Grow mushrooms it is possible but it must be said immediately that the most appreciated species from a gastronomic point of view, porcini and ovuli to be clear, are not (yet) obtainable under cultivation. Steps forward have been made with the black truffle, which is a hypogeum mushroom (that is, it develops underground) which, however, we do not talk about because it deserves a separate discussion.
To not be able to be cultivated are the 'mycorrhizal' fungi, i.e. those that in order to develop need to enter into symbiosis with a plant (symbiotic plant) from whose roots they absorb the sugars they need, giving in exchange nitrogenous substances and mineral salts useful to the tree. In the category of 'symbiotic mycorrhizal' fungi there are in fact the porcini and practically all the tastiest edibles.
Grow mushrooms with success it is possible with species saprophytes, that is, those that feed using dead organic matter. The champignon belongs to this group Agaricus bisporus, known by the name of champignon and grown industrially to be eaten fresh or for the canning industry. It is not the tastiest of mushrooms, but it is highly appreciated in the kitchen.
There cultivation of champignons dates back to the seventeenth century and developed in and around Paris, hence the French name, over time becoming a real industry. Today the champignons are the result of a perfected technological process even if the stages of the cultivation process have remained the same as in the past.
The starting point for cultivate champignons mushrooms it is horse manure, which forms the basis of the growing medium with a percentage of straw and other animal manure. The first step is fermentation, first outdoors and then indoors, during which the soil is enriched with sugary nitrogenous substances and vitamins and becomes a compound.
Once the fermentation is complete (times vary depending on the composition of the substrate) we proceed with sowing using cereal seeds covered with mold champignon Agaricus bisporus. Two varieties of this mushroom are usually used, one white and one brown. The white variety is more suitable for preserves while the second, with a hazelnut cap, is better to eat fresh.
The seeds mixed with the mixture are left in humid rooms at a temperature of 24-25 ° C for a couple of weeks. Once this is done, the compound now completely invaded by the mycelium is placed in overlapping crates and covered for a few centimeters by a mixture of peat sterilized with a solution of formalin. At this point the temperature is lowered to 8-10 ° C.
The first cultivated mushrooms they are seen after about 10 days, they can be collected and every week they reform giving rise to the so-called sprints. There are 5 or 6 productive sprints, after which the crop is renewed, starting the process from the beginning. In addition to champignon Agaricus bisporus others are highly cultivated saprophytic fungi as the Plaorotus ostreatus (called owl) and the Volvariella volvacea (straw mushroom).
If you are interested in mushrooms also read our articleEdible Mushrooms