Growing mushrooms in Zimbabwe

I was asked to contribute to the POVO Journal 2012 where i wrote about Mushroom cultivation in Zimbabwe Mushrooms are a delicacy, over that there are many benefits: mushrooms are such a nutritious food that is low in calories, virtually fat free, cholesterol free, have very low levels of sugar and salt; they provide a valuable source of dietary fiber, as well as several vitamins and minerals, high protein content higher than most vegetables and they also contain various medicinal properties. Mushtella is working hard to educate the nation on nutrition and medicinal benefits of mushrooms. We are also playing a role in the provision of spawn (“seed”) a critical input to mushroom production, many can grow mushrooms but spawn production is an advanced science, we also sell kits and other inputs to growers. Continue reading the full article on the POVO website.

 Caught between a rock and a hard surface

What colour of mushrooms should you grow in Zimbabwe. I have seen white and brown button mushrooms, when you look at oyster it comes in various shades like a rainbow. Grey, white, pink, blue, golden: for the grey it’s in many shades just as the rest. Add the light effect and each strain can take different colours and/or shades. What colour of oyster mushroom do you grow have has become a big issue in Zimbabwe, for what? As simple as it is it has become complex. Up to to this day I have been referring this as ” the grey white wars” not anymore because, we now have a number of strains with varying colours. So am now calling it ” white versus others” Many growers are now between a rock and hard surface (on one end are high yielding strains (of various Colours) on the other end you have a buyer saying they want white oyster. Is the war justified, I say no. It does not have a basis. It thrives because of lack of knowledge. Who do you blame. I blame the grower who is failing to educate the market. Who will help me educate the market.

 Launching a hot weather strain: Pleurotus Sajor caju

As the mushroom industry keeps growing, we also keep growing with it. We keep adding new strains (“varieties” so that growers have a number of options.I posted about the challenges faced by choosing which strain to grow here. We are proud to launch a hot weather strain. Most strains are sensitive to hot weather hence the prevailing shortages on the market.

The Species is known by several names: Pleurotus pulmonarius = The Indian Oyster = The Phoenix Mushroom = “Plerotus sajor-caju”
It can be grown in wide temperature range:

Colonization: 24c
– 29c

Fruiting: 18c – 27c

This is the best oyster mushroom for Zimbabwe

 Mushroom growing training, celebrating 10 years of “mushrooming”

There are a number of mushroom growing trainers, but Mushtella is in it’s own class. Get trained to grow mushrooms and get our special growers starter pack. The pack includes a handbook, 10kgs spawn (worth $30) and one visit to your farm before you stay production, this will enable us to see your mushroom farm so that we give you the requisite advice. If you become our spawn client you get one visit per month. You basically get support and failure is virtually impossible. Offer for 10kgs is valid from now to 20 November 2013. Or training costs $60, call or Whatsapp 0773842677,

 World food day: mushroom farmer’s perspective

“Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition”  is the theme for the World food day which we are commemorating on the 16th of October 2013.
I just took time to think about how mushroom growers are playing a role in ending hunger in Zimbabwe. I also had time to think how we can help the nation to fight hunger in our own small ways. Here are some of the things that I thought about.
1. Mushrooms are grown all year round, thus we can feed the nation of Zimbabwe all year round, most food is grown in summer. besides helping in the fight against hunger we also fight malnutrition as mushrooms are highly nutritious.

2. Mushroom growing does not require arable land, yes mushrooms are not grown in the soil like other crops, so for one to grow mushroom one needs a small piece of land, even if it’s not arable.

3. Mushroom cultivation does not require large pieces of land, tonnes of mushrooms can be grown on a small area, it’s high time the government of Zimbabwe considers biotechnology to feed the nation.
Let me end it here, but will continue doing mute posts on world food day. What do you think of what I have said?