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Introduction to mushroom cultivation


Mushrooms can be found in forests around the world. Given the proper environment, mushrooms will grow and can offer a good source of natural vitamins and minerals. Mushrooms can also bring illness and even death to people who are unaware of certain types of wild mushrooms. Cultivated mushrooms are therefore the preferred and most reliable source of supply. Mushrooms are commonly used for various dishes in different shapes and forms. The most commonly and easily cultivated mushrooms in Thailand and in South East Asian countries are oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus Ostreatus), ear mushrooms (Auricularia polytricha), and straw mushrooms (Volvariella volvacea). Other types of mushrooms such as Lentinula sp., Lentinus sp., Ganoderma sp., Macrocybe sp., Agrocybe sp. types can also be cultivated successfully but will require more attention and knowledge. It is therefore recommended that a new comer in mushroom cultivation start with easy to grow and commercially viable mushrooms.

This guide is an introduction to mushroom cultivation and will give basic knowledge and techniques required in mushroom cultivation. All tasks illustrated have been performed by disabled trainees with the exception of straw mushrooms, which is performed by trainers for demonstration purposes. Disabled trainees are fully capable of accomplishing ALL tasks required in mushroom production. All facilities have been adapted to cater for people with disabilities and some manipulations were modified to be more suited to people with specific disabilities.

Introduction to mushroom cultivation

Mushroom cultivation can be summarized with the following major steps:

Step 1. About mushrooms
Step 2. Producing PDA medium
Step 3. Selecting tissue culture
Step 4. Multiplying spawn on sorghum seeds
Step 5. Producing substrate bags
Step 6. Pasteurizing bags
Step 7. Inoculating bags with sorghum seeds
Step 8. Incubating bags
Step 9. Opening bags
Step 10. Maintaining and monitoring
Step 11. Harvesting
Step 12. Cultivating straw mushrooms
Step 13. Packaging
Step 14. Marketing
Step 15. Processing
Step 16. Waste management and recycling
Step 17. Troubleshooting
Step 18. Preparing the mushroom house
Step 19. Starting the business
Step 20. Keeping records

Step 1. About mushrooms

There are three different groups of mushrooms. Selecting the right type of mushrooms to be cultivated must be based on climatic conditions and market demand. Mushrooms offer a wide range of proteins, vitamins and minerals necessary for the body and are becoming more popular and in demand.

Step 2. Producing PDA medium

How to well prepare spawn production is necessary for proper spawn multiplication. This part can be extended in further projects, in the case where a disabled person wishes to expand his knowledge and start spawn production. Only those trainees that are especially interested in this part will have specific activities and hands on training. In general, this part will be only theoretical.

Step 3. Selecting tissue culture

A young, fresh and very healthy mushroom is used to prepare a tissue culture. This procedure is very delicate and requires extensive understanding and an extremely clean environment. It may not be suitable for beginners in mushroom cultivation.

Step 4. Multiplying spawn on sorghum seeds

This is also a highly specialized part of mushroom production and will attract only a few trainees due to its complexity. Therefore, only basic theory will be given, mostly in the classroom. Trainees should, however, know how to select and buy good quality spawn from various suppliers. They should also know all steps involved in mushroom cultivation to allow future expansion of their mushroom farm.

Step 5. Producing substrate bags

Extensive practice will be required by trainees to make sure that they can produce spawn bags by themselves or be able to verify the quality of bags of spawn bag producers. This is hands-on training and will be, with the subsequent steps, the focus of training.

Step 6. Pasteurizing bags

Pasteurization is necessary to completely sterilize substrate bags. If bags are not properly pasteurized due to insufficient residence time in the pasteurization chamber or because temperature is insufficient, bags will be contaminated resulting in poor growth of mushrooms or complete spoilage of bags.

Step 7. Inoculating bags with sorghum seeds

Inoculation must be done with extreme caution. It is an extremely delicate step that will ensure higher yield with disease free substrate bags. Work must be done near a flame from an alcohol lamp during inoculation.

Step 8. Incubating bags

During incubation, moisture, light, temperature and ventilation must be monitored constantly. Incubation time will differ according to the type of mushroom and climatic conditions.

Step 9. Opening bags

Following incubation, mushroom bags must be opened according to the type of mushrooms.

Step 10. Maintaining and monitoring

Maintenance of the mushroom house is crucial for higher yields. When kept clean, there are less insects and pest, less diseases. Bags must be checked individually and kept clean.

Step 11. Harvesting

Harvesting should be done at least twice a day to ensure that mushrooms are selected young and healthy. When harvested at the right time, not too big, mushrooms can keep for a longer time and their taste is sweeter and more delicious. Depending on the type of mushroom, one substrate bag can produce a total of 250 to 500 grams of mushrooms.

Step 12. Cultivating straw mushrooms

Straw mushrooms are very popular in South East Asia and are cultivated using a straw bed. Because of their popularity and market demand, it is interesting to learn how to cultivate this type of mushroom.

Step 13. Packaging

When selling on the fresh food market or from the farm directly very little packaging is required. Most people use plastic or paper bags.

Step 14. Marketing

Marketing remains the key to a successful enterprise. Care must be taken to always review the competition and to offer clients reliability of supply and quality of mushrooms.

Step 15. Processing

Processing of mushrooms is limited only by a person’s imagination. There are already numerous methods and recipes, which can offer value, added products. Nevertheless, in rural areas, the market may be small because of financial limitations.

Step 16. Waste management and recycling

Waste must be handled properly in each step of the mushroom cultivation process. Recycling and utilization of waste is not only a good way of preserving our environment but also of saving money.

Step 17. Troubleshooting

It is necessary to know the most common problems found in mushroom production, their symptoms and their remedies. Although this section will never replace the advice of an expert, it should help solve basic problems and help identify problems before they occur.

Step 18. Preparing the mushroom house

Mushroom houses can be built for as little as 500 Baht (US$ 12) made of readily available yet appropriate materials such as rice straw, grass, dried leaves, used rice bags and tree branches.

Step 19. Starting the business

As an entrepreneur in mushroom production, it is necessary to have basic knowledge in management and bookkeeping. This will allow tracking of profit and losses.

Step 20. Keeping records

Keeping records is very important since it allows monitoring of all expenses incurred in mushroom production. It also allows to verify how much profit is generated in the business and identify how certain costs can be reduced in order to generate more profit.


Nature of mushrooms
Uses for mushrooms
Nutritional values in mushrooms
Health properties of mushrooms
Cultivated mushrooms Vs wild mushrooms
Selecting the right type of mushrooms for cultivation

Nature of mushrooms

Mushrooms or fungi do not contain chlorophyll; they must feed on plants or animal matter. Some mushrooms feed only on dead matter while others feed on living plants or animals, which they sometimes harm or benefit. Mushrooms need a controlled environment with appropriate humidity, light, temperature, ventilation, air pressure, pH and nutrients. They also need a disease free environment.

There are three different groups of mushrooms or fungi:

1. Saprophytes

Those Fungi or Mushrooms that feed on dead plants or animals. Pleurotus Ostreatus or Hed Nangrom is an example of this group. Saprophytes are useful as they help breakdown dead matter.

2. Parasites

Those Fungi or Mushrooms that feed on living plants or animals. Many parasites damage and sometimes kill plants or animals they live on.

3. Symbiotic fungi

Symbiotic fungi grow on living plants, but do not damage them. The fungus and plant help each other. Fly Agaric grows symbiotically with birch or pine trees and its mycelium grows around the tree roots. The tree provides the fungus needed sugar and the fungus gives the tree nutrients it has broken down from dead leaves. This process allows birch trees to survive in poor soil.

Mycelium living buried in soil or substrate, and mushroom (or fruit body) which appears above ground or substrate, are made-up of tiny thread-like tubes called “hyphae.” Mycelium is made of loosely arranged hyphae while mushroom is made of tightly packed hyphae. Hyphae develop from spores that are produced in the gills of a mushroom. Thousands of tiny pollen-like spores are produced in the gills of a mushroom. When the spores are ripe, they are carried away by the wind. The parent mushroom quickly decays. If a spore lands on a suitable surface, it germinates to produce a thread-like hyphae. There are two types of spore, positive (+) and negative (-). A mushroom will only form if hyphae from + and - spores join to form a new hyphae containing both types. If conditions are right (enough food and moisture) this new hyphae grows and forms a tangled mass of threads. Eventually the mass of threads formed a “button” which begins to grow out of the soil or substrate thus creating a mushroom.

Uses for mushrooms

Mushrooms can be used as food (fresh, snacks, sweets...) as medicine and for industrial purposes (coloring, adsorbents...).

Nutritional values in mushrooms

Mushrooms provide high protein and essential amino acids. Low in fat and high in fiber, they also provide vitamins thus stimulating the immune system. Eating two to three types of mushroom per day can provide the proper amount of essential amino acid required by the body. It also supplies high levels of protein and vitamins. Normally, one adult can consume about 200-800 gram per day. For elderly people and children, 200 and 500 grams are sufficient.

Table 1. Nutritional values of mushrooms (a few examples)














Vit. B1.

Vit. B2.

Vit. C

Oyster mushrooms














Hed lom














Ear mushrooms














Straw mushrooms














Source: Dr. Sunan Pongsamart & staff. Biochemistry, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Chulalongkorn University of Thailand.

Health properties of mushrooms

Studies show that certain types of mushrooms have a direct impact on body activities.

Hed Khon

Termitomite sp.

Good for brain and memory

Hed Fang

Volvariella volvaceae

Heal wounds

Hed Muerk

Coprinus sp.

Help the digest and decrease phlegm

Hed Hu-noo

Auricularia sp.

Clean lungs

Hed Kradum

Agaricus sp.

Increase mother’s milk

Hed Hua-ling

Hericium erinacius

Heal wounds in intestine

Hed Nangrom

Pleurotus sp.

Decrease muscle malpighia

Hed Hom

Lentinula edodes

Good for baby’s cartilage

Hed Khemthong

Flammulina velutipes

Good for liver

Hed Yanagi

Agrocybe cylindraceae

Good for kidney and urine

Hed Kraeng

Schizophyllum commune

Decrease leucorrhea

Hed Ranghae(Skirt mushroom)

Dictiophora sp.

Cure dysentery and decrease rotting

Hed Hu-noo Khao

Trimella fuciformis

Good for sperm, semen and Kidney

Hed Bod

Lentinus sp.

Control the whole body system

Source: Arunyik Mushroom Center.

Cultivated mushrooms Vs wild mushrooms

Before eating any mushroom, make sure you have properly identified the specie. Every year, hundreds of people become ill and some even die because they collect wild mushrooms and wrongly identify them.

Eating cultivated mushrooms remains the safest way for selecting edible mushrooms.

Selecting the right type of mushrooms for cultivation

Most of the cultivated mushrooms are from the saprophyte group; there are about 5,000 known species but very few that can be cultivated economically. Select the most suitable type of mushrooms according to your environment and to market demand. The following gives an overview of the most commonly produced mushrooms. Those marked off line are the types of mushrooms introduced in this manual and successfully tested in Thailand.

Table I. Various species cultivate in substrate bags

Scientific name (color)

Thai common name

Temperature interval °C*

Cultivation season in Thailand*

Pleurotus Butan** (Cream)

Hed Phu-than


Rainy & cold season. (Jun-Feb)

Pleurotus Butan** (Black)

Hed Phu-than Dum


Rainy & cold season. (Jun-Feb)

Pleurotus ostreatus (white)

Hed Nang-rom Khao


Rainy & cold season. (Jun-Feb)

Pleurotus flabellatus (Pink)

Hed Nang-nuan


Rainy & cold season. (Jun-Feb)

Pleurotus citrinopileatus (Yellow)

Hed Nang-rom Thong


Rainy & cold season. (Jun-Feb)

Pleurotus Hungarian (Pale blue to grey when young)

Hed Nang-rom Hungary


Rainy & cold season. (Jun-Feb)

Pleurotus sapidus (Grey)

Hed Nang-fah Jein


Rainy & cold season. (Jun-Feb)

Pleurotus sajor-cajou (Cream to white grey)

Hed Nang-fah


Rainy & cold season. (Jun-Feb)

Pleurotus tuber-regium (Light brown to gray)

Hed Nang-rom Hua


Summer & rainy season (Mar-Sep)

Pleurotus cystidiosus (Cream)

Hed Pao-hue Cream


Rainy & cold season. (Jun-Feb)

Pleurotus cystidiosus (Black)

Hed Pao-hue Dum


Rainy & cold season. (Jun-Feb)

Auricularia polytricha (Brown to black)

Hed Hu-nu-na


Late summer & rainy season (May-Oct)

Auricularia auricula (Pale brown)

Hed Hu-nu-bang


Late summer & rainy season (May-Oct)

Auricularia polytricha (mutant) (White to pale brown)

Hed Hu-nu- Pu’ak


Late summer & rainy season (May-Oct)

Tremella fuciformis (White)

Hed Hu-nu- Khao



Agrocybe cylindracea (Brown to dark brown)

Hed Yana-ngi (Namtarn)


Mid rainy - early winter season (Aug-Jan)

Agrocybe cylindracea (White)

Hed Yana-ngi (Khao)


Mid rainy - early winter season (Aug-Jan)

Hericium erinaceus (White)

Hed Hua ling


Mid rainy - early winter season (Aug-Jan)

Lentinula edodes (Brown to black brown)

Hed Hom


Mid rainy - early winter season (Aug-Jan)

Tricholoma crassum (White) Now change to Macrocybe crassum

Hed Teen-raed


Mid summer - early winter (Apr-Nov)

Lentinus polychrous(3) (Brown)

Hed Lom


Mid summer - early winter (Apr-Nov)

Lentinus squarrosulus(3) (White)

Hed Khon Khao


Mid summer - early winter (Apr-Nov)

Lentinus strigosus(3) (Pale brown, Pale purple to pink)

Hed Hu Kwang


Mid summer - early winter (Apr-Nov)

Schizophyllum commune (White grey to brown)

Hed Khraeng (Teen-tuk-kae)


Summer & rainy season (Jun-Oct)

Flammulina velutipes (Brown)

Hed Khem Thong


Winter (Nov-Feb)

Flammulina velutipes (White)

Hed Khem Ngern


Winter (Nov-Feb)

Gigantopanus giganteus*** (White cream to grey brown)

Hed Niranam (Pon-tart)****


Summer, rainy & early winter (Apr-Dec)

Ganoderma lucidum (Reddish brown)

Hed Lin Juer (Muern pee) (Jawuark Ngu)


Summer & rainy season (Apr-Sep)

Ganoderma lucidum (Dark purple)

Hed Lin Juer (Muern pee) (Ja-wak Ngu)


Summer & rainy season (Apr-Sep)

Psilocybe cubensis (Cream to yellow brown, stains blue when bruised)

Hed Khee-khwai


Summer & rainy season

* Information from Arunyik Mushroom Center.
** Informal scientific name.
*** Named by David Arora: Author of Mushrooms Demystified
**** Named by Samana Phothiluk: Santi Asoke Buddhism Group, Thailand.
Table II. Various species cultivate using plot method.

Scientific name

Thai common name

Temperature interval °C*

Cultivation season in Thailand*

Volvariella volvacea (Thai)

Hed Fang Thai


Summer & rainy

Volvariella volvacea (Taiwan) (Black)

Hed Fang Taiwan


Summer & rainy

Volvariella bombycina (Brown yellow)

Hed Fang Si Thong


Summer & rainy

Agaricus bisporus (White)

Hed Kradum Khao


Winter (Oct-Jan)

Agaricus bisporus (Brown)

Hed Kradum Namtarn


Winter (Oct-Jan)

Agaricus bitorquis (White)

Hed Kradum Ton Ron (Hed Khee-pet)


Late summer & rainy season

Macrolepiota procera

Hed Kra-dong


Late summer & rainy season

Termitomyces robustus (Grey to dark grey)

Hed Khoon


Hot and humid weather

Source: Arunyik Mushroom Center.


Tissue Culture
Selecting tissue culture
Culture from PDA to PDA

Tissue Culture

1. Prepare materials:

Potatoes: 200 gr.
Dextrose: 20 gr.
Agar powder: 20 gr.
Water: 1 liter.
Cotton (gauze)
Note: Visually check potatoes for spots or rot. Buy dextrose and Agar of commercial grade.

2. Wash and cut potatoes into one-centimeter cubes; leave on or remove the skin.

3. Clean small flat bottles (small whiskey bottles as a container can be used).

4. Place potatoes in one liter of water. Simmer for 15 - 20 minutes.

5. Remove potatoes & keep the broth as clear as possible.

Add water to broth to reach one liter of liquid PDA

6. Bring water to stove. Add dextrose followed by agar. Slowly stir continuously with regular speed until completely dissolved.

7. Pour liquid PDA in bottle until you reach 5 - 10 mm high.

8. Plug bottle with cotton.

9. Place bottles in autoclave at 121oC for 20 - 30 minutes to ensure complete sterilization.

Let cool down to around 37oC.

10. Place bottles in slanted position as to increase surface area of the medium. PDA should come close to the neck but must not touch the cotton plug.

After PDA medium is settled in bottle, transfer all bottles to clean shelf in the clean room.

11. Check for contamination (contamination can be seen when dark spots or lines occur).

Selecting tissue culture

1. Prepare materials:

2. Select a strong mushroom for culture.

3. Clean the room, all necessary tools, inside and outside the laminar flow cabinet with alcohol. Transfer PDA bottles and necessary tools into the chamber.

4. Place all cleaned materials inside laminar flow. Turn on UV lamp and laminar flow. After 10-15 minutes, turn off UV lamp but leave laminar flow for the duration of the operation.

5. Clean both hands and bottles with alcohol and insert hands into the cabinet.

6. Hold needle with 2 fingers in a 45o-degree angle, flame needle to disinfect until the needle turns red. Make sure it does not touch any surface after flaming.

7. While needle cools down (15-20 seconds - hold needle not to touch anything or place it on the clean surface of a glass).

8. Using other fingers, tear mushroom lengthwise (DO NOT use knife to cut).

9. With the needle, cut a small piece (2 mm x 2 mm) of fleshy tissue from inside the mushroom (in the middle between the cap and the stalk). Make sure that it is clean and did not touch the outside of the mushroom.

10. Flame around the mouth of the bottle. Using other fingers, remove cotton plug of PDA bottle in front of flame to secure against contamination.

11. Insert the needle in the bottle and inoculate by placing small piece of cut mushroom in the middle of the PDA’s surface. Make sure the piece of mushroom does not touch anything before entering the PDA bottle

12. Close bottle immediately near the flame with cotton plug

Note: the bottom of the bottle should always be lower than the mouth of the bottle and the mouth of the bottle should remain near the flame at all times.

13. Label bottles and indicate: Date, type of mushroom, mother spawn #.

Culture from PDA to PDA

Because of the extremely delicate nature of tissue culture, it is highly recommended that tissue culture be done in only a few bottles of PDA since there is high risk of contamination. Then, several bottles of PDA can be prepared from the extremely pure mycelium.

9. With the needle, cut a small piece (5 mm x 5 mm) of mycelium on PDA Make sure that the PDA not contaminated.

10. Flame around the mouth of the new PDA bottle. Using other fingers, remove cotton plug of PDA bottle in front of flame to secure against contamination.

11. Insert the needle in the bottle and inoculate by placing small piece of PDA mycelium on the middle of the PDA’s surface. Make sure the mycelium PDA does not touch anything before entering the PDA bottle.

12. Close bottle immediately near the flame with cotton plug

Note: the bottom of the bottle should always be lower than the mouth of the bottle and the mouth of the bottle should remain near the flame at all times.

13. Label bottles and indicate: Date, type of mushroom, mother spawn #.

14. Whether from tissue culture or PDA to PDA, from the time of incubation to full growth mycelium will take about 10 - 15 days. (Depending on species).

15. Keep PDA bottles with mycelium on clean shelf.

Check infection by other fungi in the bottle everyday. Also check growth rate.

16. After mycelium covers whole PDA medium, keep mature mycelium in cool place or in the refrigerator in the vegetables section.

17. Check for contamination. Separate contaminated bottles. Transfer contaminated bottles to clean.

18. Keep detailed notes of observations.


1. Prepare materials:

Note: Various types of grains can be used: Sorghum, millet, wheat

Grains must:

2. Soak sorghum for one night; 2 liters of water per 1 kg of grain.

Wash and strain sorghum seeds to remove all water.

3. Steam sorghum seeds for 30-45 minutes to soften grains and cook about 25%.

4. Drain water and spread sorghum seeds to cool down and decrease moisture.

5. Fill ¾ of bottle with sorghum seeds.

6. Carefully prepare cotton plug

7. Tightly plug mouth of bottle with cotton and leave out for ventilation.

8. Transfer all prepared bottles to the sterilization chamber.

Close chamber. Fire-up burner or stove to heat chamber. Make sure to release all air from the chamber before starting. Keep pressure in the chamber at 15 lb./sq.inch. or 121o Celsius for 30 minutes for small chambers and 45 minutes for medium chambers.

Let bottles cool down.

9. Transfer bottles to a clean and cool place.

10. Bottles must be cleaned and well prepared.

Prepare the well verified PDA bottles

11. Clean laminar flow chamber using alcohol.

12. Transfer PDA, sorghum seed bottles, paper and rubber bands in laminar flow chamber. Light UV lamp for 10 - 15 minutes before starting. Place needle in alcohol.

Turn off UV. Clean both hands with alcohol and insert hands into the chamber.

13. Using 2 fingers, take out needle, pass through fire as to burn alcohol, and disinfect needle. Make sure the needle turns red.

14. After the needle cooled down to normal state, use needle to cut small square (5mm x 5mm) of PDA with mycelium (white color).

15. Close bottle immediately. Remain near flame at all times.

16. Using other hand flame around the mouth and shoulder of the sorghum seed bottle.

Using other fingers, open spawn bottle near flame to avoid contamination.

17. Insert needle and inoculate sorghum seeds with PDA mycelium by placing small square piece in the middle of the bottle. Make sure the PDA mycelium does not touch anything before entering the sorghum seeds bottle.

Note: The mouth of the bottle should be near the flame. The mouth should remain higher than the bottom part at all times. Do not touch mouth of bottle with piece of PDA.

18. Close bottle immediately.

19. Place square paper over cotton and tie with plastic neck or rubber band.

20. Label inoculated sorghum bottles writing: Date, Spawn no., ref., and inoculation time.

Note: It takes about 10 - 15 days to get full-grown sorghum grain mycelium, depending on the species.

21. Keep mature sorghum seeds in a cool place or in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator. Check for infection regularly.

22. Remove contaminated bottles.

Transfer contaminated bottles to cleaning site. Clean bottles as normal glassware.

23. Observe and collect data. Take notes to draw conclusions.

Note: A loss of about 3% is to be expected.


1. Prepare materials:

Note: Substrate is the material used to grow mushrooms. This material or substrate is a mixture of all ingredients or “food” necessary for mushrooms to develop. Although sawdust is the most common and easy to use basic material for making mushroom substrate bags, other alternate and sometimes lower cost materials can be used. For example, in Asia, because of intense rice cultivation, rice straw can be used since straw is readily available in most rural areas. Because of its lower cost (and local availability) it may be better suited as a substrate than sawdust. Furthermore, rice straw generally generates higher yield and better quality mushrooms; both texture and taste of mushrooms are improved when using straw instead of sawdust. Nevertheless, straw needs to be prepared before use requiring harder work, and fermentation for a period of 9 - 12 days.

2. Preparing rice straw as substrate:

Put straw in grinder to reduce its size. Soak paddy straw 100 Kg. With water and mix with urea 1-2 % by weight, ferment for 3 days. Turn over the pile, then mix with 2% lime and ferment it again 3 days. Turn over the pile again, mix with 0.2% magnesium sulfate, and ferment 3 more days. The last turn over makes the straw readily composted for using as substrate. Check moisture and for a urea smell. If there is no urea smell and the moisture is 65-75%, the substrate is ready for packing. If there is some urea smell, it is necessary to ferment further until there is no more smell. Then pack in size 8” x 12” PP. Bags.

3. Substrate preparation

100 kg


Add to sawdust

5 kg

Rice bran

2 kg

Calcium sulfate

1 kg

Calcium carbonate

0.2 kg

Magnesium sulfate

0-1 kg


Note: Substrate recipe should serve as a reference. Recipe can be changed by adding some rice flour, sticky rice flour, corn flour, cassava peels, cotton waste, Soya-bean residue, and other nutritious agricultural waste. In cool climates, it is possible to use additives or complementing materials up to 20%. Beware: for hot climatic zones, do not use more than 7.5% additives. (If rice straw, recipe needs to be modified as above mentioned)

4. Weigh all components using scale.

5. Mix well all ingredients in mixer or manually using shovels or paddles

6. Add water to keep moisture content between 65-75 %.

7. Make sure all ingredients are well mixed and that there are no lumps.

8. Sitting on floor, fill plastic bags with substrate using small shovel.

9. Compact substrate by hitting bags with empty bottle, hand.


Use compacting machine.

10. Place plastic ring on bag

11. Pull out top of bag through plastic neck.

12. Fold-down on plastic ring.

13. Tie with rubber band.

14. Introduce stick with pointed head through plastic neck of bag to make hole almost to the bottom of the bag; DO NOT TOUCH BOTTOM of bag.

15. Check weight of bags (should be between 800-1000 grams per bag)

16. Prepare plastic caps to close bags by adding cotton.

17. Close bags with plastic caps.

18. Fill iron racks (9 bags per rack for commercial chamber).

Transfer bags to pasteurization chamber.


Country type pasteurization
Commercial pasteurization
Solar heating pasteurization (optional in replacement of steam pasteurization)

Country type pasteurization

1. Prepare Equipment

1. Steaming pot country style - use 200 liters drums.
2. Firewood.
3. Iron or bamboo screen - round shape height 5 inches to fit inside drum.

2. Clean steam pot and add about 4 inches water.

3. Place iron or wooden screen so it comes out 1 inch higher than water.

4. Place bags in pasteurization system until full (between 80 - 100 bags).

5. Cover everything with double layers of old rice bags.

6. Place plastic over rice bags and close tightly.

7. Light fire and maintain temperature constant for a period of 3 -4 hours from the time temperature reaches 90 - 100oC which is the moment steam starts coming out continuously.

Important: Temperature must remain constant and there should always be water in the drum.

8. When completed, take the firewood out of the stove.

9. Let cool down for approximately 20 minutes. Take off cover bags and let cool down more.

10. Transfer bags to inoculation area.

Commercial pasteurization

1. Clean the water reservoir at the bottom of the pasteurization chamber by releasing the valve. Dry with cloth.

2. Refill the water up to the marked level.

(Depending on the type of chamber, water needs to be added to produce steam, other types will produce steam in boiler and transfer to chamber)

3. Transfer iron racks into the chamber, one by one until the chamber is full.

4. Close door securely and verify thermometer.

5. Light burner and leave at 98oC - 100oC for 3-4 hours. Make sure all air is released from the chamber when starting to keep the time.

(Burner may be located underneath the pasteurization chamber where water is already present, or underneath boiler to generate steam)

6. Open valve to send steam to pasteurization chamber (for boiler generated steam). Make sure all air is released from the chamber when starting to keep the time.

Adjust surrounding air using valve (3-4 hrs)

Leave to cool down by releasing the door of chamber. (1.5 - 2 hrs).

7. Transfer bags to the already cleaned inoculation area.

Solar heating pasteurization (optional in replacement of steam pasteurization)

1. Fill substrate bags into the chamber.

Clear area and bring substrate bags.

Close cover.

2. Be sure that sunlight will reach under the cover.

Leave under the sun for one whole day.

3. Transfer bags to inoculation area


Note: The inoculation room must be kept very clean and free of diseases to avoid contamination. Avoid sunshine from entering the area.

1. Prepare materials:

2. Clean room with broom or dust vacuum Rub the floor with disinfecting solution.

3. Bring substrate bags from pasteurization chamber to inoculation area.

4. Light alcohol lamp.

5. Disinfect hands and pasteurized substrate bags with alcohol.

6. Take bottle of sorghum coated with spawn (all white color).

7. Shake well bottle against car tire (or old tire) to release sorghum seeds and then, bring bottles to inoculation room. Do not open bottle

8. Flame around the bottleneck. Open bottle very close to flame to take out air from inside.

9. Drop 10 - 20 sorghum seeds coated with spawn in the mushroom bag. Act very quickly and with very little movement.

10. Then bring cotton to close bag as quickly as possible. Repeat for all bags.

11. Leave bottle near the flame until all bags have been inoculated. Then close the bottle.

12. Following inoculation of all bags, place clean square paper to cover the top of the bag and tie with rubber band.

13. Bring bags to incubation room.


1. Clean around and inside the incubation house using a broom. Always inspect for cleanliness before entering with new spawn bags.

2. After inoculation, transfer substrate bags to mushroom incubation house.

3. Place bags on shelves for incubation.

4. Incubation.

Bags can be placed horizontally or vertically, which takes more space.

Note: At the beginning, little ventilation and light should be allowed. After about 10 days, there ventilation should regulate the desired temperature. After 20 - 25 days, area should be well ventilated and more light can be let in for constant monitoring.


Type of mushroom

Incubation time (weeks)

Mushroom Flushes*

Production time** (weeks)

Oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus)












Ear mushrooms (Auricularia polytricha)











Beware of mites

Hed khon kao (Lentinus squarrosulus)

4-5 or more











Hed Lom (Lentinus polychrous)

4-5 or more











Straw mushrooms (Volvariella volvacea)


3-4 days for mycelium and 4-5 days for fruiting body.


7-9 days


14-16 days


21-23 days

* Flushes means harvesting time or number of harvests

**Production time is the number of weeks following inoculation. This will depend on the season and to the amount of care given by farmers.

These should serve as an indication only.

5. Visually check mycelium on a daily basis looking for abnormal mycelium (such as black spots, green spots, brown spots, orange or red spots, etc....).

Try to find out the causes of abnormal mycelium (PEST, DISEASE).

6. Move bags to fruiting body area (or prepare for fruiting).

7. Separate contaminated bags and pasteurize again


separate partially contaminated bags and open them


tear the plastic bags off and reuse sawdust


ferment substrate as compost for gardening.

(See waste management).

8. Observe and collect data.

Take notes before drawing conclusions.


1. Clean around and inside the fruiting body house using a broom.

2. Transfer mature spawn bags to the mushroom fruiting body house using a trolley (or prepare them for fruiting).

Place bags on shelves.

3. Open bags according to type

3.1 Oyster mushrooms- Hed Nangrom (Pleurotus ostreatus)

Take off cotton plugs.

3.2 Filamentus fungi - Hed Khon Kao (Lentinus squarrosulus)


3.3 Hed Lom (Lentinus polychrous)

Cut plastic bags at the shoulder of the bag using a knife or cutter.

3.4 Ear Mushroom (Auricularia polytricha)

Cut the side of the plastic bags; four cuts per vertical line and cut on four lines around each bag.


1. Spray water to control humidity in mushroom houses.

Water often but not much each time.

No water should enter the bags.

Humidity should not be more than 90% and not less than 75%.

2. Look at the temperature to control the atmosphere in mushroom houses

Open or close doors and windows in mushroom houses to control light and ventilation.

If temperature is too high, leave doors open during the night to change the air.

When people feel comfortable, it means mushrooms are in a good environment.

3. Check for mites and other pests at least twice a week.

4. Identify type of pest.

5. Keep bags clean at all times.

6. Allow natural pest control.

7. Identify and separate contaminated bags.

8. Manually pick all garbage.

Remove contaminated bags and pasteurize again.

9. Keep good and clear records of your mushroom production.


1. Look for mature mushrooms.

Mushrooms are ready to be picked 2 - 3 days after they first appear.

Pick mushrooms gently by grasping stalk and pulling out slowly.

Note: Mushrooms must be harvested at the most appropriate time. If too small, they cannot fetch a good price. If too big, their conservation period is reduced; they are not so sweet and tasty. Harvesting should be done two or three times a day.

2. Put mushrooms in order in a basket, about 5-8 kg per basket. Trim and peel by cutting at the base of the stalk to make the mushroom clean. Place mushrooms in basket.

3. Weigh all mushrooms and take notes.

Note: A bag of mushrooms should yield between 250 - 350 grams of mushrooms in 4 to 5 flushes.

Bags lose much of their weight once they have exhausted their production.


Straw mushrooms can be cultivated as demonstrated by trainers:

1. Plow soil with hoe or spade to make the ground smooth and the soil well aerated.

2. Spread fertilizer slightly to add nutrients.

3. Spread water using watering bottle or hose to saturate humidity in the soil.

4. Prepare reusable wooden frames and place on the ground.

5. Used mushroom bags are broken and placed inside the wooden frame as growth media. This allows recycling of bags.

6. Break old mushroom bags and use as substrate as follows:

Each layer is mixed with waste from cleaning mushrooms.

7. Add water and pack with feet to make cake.

8. Remove wooden frame carefully leaving a medium cake.

9. Repeat operation several times leaving approximately 20 cm between each cake.

10. Make a drain around the series of cakes to allow drainage of excess water.

11. Place little pieces of wood on the side of the cakes in a slanted manner in order to create a slope.

12. Spread one or two, or as required, plastic sheet(s) in order to fully cover cakes and the pieces of wood to allow the rain to slip into the drain

13. Spread hay over the plastic sheet as to maintain humidity, protect sunlight and keep or hold the temperature inside the bed.

After 3 days allow into the bed.

Set-up the curve under the plastic sheet to make more air.

14. After 4-5 more days check the premodium and wait for the harvesting stage.



Before packaging, make sure all mushrooms are well trimmed.

For selling fresh mushrooms on the market, little or no packaging is required. Mushrooms are weighed and placed in paper or plastic bags.

Mushrooms cannot keep for long and therefore all mushrooms must be sold quickly following harvesting. They can keep in a refrigerator for 12 - 24 hours. To avoid humidity from accumulating in the bag, place mushrooms in bags and blow air in them. Tie bag with rubber band.

If no refrigerator is available, place mushrooms on banana leaves in a cool area, or put them on top of water under the shade in a well-ventilated place.



Mushrooms can be sold directly to consumers or given to whole sellers. The profit will be reduced when dealing with an intermediate but if a good agreement can be made, it also saves on expenses related to marketing.

Prices of mushrooms will depend on the season and the type. Different seasons will give better yields for certain mushrooms.

Sales outlets:

Quality control:

Mushrooms must be clean

- trimming is very important

Collect young mushrooms

- longer shelf life

- better tasting

Tip: harvesting after watering at least 2-3 hours will conserve mushrooms longer.

Inoculated mushroom bags can also be sold and generate supplemental income.

Note: Constant monitoring of competitors is necessary to ensure market share


Conserving mushrooms
Fermented mushrooms “Pla la hed”
Fermented mushrooms in banana leaf
Heavenly mushrooms “Hed Sawan”
Pickled mushrooms with soya sauce
Shrimp paste mushrooms (vegetarian)

Conserving mushrooms

Because mushrooms are highly perishable, strategies in conservation techniques are necessary. Drying is a good option since it allows mushrooms to be used in cooking. Drying can be done with electrical and solar dryers. Nevertheless, this cannot be done during the rainy season since dried mushrooms would take in humidity immediately and therefore their conservation cannot be guaranteed.

Fresh mushrooms can be processed and sold to shops and restaurants as finished products. Many products can be made with mushrooms. Aside from being added to soups and sauces, mushrooms can be converted into sweets, cookies, candies, various snacks, and can also be dried. However, facilities in rural areas are not necessarily capable of supporting such processing techniques. The following recipes are just of few examples of some of the easiest and most appreciated types of processed mushrooms in South East Asia, which can easily be done in small villages.

Fermented mushrooms “Pla la hed”


2 kg.

Shredded Oyster mushrooms or Nang Fa

200 gr.

Roasted rice

100 gr.


3 tablespoons

Garlic cloves


Clean, trim and shred mushrooms. Steam shredded mushrooms until tender. Let cool down. Pound roasted rice using mortar. Add garlic, salt, and pound in mortar.

Place mushrooms in large bowl. Add rice mixture to mushrooms and blend together. Place in jar or bottle. Press in jar, add Styrofoam sheet and close lid tightly. Place jar under the sun for about 3 days. After the 3 days, move in a shaded area for about 2 weeks. Fermented mushrooms are ready to eat. After opening the jar, place in the refrigerator for conservation.

Fermented mushrooms in banana leaf


2 kg

Trimmed oyster mushrooms or Nang Fa

200 gr.

Sticky rice

150 gr.


30 gr.


200 gr.

Shanghai noodles (optional)

(to taste)

Fresh small chili peppers


Clean mushrooms with water and shred. Steam mushrooms. Let cool down. Press water out. Pound garlic. Mix mushrooms with garlic, sticky rice, and salt. Add chili. Press into small balls. Tie with banana leaves or plastic. Tie with rubber band. Leave at room temperature for a period of 3 days. Ready to eat, the taste will become sour. These can be eaten as they are or fried with eggs.

Heavenly mushrooms “Hed Sawan”


300 gr.

Dried shredded mushrooms

400 gr.

Palm sugar

(to taste)

White Soya sauce

100 gr.

Sesame seeds

1 liter

Vegetable cooking oil

2 teaspoons

Ground pepper


Take fresh oyster mushrooms, trim, shred and place under the sun to dry. Heat-up vegetable oil in a large pan or wok. Add mushrooms to hot oil and fry until browned. Remove and absorb oil. In another pan, add white Soya sauce and palm sugar. Cook until sticky. Add pepper and fried mushrooms. Mix together. Add sesame seeds and mix. Remove and let cool down. Place in containers.

Pickled mushrooms with soya sauce


1 kg

Fresh mushrooms

700 gr.


50 gr.


50 gr.

White Soya sauce.


Take fresh mushrooms and clean with water. If mushrooms are too big, cut into 3 -4 pieces. Blanch them. Remove mushrooms from water and loosely place them in glass bottle or jar. Leave about ½ each at the top of the bottle. Add salt and white Soya sauce to brine. Pour brine in to mushroom jars up to the top. Steam bottles to remove all air. Tightly close lid. Let cool down.

Shrimp paste mushrooms (vegetarian)


1 kg

Tailings of soybeans

300 gr.

Ground mushrooms (any type except ear mushrooms)

500 gr.


3 cups

Boiling water


Steam soybean tailings until cooked. Place in bowl and cover with lid. Let stand for 1 - 3 days. Mix dried grounded mushrooms in boiling water. Cover and let stand for 3 days. Mix fermented soybeans and fermented mushrooms together. Add salt. Ferment for an additional seven days. Place in pan and simmer with cover. Mix regularly until cooked. Keep in cool place.


1. Collect all waste such as plastic or dirty cotton plugs. Cotton can be burned as alternate fuel.

Plastic waste should NOT be burned in open air. It should be sent for collection by municipal waste treatment facilities with other garbage, for proper disposal.

2. Substrate from bags can be re-used to make new bags. Mycelium must be removed and substrate needs to be well pasteurized. or converted into compost

3. Substrate bags can also be converted into compost as follows:

Break bags open and send plastic bags to be collected by municipality.

Mix substrate with effective microorganism (EM) and sugar, and maintain humidity at 65-75 %.

Place in used rice bags for a period of approximately 30 days or on the ground under the shade. Compost is then ready to be used in gardens, rice paddies or sold as organic fertilizer.

4. Bring all organic waste to the compost site and prepare for fertilizer.

5. Separate all usable elements to be re-used.

6. Plastic necks, cotton, and elastics can be cleaned and reused.


“Preventing is better than solving the problems”




Mycelium fails to form.


Improper initiation strategy.

Consult parameter of growth. Alter moisture, temperature, light, carbon dioxide, etc.

Note: If the substrate is too moist, decrease moisture.

Chlorinated or contaminated water.

Use activated charcoal water filters to eliminate chemical contaminants or any other ways of simple or appropriate technology.

Bad substrate.

Check substrate. Spread the substrate and remix the substrate, package again, make sure all raw materials are good and fresh.

Note: It is necessary to pasteurize immediately after bagging otherwise fermentation gas will slow down the rate of growth of mycelium or stop mycelium growth.

Bad pasteurization.

Check method of pasteurization. Release all air and make sure there is continuous steam before starting pasteurization for a period of 3 hours.

Substrate in the bag is too hot when inoculation.

Make sure that the substrate bag is not too hot before inoculation.

Bad strain or spawn.

Obtain younger strain of known vitality & history.

Spawn contaminated.

Pasteurize and inoculate again with good spawn.

Forgot to inoculate the bag.

Make sure to inoculate.

Poor spread of mycelium, bad smell, spots and mites.

Good pasteurization but must decrease the temperature in the pasteurization chamber. Pasteurization was too quick and/or the chamber door was opened too quickly.

Slowly decrease the temperature in the chamber. Do not open the cover of the chamber too quickly. Check that the cotton plug is tightly closed.

Inoculation process.

Inoculate in hygiene conditions; clean and with no air movement.

Too high density in the incubation area, not enough ventilation to decrease accumulated temperature.

Spread the substrate bag and make more air ventilation in the incubation area. Check temperature and control surroundings to maintain 25-35 degrees Celsius.

Too high carbon dioxide.

Not more than 5% carbon dioxide. Check ventilation.

Hygiene of the incubation house.

Improve hygiene in the incubation house.

Mycelium develops in patches. Substrate is not evenly prepared and some parts have more nutrients than others

Mix well the substrate.

Bacteria, other fungi contamination.

Check the process causing contamination. Separate contaminated bags as soon as possible. Remix substrate separately. Remake substrate bags and pasteurize for a longer time. Follow process.

Mite contamination.

Immediately separate contaminated bags and pasteurize again. Continue the normal process.


*Keep hygiene management; make sure to clean every thing (person, area, tools, equipment, and surroundings during every step.

*Stop using the area to cut the life cycle of all contaminants for a period of at least 1-2 weeks. For serious contamination cases, spray area with chemicals.

*Use black-light with water or sticky-trap to decrease insects.

Mycelium grows but fails to produce mushrooms.

Substrate formula is not suitable.

Adjust the formula; check pH; sawdust; additives; etc.

Mites, mold, virus, bacteria and insects.

Check pasteurization process, inoculation, other processes and mushroom house management for hygiene.

Inhibited by environmental toxins.

Remove source of toxins.

Bad strain or spawn

Acquire new strains.

Mushrooms form, but abort or delay mushrooming.

Premodia and growth condition of fruiting body are not good enough

Check temperature and humidity. Open or close doors and window to adjust accordingly.

There is contamination such as mold, bacteria, insects, worms and mites.

Check hygiene, adjust environment of light, temperature, humidity and ventilation. In more severe cases, use half a teaspoon of sulfur in 3.5 liters of water. Mist the bags and the surface of mushrooms. Remove contaminated bags from mushroom house and recycle.

Chemical contamination from solvents, gas, chlorine, etc.

Remove toxins.

Bad strain.

Acquire a new strain or find a new supplier.

Mushrooms form, but stems are long; caps underdeveloped.


Inadequate light.

Increase or adjust light to correct wavelength.

Excessive carbon dioxide.

Increase air exchange, open doors or windows and close at correct time.

Massive numbers of mushrooms form; few develop.

Too long time incubation.

Shorten the period for the formation of premodia.

Lack of oxygen, inadequate light.

Increase air ventilation and open more windows or doors to receive more light.

Inadequate substrate nutrition or low quality.

Reformulate or check raw materials.

Low rate mycelium growth.

Use the high rate spawn or adjust good conditions for rate of growth.

Poor strain.

Obtain better strain.

Mushrooms are deformed, decay and die.

Disturbed by germs or competing microorganisms.

Adjust mushroom house to favor mushrooms and not germs and competitors.

Dirty surface of substrate bags.

Clean the surface of substrate.

Not enough air ventilation, too high humidity.

Increase air circulation. Reduce humidity to the prescribed levels. Surface water must evaporate from mushrooms several times per day. Check watering; if there is water in bags, pierce bags and drain water.

Bad strain.

Acquire better strain.

Use of chemicals during this period.

Never use chemicals during the fruiting stage.

Mushrooms produced only in the first flush, fail to produce subsequent flushes.


Inadequate substrate nutrition.



Check hygiene, adjust light, temperature, humidity, air and ventilation.

Poor growing house management.

Improve management.

Bad strain.

Acquire new strain.

Mushrooms small sized.

Too many mushrooms coming out at the same time.

Reduce the size of opening(s).

Lack of nutrients in substrate.

Review quality of substrate.

Change of weather.

Beware of wide range changes in temperature.

Spawn unhealthy.

Check origin of spawn.

Pests and insects.

Natural occurrence, humid climate.

Place lemongrass plants around mushroom house. Spread lime on shelves, on poles and ground in the mushroom house. Clean (and maintain clean) the mushroom house properly.

Mushroom waste lying around mushroom house.

Try to use the waste as fertilizer or recycle.


Mix detergent with water and place on their paths. Do not put on mushroom.

Mushrooms are light in weight.

Shortage of water.

Check humidity of mushroom.

Mushroom quickly spoil.

Mushrooms too mature when harvested.

Harvest when younger.

Mushrooms too warm before packaging.

Chill mushrooms before placing in marketing containers.

Mushrooms too wet when harvested.

Reduce humidity several hours before harvesting.

Mushrooms stored beyond shelf life.

Sell mushrooms faster.

Rotting spot on the mushroom fruiting body because of bacteria during flush.

Bacteria (Pseudomonas tolaasii, Pseudomonas fluorescens) on Oyster mushroom.

Control humidity in the mushroom house and maintain 80-85 %.

Give enough time for water to evaporate from mushroom surfaces before further watering.

For sever cases, use 113 grams chlorine mixed in 45 liters of water or 4 ounces of chlorine per gallon of water.


Materials that can be used
Mushroom shelves and suspended systems
Country style pasteurization system


Size (approximate)

1,000 bags

2m x 3m

2,000 bags

3m x 4m

3,000 bags

4m x 5m

4,000 bags

5m x 6m

Materials that can be used

Using old rice bags and dried leaves on the roof.

Using branches for structure

Figure A

Figure B

Mushroom shelves and suspended systems

Different types of systems can be used inside the mushroom house. All have their advantages and disadvantages. Each person will select the system most appropriate considering the disability and environment.

Traditional bamboo shelves system

Suspended systems

More heavy-duty steel racks often used in commercial enterprise.

Country style pasteurization system


Procedure to start a mushroom production farm

Procedure to start a mushroom production farm

1. Identify location for the mushroom house

Make sure the land is above flooding level. Location should offer good ventilation.

2. Set-up mushroom house and equipment

There are several ways of building small mushrooms houses as seen in the chapter PREPARING A MUSHROOM HOUSE page 101 and annexes 1 and 2. Appropriate material is always the most economical.

Initial investment



Unit Cost

Total cost

Mushroom house 3m x 4 m (good for about 2 years)

2,000 bags

500 - 2,000 Baht

500 - 2,000 Baht

Mushroom bags (good for 3 months)

1,000 (to start)

3.5 Baht

3,500 Baht

Total necessary investment

4,000 - 5,500 Baht

For those who wish to make their own bags, the following is also necessary:



Unit Cost

Total cost

200 liter oil drums (good for two years)

Pasteurization of 80 - 100 bags per time

400 - 700 Baht per set

400 - 700 Baht

Gas tank and burner set (most farmers use branches instead of oil or gas) - Optional (good for two years)

For two drums

2,000 - 3000 Baht per set

Other tools such as basket, water sprayer...- optional (good for two years)

Full production

1,000 Baht

Cement floor 4 x 5 m x 200 mm - optional (good for many years)

Full production

4,000 Baht

Compacted earth can also be used for baking bags (good for one year)

Full production



Total necessary investment

400 - 700 Baht

3. Buy raw materials

It is highly recommended that you start the business by buying already inoculated mushroom bags. A minimum of 1,000 bags to start is both feasible and easy to manage. It will allow you to understand the basis of mushroom production without investing too much money.

4. Maintain mushroom house

Keep house clean. This will reduce disease and pest and will ensure higher yield. Constantly monitor humidity and light.

5. Check for contamination and disease

At least twice a week, visually check each bag to see if there are any spots or if only part of the bag becomes white.

6. Check for pest

At least twice a week, visually check each bag for small mites, flies, ants or other pests.

7. Harvest mushrooms

Harvest mushrooms at least twice a day to collect only young and strong mushrooms. These high quality mushrooms will ensure that your clients will be happy and will come back for more.

8. Sale and marketing of mushrooms

Mushrooms can be sold from the farm directly, within the village on the fresh market. They can also be supplied to restaurants and hotels. Always monitor the competition and adjust prices according to season and local demand.

9. Keep records

Records will make you see how much profit you make. See the following section for details in keeping records and to see expected income.

10. Seasonal business Vs Continuous business

Because of rice harvesting around Asia, there are certain times of the year when people are busy working in the fields. Furthermore, during the rainy season, wild mushrooms come out thus reducing the demand and therefore the price of cultivated mushrooms. Many people wish to stop producing mushrooms during this period. Nevertheless, there is still a market for certain type of mushrooms. Processing may also be profitable during the rainy season.

For a continuous income all year round, it is necessary to plan and make sure that there are always mushrooms at the fruiting stage while other bags are at the incubation stage. This means that the farm can become the major source of regular income for the family.

Mushroom can be separated into three levels of operation:


1st level

Buy bags

1 fruiting house

2,000 bags

3 months harvest

1 month rest

2nd level

Buy bags

3 fruiting houses

6,000 bags

3 months harvest

1 month rest per house

3rd level

Make bags

1 incubation house, 3 fruiting houses

6,000 bags

Continuous harvest (can also sell bags)


Check profit
Income to be expected

It is very useful to keep records of income and expenses. It allows to verify how much profit is being made. If the profit is low, you must see how you can reduce expenses without reducing the quality. If profit is high, it may be time to expand the farm with the money acquired from the profit.

Check profit

First, review all expenses

Write the amount of money you spent on raw materials

Write how much you spend in electricity and water for the farm (if any).

Write how much you pay for labor (if you hire people to help you)

Write how much you spent on the mushroom house ____________
(Based on an average cost of 2,000 Baht, each bag will cost approximately 0.25 Baht per bag - 2 years life and 3 batches per year).

Write the amount it cost for the pasteurization process including initial investments, preparation. (Cost per bag for full production can be estimated at 0.03 Baht per bag. Fuel is replaced by tree branches))



Write TOTAL INCOME received from sales



Annex 4. Gives a cost estimate for mushroom substrate bag production by reviewing all costs involved. Annex 5 gives detailed explanation on how cost can be calculated.

Income to be expected

(Under normal circumstances based on the experience of trainees in Ubon Ratchathani between February and October 2000)

Average Yield per bag (Total over a period of 3 months)

250 grams per bag

Average sales price (based on oyster mushrooms)

25 Baht per kg

Total income per bag (NOT PROFIT) (Fruiting will occur over a period of about 3 months)

6.25 Baht

Total cost of buying one spawn bag

3.75 Baht

Total cost for materials used in making one bag (not including labor)

2 Baht

Total cost for the mushroom house based on 2,000 Baht to build mushroom house used for 2 years

0.25 Baht per bag

Total cost for oil drums and other tools (watering accessories, harvesting basket...)

0.03 Baht per bag

Total income per month will depend on the number of bags cultivated. The following shows average income and profit margin differences based on buying or making spawn bags. No labor costs are included in the calculations since it is considered that the income generated from the sale of mushrooms. Electricity and water are generally free in remote areas; water is taken from nearby water sources and electricity is non-existent.

Number of bags (Yield 250 g per bag)

Sales price Baht/kg

Total Income (6.25 Baht per bag)

Income per month 1 bag produces for 3 months

Net profit per month Buying spawn bags (Cost 4 Baht)

Net profit per month Making spawn bags (Cost 2.25 Baht)





































Note: Further income can be generated by the sales of spawn bags.

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