|Bioconversion of Organic Residues for Rural Communities (UNU, 1979)|
|Mushroom production technology for rural development|
Harvesting of Mushrooms
The first crop of mushrooms can usually be harvested ten days after planting. This first growth normally supplies enough of a crop to require three successive days of harvesting, and 65 - 75 per cent of the expected yield is obtained. During the ensuing rest period of three to five days watering of boxes may be resumed; proper conditions in the growing room must be carefully maintained.
The second crop also takes two to three days to harvest, but the yield will be much less, supplying 25 to 35 per cent balance of the total 1 kg per box produced over a period of 18 to 22 days.
It should be noted that box-cultivated mushrooms are less likely to grow in clusters than are spawn planted in beds.
Because of the semi-controlled conditions in the growing houses, pests and diseases are more easily controlled. Boxes showing contamination can be removed right after the incubation period to prevent spreading of contamination in the growing house
A target production of 1 kg per box per growing cycle can be attained with a high degree of certainty through better management of the mushroom farm. Some boxes have produced only about 350 9 per cycle, but a production of more than 2,000 9 through the end of the second-stage harvest is possible under optimum conditions.
The Nutritional Value of Volvariella Mushrooms
Fresh local mushrooms, according to The Food and Nutrition Research Centre, are good sources of phosphorus, and when dried to a moisture content of 15 per cent, the percentage content of this nutrient is doubled. There are only trace amounts of iron and calcium in the fresh mushroom, and the low levels of thiamine and vitamin C contained in the fresh form are lost when the mushrooms are dried. Dried tropical mushrooms are an excellent source of riboflavin and niacin. The protein content of 100 9 of dried mushrooms (16 to 25 per cent of the dry matter) is comparable to that in some protein-rich legumes (Table 1).
TABLE 1. Composition of Tropical Mushrooms
|Nutrient per 100 g
|Food energy (calories)||39.0||274.0|
|Total carbohydrate (g)||6.9||64.6|
|Ascorbic acid (mg)||5.0||-|
Source: "Food Composition Table Recommended for Use in the Philippines," FNRC Handbook 1, 3rd rev. (1964), Item Nos. 148 and 149, p. 18.
* Analyses of dried mushrooms were done on different samples.