammation.

Some studies suggest mushrooms are the richest dietary source of another antioxidant called ergothioneine, or ERGO, which is also present in large amounts in red beans, oat bran and liver. ERGO and other antioxidants are primarily concentrated in the caps, not the stems.

Spawn and spawning

Spawn is the living fungal culture that is called mycelium, grown onto a substrate. It gives the backbone to any mushroom growing operation. … Unlike seeds, the mushroom spawn is grown from selected genetics and cloned for consistent production of a particular cultivar of mushroom.

Types of Mushroom spawn are;

  • Woodchip spawn – Made from woodchips of different hardwoods.
  • Straw spawn – Pasteurized straw inoculated with mycelium.
  • Sawdust spawn plugs – Sawdust spawn in the shape of a plug with Styrofoam on the end.
  • Liquid spawn – Water enriched with mushroom spores or mycelia slurry.

Techniques in mushroom cultivation

On Paddy Straw:

i. Preparation of Spawn

ii. Preparation of Mushroom Bed

iii. Spawning of Mushroom Bed

iv. Watering of Mushroom Bed

v. Mushroom Crop Production

vi. Picking of Mushrooms

vii. Precautions of Mushroom Cultivation

Disease of mushroom

There are many types of fungal disease in mushrooms, but there are three main kinds that cause the most damage to crops. These are Dry Bubble (Verticillium, new name: Lecanicillium), Wet Bubble (Mycogone) and Cobweb (Dactylium, new name: Cladobotryum).

Recipes of mushrooms

Mushroom recipes like kadai mushroom, mushroom biryani, mushroom manchurian and mushroom masala,cream of mushroom soup, methi mushroom, matar mushroom, mushroom pasta,mushroom omlette,mushroom fry……..

” Mushrooms grow in damp places. That’s why they are shaped like an umbrella “

~Alphonse Allais

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