The budding business of mushroom
By: Jesse John Edep
How mushroom technology function in Rizal Technology University’s laboratory and underground passageways.
The mushroom business in the Philippines is apparently a burgeoning business with enormous commercial potential in as much as it targets a basic need: food. There is also a claim, on the contrary, that its present cultivation in this country is limited, perhaps due to the limited local knowledge about its culture.
But at the heart of the Manila metropolis in Boni avenue is a dynamic and bracing research center of Rizal Technological University that is tanning and developing mushrooms in underground passageways. These channels are valued historically where they were used by World War II soldiers to transport themselves inconspicuously to and from adjoining towns from their attack or defense or simply to escape from enemy troops.
Finding the tunnels apposite for other purposes has given them modern-day worth. The tunnels are regarded to impact positively and directly to the local mushroom industry.
Cultured inside the adobe-made tunnels are edible mushrooms species that grow in semi-temperate areas like Pleurotus sp. (oyster or abalone mushrooms) Auricularia sp. (ear fungi), agaricus bisporus (tropical white button mushrooms, and lentinus edodes (shiitake or brown or black Japanese mushrooms).
Morever, the culture of medicinal mushrooms is gaining its popularity abroad. That is why the research center is now starting to cultivate mushrooms which have therapeutic applications-like the Ganoderma lucidum- to parallel our innovation with those in foreign lands,” says Angelita Medalla, a university’s faculty researcher and mushroom specialist.
Mushrooms are fungi characterized by the presence of gills under the umbrella-shaped cap called pileus. Some have the presence rings; others have none. Some row in mass or in clusters; others develop in singels or in pairs. Others thrive well on cool weather, some in warm places.
Like plants, mushrooms have seeds responsible for propagating species. They produce spores like all fungi. These spores are very diminutive and microscopic that they disperse and disseminate through the air with the wind. When they happen to fall on a suitable agricultural waste, these spores germinate and develop into mycelium. IF the conditions are favorable, it continues to grow, ramify and develop into mushrooms.