|Mushroom Cultivation in Thailand (Peace Corps, 1987, 85 p.)|
|3. Mushroom spawn propagation|
After allowing the bags to cool to ambient temperature, the growing medium is ready for the sorghum grain with mycelium to be added. This step should be done under sanitary conditions in the same way as that done for cultivation of angel, oyster and abalone mushroom spawn as described in the section entitled Inoculation of Angel, Oyster and Abalone Mushroom Growth Medium, p. 20. After placing the 10-20 grains of sorghum with mycelium in the bags, fold the tops of the plastic bags over one or two times, seal with two or three staples, and allow them to incubate in a dark place at ambient temperature for 7-9 days, by which time the white threads of the mycelium should be seen spreading throughout the bag. The resulting mixture in the bag --straw mushroom spawn--is then planted or sold to growers for cultivation. (For more information concerning the cultivation of straw mushrooms, refer to the section entitled Straw Mushroom Cultivation in Beds, p. 25.)
The propagation of mushroom spawn from a mushroom is easily done on a small scale. The necessary materials are often readily available and the techniques used are not difficult to master. However, it is difficult for most growers to propagate large amounts of good, healthy mushroom spawn without a large investment of time and money. It is often best for farmers to purchase the sorghum grain with mycelium (available at most mushroom spawn outlets) and propagate their own spawn from this source, or simply purchase their spawn from large commercial producers who sell spawn very inexpensively and are able to guarantee the quality of the mushroom spawn. Nonetheless. spawn propagation techniques should be taught to all growers in order that they may better understand the complete life cycle of the mushrooms they are producing. A better understanding of their crop may lead to higher yields.
Once a grower has cultivated or purchased his spawn, he is ready to cultivate mushrooms. As previously mentioned, different varieties are cultivated in different ways, using various growing media. The mushroom varieties commercially grown in Thailand are cultivated in three main ways: in beds, in plastic bags and in wooden logs.