Today I would like to talk more specifically about how we cultivate our mushrooms here at CAT. Currently, we are testing out 2 different methods so as to compare the results. One method uses straw or cardboard while the other method uses sawdust. In both cases, the straw/cardboard or sawdust must be pasteurised in order to clear them from micro-organisms so that the mushrooms can proliferate easily. This is done by putting them in boiling water for about 2 hours.
In the first method, the straw/cardboard is put in layers in a box with a small mycelium culture (i.e. spore culture), closed in a plastic bag and left in a hot room for about 2 weeks until it is completely colonised by mycelium. The straw is then put into a fruiting room, which is much colder. The cold shock that the mycelia undergo at this stage, make them start fruiting, i.e. growing into mushrooms. This process should take about 2 weeks as well.
The second method uses sawdust, is easier but takes longer. In this case, the mycelium culture is put into the sawdust and in an incubator until the mycelium culture colonises the whole container. The saw dust is then taken out and packed into pre-drilled holes in logs that have been kept on the ground for 2 years (this is to replicate the natural decomposition process). The logs are then left for about 6 month and should, hopefully, grow oyster mushrooms.