The hands that grew a brew are now raising fungus for survival in northern West Bengal. Sabitri Toppo and Mausumi Minj are among 700 plantation workers who lost their jobs when the Madhu Tea Estate in West Bengal’s Alipurduar district.
The tea estate is one of 26 in the district’s Kalchini block, many of them in a bad shape due to low yield, quality and labour issues.
“We formed a cluster of women from 50 families, some of them from the closed tea estate, and trained them in organic mushroom farming more than a fortnight ago. We also provided them a permanent mushroom-growing shed and home-delivered spawn,” Binoy Dhar, a farm specialist with the Assam-based Mushroom Development Foundation (MDF) told The Hindu from the Kalchini area.
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From the production of healthy food to attention to animal and plant health, from managing a beautiful and diverse landscape to contributing to a healthy economy: Limburg's farmers and horticulturists literally keep the province healthy. Today a conversation with entrepreneur Gerard Sikes from Ysselsteyn, who is well on his way to climate-neutral mushroom production.
Sikes (49) grew up on an arable farm, his wife Karin (49) on a mushroom farm. In 1988 they started cultivating mushrooms together.
'A nursery was for sale, but we could also have bought a sandwich shop or opened a bicycle shop,' says Sikes. 'What matters to us is doing business together.'
Every morning, around eight o'clock, the couple sits together at the table to discuss all current matters and the day ahead. 'A healthy relationship is the basis for our company. My wife gives feedback, is my complaint and teacher.'
Source: Nieuw Oogst (article is in Dutch)
On November 14th, Texans gained access to a new realm of the mushroom kingdom with the arrival of Smallhold’s specialty mushrooms on Central Market store shelves and the opening of their first Texas urban farm.
Breaking up a wall of brown button and portobello mushrooms with bursts of color and flavor, Smallhold’s locally grown, organic mushrooms introduce a world of previously unavailable flavors and textures to the produce aisle. For the first time, Texans will have the chance to pick up rich and nutty lion’s mane, deep cerulean oyster mushrooms and meaty royal trumpets – all grown down the road, rather than on the other side of the globe.
Please the article in full here
Source: Hortidaily | PR Team Smallhold.
A good climate control is of course vital for every mushroom grower even more if you want to stand out with the quality of the mushrooms. One of the most asked question I get as consultant is: How can we get better quality and how can we keep the quality of the mushrooms good until the end of the flush? Now, of course the quality at the end of the flushes will always be less than at the start, no illusions there. But improvements are always possible and most of that you can get from an ideal climate.
Before we had more advanced climate installations with more options, we always controlled the rooms on Air temperature, Relative humidity and CO2. However, with the new systems coming on the market there is a lot more to learn than we think and controlling rooms, especially in harvest stage, on moisture deficit, inlet moisture control and even measuring systems for evaporation are used.
To understand the difference between all the systems you need to know exactly what the Mollier Diagram stands for and if you manage to run the system well you will see advantages, especially in quality of the mushrooms. The Mollier Diagram is crucial in mushroom growing and climate computers make the changes in the room based on that Diagram with the Absolute humidity (AH) as the biggest factor. Let’s me explain a little bit more about of those controls, the moisture deficit.
As we are changing air temperatures in the flushes you will see in the Mollier Diagram that that will create differences in evaporation as we change the temperature but leave the RH the same, with other words, we change the AH. By controlling on moisture deficit we will maintain a constant evaporation, what will benefit the quality of the mushrooms, no matter what the temperature differences are. The computer will calculate the right RH for the current air temperature, to keep the same evaporation in the growing room.
Moisture deficit is the difference between the current absolute humidity in the room and the maximum possible absolute humidity at the same air temperature. Once this value is constant the evaporation capacity of the air is also constant.
To use this in a practical situation of course first of all you need a climate control computer that supports the moisture deficit system and change it from RH to moisture deficit control, in the computer that will be named as Absolut humidity control. Ideally this is linked with humidity control of the inlet air to get the best benefit. The mushrooms will have a constant evaporation and that will benefit the quality as changes in evaporation will disturb their growth. The mushrooms will get less water stems and go softer in a later stage what would give an extra picking days benefiting the yield as well as quality.
I recommend to change the computer 1 day before you start harvesting the flush from RH control to moisture deficit control. When you changed the control, set the AH in the computer so that the RH is at the same level as you normally run it in the flush. So if you normally run the flush on 17.5 degrees and 89% RH, keep the air temperature the same and set the AH so that he calculates the 89% RH as set point. Keep 0.2 difference between minimum and maximum AH. From that moment forward you let the computer calculate the right RH and change the air temperatures as you normally do, until the end of the flush. After the flush put the system back to RH control.
The only way to find out is try other controls to improve quality. Many option are out there and based on results on other farms worth trying. If you start and are seeing any improvement? Learn more and keep doing trials, good luck.
Erik de Groot
Mario (Chuff) D. Basciani, a mushroom industry pioneer whose work ethic, tenacity and passion for mushrooms made him a role model to farmers throughout the country, died Sunday, Sept. 13, surrounded by his loving family. He was 91.
Mr. Basciani was a second-generation mushroom farmer, founder of Basciani Foods Inc., and patriarch of the Basciani family. He is survived by his wife of over 70 years, Anna, his five children, 18 grandchildren, and 40 great-grandchildren.
Mr. Basciani was born Jan. 20, 1929 in Toughkenamon, PA, to Italian immigrants Emedio and Anna Basciani. His father started harvesting mushrooms for the Pratt family in 1915, until he established his own farm in 1925. Mr. Basciani began working on the family farm at a young age and fell in love with all aspects of the business, especially the challenging physical work that comes with cultivating mushrooms.
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Source: The Produce News