On Learning with Us-FAQs
1. Do you provide training?
We are currently focused on honing our mushroom cultivation skills and are therefore unable to provide training. We hope to be able to provide training in future, after we have gathered sufficient experience and knowledge.
2. Can mushrooms be grown at home?
Mushrooms like any other living matter need the right environment and care. They can be grown at home, provided the grower is able to provide the required growing conditions, love and care.
3. Where do I start as a beginner?
Start with learning about a mushroom's unique life cycle. Most parts of the life cycle are not visible and therefore not easily understood. A new grower often comes across terms such as spore, spawn, cultures, mycelium, inoculation and so on.
We highly recommend picking a good book before starting.
4. Which books and resources do you refer to?
The books and resources we have relied on over the last few years are:
Notes on mushroom cultivation, gathered during our training program at the Indian Institute of Horticulture Research (IIHR), Bengaluru.
5. What are the equipment needed for mushroom cultivation?
There is no straightforward answer to this question. It all depends on the method you have adopted for cultivation, availability of raw materials to you, your budget and so on. Mushrooms require humidity, so creating an environment that ensures the adequate amount of humidity helps.
6. What are the starting materials required for mushroom cultivation?
The starting material depends on the stage at which mushroom cultivation is started by a grower.
- At the fruiting stage: One can grow mushrooms from ready-to-fruit bags. At this stage, the bags are ready to give mushrooms. If given proper fruiting conditions such as high humidity and so on, the bags will give mushrooms. A good way to start growing mushrooms.
- From spawn: Mushroom seed/spawn can be purchased from a spawn supplier. The spawn has to be inoculated into bags with sterile or pasteurized substrate. The bags are allowed to go through the vegetative phase before being shifted to the fruiting stage.
- From spore or culture: This is the most advanced of all stages and involves making of one’s own culture and spawn. This requires a laboratory setup such as the Laminar Air Flow Chamber and so on.
7. Do you supply mushroom seed/spawn?
As of now, we do not supply/sell mushroom spawn. If you are from Bangalore and you need to purchase spawn for growing mushrooms you can place an order with the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research.
8. Do you supply ready-to-fruit bags?
- We have discontinued sale of mushroom spawn for the time being as we are currently focused on looking after our grow rooms and improving our own mushroom-growing skills.
- We have also been experimenting with different kinds of substrates, all of which require time.
- We may resume sale of ready-to-fruit bags in future.
- If you are from Bangalore and you wish to purchase ready-to-fruit bags for growing mushrooms you can place an order with the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research
As of now, we do not sell/supply mushroom cultures.
10. Can you help us identify mushrooms we have spotted outdoors?
- Mushroom identification is a complex process of its own. There are several varieties of mushrooms that have many common visual similarities but are completely different when digested. One is poisonous and the other is not.
- Mushroom identification is done accurately when all the information around it is gathered such as its geographical location, month of discovery, whether it has roots or not, whether the mushrooms has gills or not, the kind of gills, the kind of cap if cap is there, spore print, mycelia growth and so on. This involves a lot of time and research and we do not have a setup for the same.
- You can approach a mycologist or an academic institute for help with wild mushroom identification.
11. How does Green Apron grow their mushrooms?
- Mushrooms are grown from spawn (spawn is fungal mycelia growing on sterile grains). We take our spawn from the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bangalore.
- The spawn is introduced into bags with sterile substrate. The substrate is usually agricultural wastes such as paddy straw, bran, saw-dust, compost, etc.
- The substrate can be sterilized by different methods. We at Green Apron use steam to sterilize. We do not use chemicals to sterilize our substrate (unlike most growers in India who do).
- The spawn is allowed to run in the substrate in a clean, dark room. The spawn grows through the substrate.
- Once the spawn run is over, the bags are ready for fruiting. Fruiting is done in a separate room and humidity; temperature and light conditions are controlled. There is no use of chemicals, pesticides or any fertilizers during these steps.
- Once the fruits are ready, we harvest them and sell them directly to our consumers as of now.