Author: Nyasha Mupaso

Mushrooms for the environment

We are glad to be launching our environmental project in an effort to green our business for the sake of the environment and engage in sustainable at agriculture, this is a first step in a series of environmental projects lined up for 2017, this is also in line with our mission. Recycle and Reuse First step is Recycling and Reuse of non returnable clear glass bottles that are dumped all over and cause damage to our environment, our city fathers struggle to dispose this waste as it is heavy to carry thus more fuel is used to transport such waste. Our Solution We are making a unique offer to oyster mushroom growers in Zimbabwe by offering them an opportunity to exchange such bottles for spawn (“mushroom seed”) We are also looking for partners on such a project so we make it a big thing, our goal is to ultimately reach out to street people who are already involved in plastic bottle recycling. This will help them increase income while cleaning our cities. Reducing/Reuse We aim to reduce our reliance on plastic packs which are also difficult to dispose. The bottles are reusable over and over unless they break. We will reduce our use of plastics and reduce cost and automatically our prices will fall, growers reduce cost of production and consumers will enjoy affordable mushrooms which are highly nutritious,...

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The best mushroom growing substrate

There are many questions that growers ask often, some of the questions are: which is the best substrate? Which is the best yielding substrate? Which substrate should I use? To give the best answer I would like to say the following, this is how I present substrate during my mushroom training. When I talk about substrate I am referring to any type if mushroom and this includes compost ingredients. What is substrate? I usually say substrate is any plant material and say “I have finished training on substrate”. Think of any mushroom substrate, it can all be tracked back to plant matter, your chicken manure starts as plant material that is digested in the chickens stomach. Let me list substrates as I do on my trainings: grass straw, wheat straw, cotton seed hulls, cotton motes,maize,paper, maize stover, cotton shirts , saw dust, tree leaves, banana leaves and so much more. Hobbyist can use anything, however for commercial production of mushroom the following are critical considerations to make (availability, cost and processing) ‚ÄćAvailability Availability in huge quantities as per farm capacity is what a grower must look at. First thing to do is consider what is near your farm and is free before considering buying from other places or buying Cost As a mushroom farmer your primary objective is profit, in short consider cost of substrate as it will affect...

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How to make mushroom farming successful?

This is my first article in the business series, this article will help anyone in business. When you start business there are many things to consider to make it successful. I will touch on a few things and hope to cover more in the future. Pricing Pricing is critical to business its either you price under cost, at cost or above cost. The bigger the margin above cost the better, a mushroom farmers pricing its trick in the sense that crops are spread apart on the same block so its important to know you biological efficiency before selling. Cost of production Most growers struggle to cost because as highlighted above crop is spread, three to four months depending on system, usually growers just look at the obvious cost: cost of producing the bag and packaging costs and ignore all costs in between. We can help you build an excellent costing model. Cashflow One way to kill any business  is poor cashflow. This can surely kill even a profitable business. A mushroom operation like any business requires regular cash inflow to survive. From spawning to first harvest takes 30days on average for oyster mushroom, if you sell on credit say 21days payment terms it means you need 51 days for you to get cash assuming client pays on time. For someone who sells on cash by day 51 they ate...

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Breaking: Spawn production training

I am excited to announce that we now offer training in mushroom spawn production. Our lab training is a new concept never implemented in Zimbabwe, most of the materials used will be recycled clear bottles used for making cultures and mother spawn. The mushroom entrepreneur is free to do any of the following after the spawn production course: a) Buy mother spawn to use to make their own final spawn. b) Buy mother cultures to make own sub cultures and mother spawn and ultimately final spawn c) Do all the stages at their premise. Mushtella will provide the training...

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Spawn training FAQ

Since we announced the spawn production course we have been getting a number of questions from different people and some players in the industry. this is a developing article will add more as we get more questions. 2. Can I afford the equipment? This is a common question asked by many due to literature available online that mostly has state of the art equipment. At Mushtella we are offering appropriate technology to solve that without changing the science. We have simplified most things and also brought home grown solutions rather than relying on importation. The good news is you...

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