Clay pots are a great eco-friendly medium for growing mushrooms at home. Dr S K Bairwa, an agricultural expert from the Agricultural Research Centre of Sriganganagar, Rajasthan, gives us a complete low-down on the process.
Have you ever considered growing mushrooms organically at home in pots?
While there may be multiple ways of growing them, one of the most unique among them is inside a hanging clay pot. Clay pots are used in a majority of Indian households and at times they have been discarded for damage. These abandoned pots can be utilised to produce mushrooms needed for a household or even on a commercial basis.
Dr S K Bairwa, an agricultural expert from the Agricultural Research Centre of Sriganganagar, Rajasthan, is the brain behind the development of this technique. He started experimenting in 2020 and the result turned out great.
Talking to The Better India, Dr Bairwa says that he thought of this idea as a method to grow the item without harming the environment. “People usually grow mushrooms in plastic containers. After that, the plastics are thrown out which is wasteful. Growing them in pots is an effective method during summer and an eco-friendly alternative.”
However, only oyster mushrooms can be grown using this technique.
“The same methods of producing them in plastic bags are followed. Only the medium changes,” adds Dr Bairwa.
Speaking about the method he says dried straw is the first and foremost requirement to grow mushrooms. Never opt for green ones. Cut them into 6-7 inches and soak them overnight. Later, boil them in hot water and then dry them in the sun. Make sure that the straw is completely out of moisture. Pay special attention while purchasing the seeds. Amazon or getting them from nearby Krishi Vigyan Kendra are good options.
- Keep the matka (clay pot) ready. Don’t worry if it’s a bit broken or has holes.
- With the help of a drilling machine make small holes all over the pot including the bottom.
- Fill the pot with dried straw.
- Meanwhile, add the mushroom seeds depending upon the size of the pot.
- With the help of a tape or cotton, close the holes.
- To retain the moisture inside, tie the neck of the pot with a cloth or sack.
- Keep them in a dark room for 12 to 15 days.
- Ensure that sunlight never gets in and do not open the lids while drinking water.
- You can spot the sprouting of the seeds after 15 days.
- After three weeks, open the cloth cover and you will see mushroom buds inside.
- Later, they will come out through the small holes. This is the time when you should hang the pots in the air.
- After a week, the mushrooms are ready for harvest.
Read this story in Hindi here.
Edited by Yoshita Rao