The Secret to Successful Oyster Mushrooms Cultivation

The Secret to Successful Oyster Mushrooms Cultivation for Beginners

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Oyster mushrooms are one of the popular types of mushrooms. From deep-fried in a batter, to sauté with vegetables, there are a million possibilities to prepare oyster mushrooms. Not only is oyster mushroom easy to come by, but this particular type of mushroom is also chock full of health benefits. Let’s learn more about the health benefits of oyster mushrooms. 

Benefits of oyster mushrooms

Mushrooms, in general, are excellent for overall health because they are low in calories and fat with absolutely no cholesterol. This oyster shell-shaped mushroom has just 28 calories per one-cup serving, with 1g of fat, 2g of dietary fiber, and 3g of protein. The high amount of protein in oyster mushrooms makes it a perfect substitute for animal products as a source of protein. Oyster mushrooms also have a decent nutritional value due to the wide range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants contained in them. Here are a few other health benefits of oyster mushrooms:

  • Fulfill 12% of daily-recommended iron intake. For people with iron deficiency, consuming oyster mushrooms helps to fulfill their intake of iron per day. 
  • Contain vitamin D.  It is not easy to find many foods that contain vitamin D as it typically comes from sunlight. But, UV light-treated mushrooms are one of the best food sources of vitamin D. Vitamin D helps regulate blood pressure levels. Making it suitable for people looking to lower their high blood pressure. 
  • Contain 8% of each daily recommended amount of nutrients such as riboflavin, potassium, Vitamin B6, B vitamins, folic acid, magnesium, vitamin C, and amino acid
  • Help balance the immune system. The Beta-Glucans in oyster mushrooms make them the best food for protecting your immune system against short and long-term illnesses. 

The price of oyster mushrooms on the market

With their abundance of nutrients, oyster mushrooms are often used as a substitute for animal products for people with vegetarian diets or those that are just looking to reduce the consumption of red meat. Oyster mushrooms can range from Rp 15.000 – Rp 20.000 per kg on the market. Some organically grown ones can even go up to Rp 35.000 per kg. 

Oyster mushrooms, along with shiitake and white button mushrooms are some of the easier varieties of mushrooms to cultivate, even at home. They are super quick, relatively resistant to competitor organisms, and can grow in a range of substrate materials. 

Ready to learn the basics of cultivating your very own oyster mushroom? Let’s get right to it

How to cultivate oyster mushrooms at home for beginners

There are many methods to cultivate oyster mushrooms. The easiest way to begin is with a kit. The kit will include the growing media and seeds to start your mushroom farm. There are dozens of varieties of oyster mushrooms, from pin-sized to trumpet-sized. Make sure to check what kind of oyster mushroom seed that comes in the kit before buying. 

Another method is by starting from scratch and collecting your own oyster mushroom cultivation tools. As reported from Liputan 6, you will need a growing media called baglog. This baglog is usually either a small inoculated log or a holey plastic bag filled with sterilized, inoculated straw or sawdust. Another important thing you will need is the seed. As with cultivating any other living thing, make sure to choose a good quality seed. Typically from mushroom farmers that have been long successful in farming mushrooms. Now let’s get to the guide on growing oyster mushrooms at home

  1. Get your kumbung ready. A kumbung or mushroom fruiting chamber is a structure or room filled with shelves for placing the mushroom growing media or baglog. This room must have the ability to maintain temperature or humidity since mushrooms thrive in a damp and humid environment. It’s usually made of bamboo or wood, with wood boards as a wall and roof tiles. Avoid using heat-inducing materials such as asbestos or iron sheeting. The preserved heat from this material can disrupt mushroom growth. Inside the kumbung is equipped with shelves to put the baglog. The kumbung can be as big as you want but should not be less than 40 cm. Cramping the mushroom in a tiny place makes it hard to maintain and reduces air circulation. 
  2. Before putting the baglog in, make sure to properly clean the kumbung and shelves from dirt. After the kumbung is clean, do liming and spray them with fungicide. After letting it sit for 2 days, the smell should be gone, and you can place the baglog that is ready to be grown. 
  3. Arranging the baglog into the shelves can be done in the horizontal or vertical position depending on your preference. But that, prep the baglog by opening the ring and cover paper. Then leave it for about 5 days. If the kumbung floor is straight soil, wet the soil to increase humidity.
  4. Then, cut the end of the baglog to give it more space to grow. Leave it for 3 days and don’t water them. Just keep the soil underneath wet.
  5. Water the baglog with a sprayer. The watering should be in the form of mist, not droplets of water. The mistier it is, the better since mushrooms thrive in the humidity. You can water it 2-3 times a day, depending on the temperature and humidity of the kumbung. Make sure that the temperature of the kumbung is in the range of 16-24 Celsius. 

When the baglog surface is completely covered with mycelium, usually within 1-2 weeks from opening the baglog lid, the mushroom will grow and can be harvested. A baglog weighing about 1 kilogram will produce mushrooms around 0,7-0,8 kilograms and can be harvested around 5-8 times if it’s well cared for. The harvest is done on mushrooms that have bloomed and enlarged. Signs to look for are when the edges have tapered, but the hood has not been broken, and the color is still pure white. The harvest rotation of oyster mushrooms is also relatively quick, around 2-3 weeks. 

Written by: Safaanah