Fiddleford Mushrooms

How does a mushroom grow?

The white button mushroom (Latin name: Agaricus Bisporus) is the fruit body of a fungus. In the same way that fungi grow on dead tree trunks, mushrooms use dead organic material for food. Mushrooms multiply by releasing spores. A single mushroom can produce billions of spores. When these spores germinate, they produce 'mycelium' which are thin, threadlike strands of mould. The mycelium colonises dead organic material which it uses as a food source and it then forms mushrooms, and so on . . .


We as mushroom growers use compost to cultivate mushrooms. It is a specially prepared blend of straw-rich horse manure, straw, broiler chicken manure and gypsum. All of the above are waste products, so the mushroom industry is a huge recycler of agricultural waste material. This blended compost must be treated to convert it into a nutrient medium suitable only for mushrooms. This process is referred to as composting. This is undertaken off site at specialist sites.

next > Making compost

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