22 years ago, on 10th September, Solan got its name as "The Mushroom City of India". On this historic day, the Directorate of Mushroom Research, Solan organized a National Mushroom Fair. More than 1 thousand mushroom farmers, growers, scientists and researchers from 24 states of the country participated in this fair. The objective of this fair was to showcase the improved technologies in mushroom production, disease protection and post harvest technology of cultivable mushroom varieties. Along with the fair, a "Kisan Gosthi" (farmer-scientist interaction) was organized with an objective to provide opportunity to all the farmers and stakeholders to interact with the scientists.
Moreover, an electronic portal was launched that will provide mushroom related information around the world.
Himpicked has been working on "Grow Your Own Mushrooms (GYOM)" project for a few months. Our mission is to help people grow mushrooms organically on the common household waste like vegetable peels, sawdust, leaves, corn cob, fruit seeds, egg shells etc. Thus, the people do not have to buy anything fancy for growing mushrooms at home. We are grateful to the team of Himachal Punjab Kesari, Solan-Sirmaur Kesari & Amar Ujala for covering and sharing the whole process.
We are also trying to create a circular economy for mushroom cultivation. So, there is no waste generated in the whole cycle, from beginning to end.
In general, mushrooms are grown in single use plastic bags. These bags are discarded after harvesting all the mushrooms. Instead of discarding these single use plastic bags, they can be packed tightly into a plastic bottle, that can be used a a brick in construction purposes. This brick is known as ecobrick.
The left over substrate after growing mushrooms can used in garden compost pile or as a cattle feed.
Hundreds of farmers, students and local people showed their interest to engage in this cultivation method, which is 100% organic. This has turned out to be a potential breakthrough in the months to follow.