Mushtella changes spawn ordering system

We continue to research and develop on our spawn so as to continuous improve quality and meet high demand from our clients. In pursuit of that dream Mushtella is making a few adjustments to how we work with out our clients. The following adjustments are with immediate effect. Clients are now required to inform us of their orders 30days in advance, 15 days before the collection date a deposit if 30% will be due and the balance will be paid on collection. We have now reverted to hulls spawn due to a number of considerations. We will no longer sell grain spawn. The price of spawn is now $3.50 per kilogram. We will no longer sell quantities less than 50kilogram per each order. Any inconvenience caused is sincerely regretted, the adjustments are meant to improve spawn quality and efficiency on our side. New types (shiitake, auricularia judae,ganoderma lucidum,hericium erinaceus and paddy straw as well as new pleurotus strains) are now ready for sale.

 Cotton farming in Zimbabwe and its link to mushroom farming

It always hurts me when farmers do not deliver cotton to the ginneries over low prices. On one hand you have a farmer who needs to make profit and on the other ginneries and other cotton industry players want to profiteer. The arguments drag on and on and its now a norm that the government has to intervene. Out of cotton comes lint and seed. From seed we get cooking oil, seed cake and hulls. what the mushroom industry requires most is cotton seed hulls, though we need cotton and cake for our spawn laboratories and supplementation respectively. Cotton seed hulls are good as substrate for use in growing specialty mushrooms or for compost making for mainly button mushrooms. It is this fact that hurts me when cotton wars start. Many growers are abandoning cotton growing but I know the cotton will continue to flow and as mushroom farmers we will smile. The ministry of agriculture has to craft good policies to keep “the white gold industry. The agriculture industry in Zimbabwe is facing many challenges most of which started because of a poorly planned agrarian reforms, it is my hope that our government will deal with this for the success of our economy.

 Mechanisation a key element to commercial mushroom production

This tractor has many functions at this mushroom farm in South Korea. This is an oyster mushroom farm that uses composted cotton waste. Besides front loading capabilities, it can be used to ruffle substrate for proper wetting via an attachment at the back. Where labour costs are high, hiring labour can be a challenge. Growers in Zimbabwe have access to cheap labour. But mechanisation is key in one way or the other. Happy mushroom growing, what do you think.

 Mushroom growers need many skills on the farm

Here I was on top of a mushroom growing room helping install a ventilation fan. Since I got into mushrooms I have realised I need many skills more than just growing mushrooms. Even with a state of the art equipment some adjustments and additions will be necessary: thats when your skills as an electrician,engineer,plumber, the list goes on and on. I am in the process of developing a number of equipment for the mushroom industry in Zimbabwe. The challenge I have is when I ask the experts to make something, its either they can’t or they are not interested or they want to make a very expensive machine when what I want is a simple one. So I have decided to do it myself. Look closely at the shape of the mushroom growing house, I will talk about the shape of mushroom houses and the effect it has on managing the growing environment. What do you think?

Mushroom Growers Handbook 1 – Oyster –  Chapter 1 Review

Am now looking at chapter 1 of the Mushroom Grower’s handbook 1 by Mushworld. My review is aimed at helping growers and those who would like to grow mushrooms the review is not in the strict sense of a book review. Chapter 1 is short and basic and introduces the reader to what really mushroom are. It’s not very scientific, written in simple English but the writer introduces you to the science of mushrooms. The glossary at the end is very helpful. Some commercial mushroom growers fail to take the science seriously. I was talking to a prospective grower on the need to be scientific in this business. For those growing as a hobby and for subsistence some of these issues are irrelevant as long as the mushrooms “come out”. For a commercial grower these things are important. What I like about this chapter in the writer introduces different types of spawn, I have had problems with growers. Most growers in Zimbabwe are familiar with grain spawn only. Growers need to know that there are other types of Spawn (sawdust, liquid, hulls in fact the list is endless) at Mushtella we make sawdust spawn and hulls spawn we find these to be cheap but we have noted that growers prefer the expensive spawn as most tend to think that the more expensive the better. I encourage mushroom growers in Zimbabwe to have their own copy of this handbook some of the ideas are not really commercial but are worth looking at and then a creative grower can then adjust them to be successful ideas. I will upload the whole manual including the shiitake mushroom handbook as there is rising interest in shiitake in Zimbabwe. “Happy fungi farming”. Mushtella is here to help you. You can read chapter 1 of the handbook by following the link: chapter01-01_p.1

Book Review: Oyster Mushroom Cultivation (Handbook 1) by Mushworld

I have pleasure to start the review of the Oyster Mushroom cultivation handbook as i have promised in the past. For those who haven’t seen the handbook,  its a handbook that was done by the now defunct Mushworld which was based in South Korea. Their mission was poverty alleviation through mushroom growing so they had a website which was more like a social networking forum but it was for mushroom growers only. It had all the information one would require to grow mushrooms. For those who had no access to the internet Mushworld set out to publish handbooks for distribution through out the world. The handbooks were in two versions one printed and the other on CD. I will start reviewing the oyster Handbook and then move to the shiitake one. I will manly try to give tips to growers and make the chapters make more sense according to my experience. I have attached the preface to start with.

 Mushroom training opportunities in Zimbabwe

The two leading Mushroom businesses in Zimbabwe have came together to form Kurima Agro Consultancy a vehicle aimed at general training in the agriculture sector in Zimbabwe but with particular interest in mushrooms. Mushtella and Rockshield held a combined training on 2 August 2012 under the new venture