GROW EXOTIC & GOURMET MUSHROOMS
Growing mushrooms is especially easy and the simplest of which is the oyster mushroom.
There is a flourishing demand for EXOTIC & GOURMET mushrooms in South Africa.
Any mushroom other than buttons are called ‘exotic’ and the reason they are ‘gourmet’ is because you can eat them and they taste fantastic.
More and more, our country is realising that there are other mushrooms besides button mushrooms. This is great and it means that we are coming to enjoy the variety of flavours, the splendid nutritional worth and the medicinal properties of these gourmet mushrooms have to offer.
So, how come you don’t sell button mushroom spawn you ask…well it’s because they are very difficult to grow, the technology is costly and there are already many well-established button mushroom growers supplying the market place. It would be almost impossible to compete.
For ‘beginner’ growers, we recommend a bit of basic research – a DVD set by Marc Keith called “Let’s grow mushrooms”, and the book “Growing gourmet and medicinal mushrooms” by Paul Stamets, are both a good start. Or even easier, we have put together a MUSHROOM GROW KIT called The Rookie ‘roomer. It has all you need and includes invaluable detailed and illustrated STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS. All you need to add is approx 10kgs straw, dried grass or sawdust (not pine), and off you go. A cheap way of discovering how easy mushroom growing can be!
Our approach has always been to start by seeing what space, equipment and substrate you have easily available to you. It needn’t cost a fortune, especially if you plan on supplying your local farmers market or restaurants or even your own family.
From making our own spawn and ‘grow’ logs, fruiting, attending 5am farmers markets and supplying local distributors – we have discovered that you don’t need a large labour force or vast sums of money. There is great satisfaction and excitement in growing your own mushrooms, even if it’s for your own pot. You do need a passion for growing fungi, an open mind, some ‘out the box’ thinking and a good relationship with your customers.
Having said that, if however you are wanting to go big – there there will need to be a fair amount of capital investment.
Examples of exotic gourmet mushrooms include oyster mushrooms, king oysters, shiitake and shimeji…