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Mushroom culture including the possibilities of new substitutes for manure as a culture medium Uyeda, Takaji 1934

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CAT. I MUSHROOM CULTURE INCLUDING THE POSSIBILITIES OF 1EW SUBSTITUTES FOE MANURE AS A CULTURE MEDIUM by T a k a j i Uyeda A T h e s i s s u b m i t t e d f o r the Degree of MASTER OF SCIENCE i n AGRICULTURE I n the Department o f HORT I CULTURE THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH 'COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1 9 3 4 P A S T 1 Mushroom Culture TABLE .OF. CONTENTS Par t 1 Mushroom Culture I n t r o d u c t i o n . The C u l t i v a t e d Mushroom..................... 1 H i s t o r y and Development of Industry................. 4 Spawn............................................... 5 V a r i e t i e s . . . . 7 S u i t a b l e Growing Spaces............................. 8 Con s t r u c t i o n of House......................... 9 C u l t u r a l ' P r a c t i c e l b P r e p a r a t i o n of S u i t a b l e Compost..... .... 1 6 Spawning and Casing . 2 1 S a n i t a t i o n and D i s i n f e s t a t i o n . . . 2 6 Diseases and Pests 2 8 Harvesting. Packing, a n d M a r k e t i n g . . . . . . . 3 5 Food Value of Mushroom. 37 P a r t 1 1 The P o s s i b i l i t i e s of New S u b s t i t u t e s f o r Manure as a Culture Medium f o r the Mushroom In t r o d u c t i o n . Review of L i t e r a t u r e s • •. 1 M a t e r i a l s and Methods 7 Observations, • 1 0 Chemical A n a l y s i s of the Mushroom Beds............. .11 D i s c u s s i o n . . 1 5 Summary. 1 9 Recommendations • 2 0 Acknowledgments L i t e r a t u r e C i t e d I n t r o d u c t i o n From the time the mushroom has "been f i r s t brought under c u l t i v a t i o n during the l a t t e r part of the seventeenth century to the present day, the various p r a c t i c e s of mushroom c u l t u r e has been developed through the experiences of the growers themselves. L i t t l e explanations are a v a i l a b l e which may i n d i c a t e why some of the th i n g s are done. But w i t h i n recent years, science has brought to l i g h t many p r i n c i p l e s which e x p l a i n these p r a c t i c e s . The aim of t h i s part o f the t h e s i s i s to make c l e a r the p r i n c i p l e s of mushroom growing, and also to b r i n g together and to describe the l a t e s t methods which have been developed out of the science of mushroom c u l t u r e . T H E C U 1 T I V A 2 I 0 I O F M U S H R O O M S The C u l t i v a t e d Mushroom There are l a r g e numbers of w i l d species of edible f u n g i i n a l l p arts of the world, but the mushrooms which are commonly c u l t i v a t e d and used as a food both i n America and Europe are the v a r i e t i e s of Agaricus ( P s a l l i o t a ) campestris and to a l e s s extent Agaricus ( P s a l l i o t a ) a r v e n s i s . Besides these the cepes and t r u f f l e s (Tuber cibarium) are also used i n Europe, Kames are prominent i n northern A f r i c a , I n the Ori e n t , e s p e c i a l l y i n Japan, Shiitake ( C o r t i n e l l u s s h i i t a k e ) and Matsutake ( C o r t i n e l l u s edodes) are c h i e f l y c u l t i v a t e d . I n some- c o u n t r i e s as i n Terra d e l Fuego, the n a t i v e s l i v e almost e n t i r e l y on a mushroom C y t t a r i a d a r w i n i i , and i n A u s t r a l i a , M y l i t t a a u s t r a l i s are so commonly used by the nat i v e s that i t i s sometimes r e f e r r e d to as "native bread". The common c u l t i v a t e d mushroom Agaricus campestris i s a member o f the l a r g e group of p l a n t s known as f u n g i . I t belongs to the order A g a r i c a l e s i n the c l a s s Basidiomycetes. There are three d i s t i n c t phases i n the l i f e of mushrooms, namely the spore, mycelium and the f r u i t -ing body or mushroom. The spores germinate and give r i s e to a t h r e a d l i k e mycelium. The mycelium spreads i n t e r t w i n i n g l y through the c u l t u r e media, absorbing n u t r i e n t s , and t r a n s -p o r t i n g food. A f t e r growing e x t e n s i v e l y underground the mycelium comes to the surface to produce a mushroom. The -2-_ 3 -ft if sh<wm<t (byjati) ike ^nmtntie. Jittnbuiten tf iht "toeiskttem intimity i*t ike Unite'/ /Si/its mushrooms produces numerous spores which are found on the g i l l s r a d i a t i n g from the stem on the underside of the cap, ( F i g . 1 ) . These spores are l i b e r a t e d at a r a t e • o f one m i l l i o n per minute f o r several days. (1) H i s t o r y and Development of the Industry l i t t l e i s known of the e a r l i e r h i s t o r y of the f i e l d A garic i n c u l t i v a t i o n . During the days of the ancient Roman Empire c e r t a i n species of w i l d mushrooms were used as d e l i c a c i e s hut there i s no evidence to show that they were c u l t i v a t e d . During the r e i g n of Louis XIV, the mushroom was brought under c u l t i v a t i o n i n France. Tournef o r t , a French b o t a n i s t l e f t an i n t e r e s t i n g note i n 1707, regarding the c u l t u r e o f mushroom at that time. While l i t t l e was then known about the n u t r i t i o n of the mushroom, the r e q u i s i t e c o n d i t i o n s f o r s u c c e s s f u l c u l t u r e were c l e a r l y a ppreciated. Horse manure was the media i n which these mushrooms were grown. With the establishment of the extensive mushroom i n d u s t r y w i t h i n the vacant limestone q u a r r i e s i n the v i c i n i t y of P a r i s , mushroom c u l t u r e became more i n t e n s i v e • But i t was not u n t i l about 1900, when the pure c u l t u r e method was developed i n France and the United S t a t e s that r e a l progress Was made i n the development of the i n d u s t r y . With the widespread use of s p e c i a l l y constructed mushroom houses and of improved v a r i e t i e s , the i n d u s t r y made very r a p i d s t r i d e s i n the l a s t t h i r t y years. According to the re p o r t of the C e n t r a l Market of P a r i s , France produced 9,700,000 pounds o f mushrooms i n 1901, of which 3,000,000 pounds were canned and s o l d i n the United S t a t e s . I t that time the mushroom i n d u s t r y had only just s t a r t e d i n the United S t a t e s . Since 1901, production increased t o 5,000,000 pounds i n 1915, and to 20,000,000 pounds i n 1930. About three fourths of the i n d u s t r y i s l o c a t e d i n eastern Pennsylvania and northern Delaware, rear the ready markets f o r mushrooms and s u p p l i e s of manures i n New York C i t y and P h i l a d e l p h i a . The r e s t are s c a t t e r e d over various s t a t e s . I n Canada the mushrooms are produced i n l o c a l i t i e s surrounding the l a r g e c i t i e s , but at the present time f i g u r e s f o r the t o t a l production of mushroom are not a v a i l a b l e . Spawn In the e a r l y days of mushroom c u l t u r e the grower depended e n t i r e l y upon a n a t u r a l occurrence of spawn i n pastures, i n compost p i l e s , or elsewhere, as a means o f s t a r t i n g h i s c u l t u r e s . With the development of the mushroom ind u s t r y the demand f o r t h i s " v i r g i n spawn" increased t o such an extent that i t s production developed i n t o a s p e c i a l i n d u s t r y . The v i r g i n spawns were planted i n a small bed o f compost i n which the mycelium was permitted to spread, but not t o proceed to the f r u i t i n g stage. The beds were broken up and s o l d to the growers. This type of spawn was known as the "French-flake" spawn. I n England around the year 1800, an improved method i n the production of spawn was devised. The v i r g i n spawn was allowed to grow i n t o compressed b r i c k made of a mixture of horse manure, co?/ manure and some loam. When the spawn had spread throughout,the b r i c k was g r a d u a l l y dried, t o a point a t which growth ceased. This E n g l i s h " b r i c k spawn" was sup e r i o r to French-flake spawn i n keeping and shipping q u a l i t y . I n both types o f spawn i t was d i f f i c u l t to maintain pure -varieties and o f t e n fungus diseases and i n s e c t pcests were mixed w i t h the spawn. Yet the b r i c k spawns were used c h i e f l y u n t i l twelve years ago when they were g r a d u a l l y r e p l a c e d by a pure c u l t u r e spawn. Pure c u l t u r e spawn was f i r s t made from a germin-ated spore at the Pasteur I n s t i t u t e , P a r i s about 1900• A few years l a t e r Duggar, working i n the United States Department of A g r i c u l t u r e developed a t i s s u e c u l t u r e method which consisted of sowing b i t s o f mushroom t i s s u e , extracted under aseptic c o n d i t i o n s from the caps of young mushrooms i n a b o t t l e of s t e r i l e manure. Once the o r i g i n a l spawn was made from pure c u l t u r e s , i t was used i n place of v i r g i n spawn to in o c u l a t e the b r i c k s . Although t h i s was an improvement over the o l d b r i c k , both i n that the b r i c k was r e l a t i v e l y f r e e frcm diseases and i n s e c t s , and. was of a known v a r i e t y , yet i t was not a pure c u l t u r e and there was a chance f o r contamination. About 1921, some of the more s u c c e s s f u l spawn makers abandoned the t i s s u e culture method f o r the spore c u l t u r e method. The mushroom spores are c o l l e c t e d under ase p t i c c onditions from s e l e c t e d mushrooms. The spores are t r a n s f e r r e d to and allowed to germinate i n a pot ato dextrose or "beet wort agar to determine whether or not the c u l t u r e i s f r e e from contaminating f u n g i and "bacteria. The spores are incubated a t 75°F, and a f t e r the mycelium has made a good growth on the agar, i t i s t r a n s f e r r e d t o an i m p e r i a l quart milk b o t t l e containing s p e c i a l l y prepared s t e r i l i z e d horse manure• it a temperature of 70° to 80°F the mycelium u s u a l l y runs through the s t e r i l e manure i n t h i r t y days. The manure thus impregnated i s used t o i n o c u l a t e compost i n other b o t t l e s s i m i l a r l y prep ared. Owing to the tendency f o r the mushroom to "run out", tr a n s -f e r r i n g i s l i m i t e d to three generations from the o r i g i n a l c u l t u r e . The spawn i s s o l d e i t h e r as a wet or i n a dry form. Because of the l a r g e c a p i t a l necessary f o r l a b o r a t o r y equipments as w e l l a s f o r b u i l d i n g , only a few growers are able to s p e c i a l i z e i n spawn making. The pure c u l t u r e spawn has an advantage over the o l d b r i c k spawn of being f r e e from harmful f u n g i and i n s e c t s and of producing crops true to a s e l e c t e d type and c o l o r . I t s onl y disadvantage i s the comparatively poor keeping q u a l i t y . Unless the spawns are kept i n cold storage at a temperature of .32° to 34°F, they soon d e t e r i o r a t e . V a r i e t i e s The common mushroom has been grouped according to the c o l o r 6"f the cap, as white, brown and cream. The white v a r i e t y i s g e n e r a l l y p r e f e r r e d and commands the highest p r i c e on the market; i t i s also very p r o l i f i c . On the other hand i t tends to s t a i n when bruised; to produce . -8~ - . c l u s t e r s on beds; and to produce an excess of button mushrooms. The brown v a r i e t y i s lower i n market value than the white, but has an advantage i n possessing better shipping q u a l i t y , f i r m e r f l e s h , and produces fewer button mushrooms. The cream mushroom i s intermediate i n c o l o r and has the combined c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f both the white and brown v a r i e t i e s . S u i t a b l e Growing Space Out-of-doors C u l t u r e Mushrooms are c u l t i v a t e d outdoors i n Southern England where extremes of temperatures during the winters are not so great . They are a l s o c u l t i v a t e d outdoors i n various parts i n southern Europe. Areas with n a t u r a l s h e l t e r from c o l d winds are s e l e c t e d . Deep beds are con-s t r u c t e d and fresh manures are added to the bottom of the beds i n order t o maintain some degree of bottom heat. Mulching i s done with c l e a n straw over which c l o t h covers are placed. I n Canada and the United States the c u l t i v a t i o n of mushrooms out-of-doors cannot be recommended except i n c e r t a i n s ections of C a l i f o r n i a where winter temperature i s s u f f i c i e n t l y moderate. Indoor Culture Mushrooms can be grown i n any s t r u c t u r e s i n which v e n t i l a t i o n , r e l a t i v e humidity and temperature can be c o n t r o l l e d . S u n l i g h t w i l l t u r n via i t e mushrooms to a l i g h t brown c o l o r , but w i t h the i n t r o d u c t i o n of new white v a r i e t i e s which f a i l s to develop any c o l o r e d pigments i n -9-the presence of l i g h t , i t "became p o s s i b l e to grow mushrooms i n the l i g h t . I n France, where the c u l t i v a t i o n of mushrooms had f i r s t s t a r t e d , subterranean limestone q u a r r i e s l y i n g a few too many f e e t beneath the surface of ground were used mainly:. I n England and America abandoned mines or limestone quarries are being used, i n which v e n t i l a t ion, humidity and temperature can be c o n t r o l l e d , and which are l o c a t e d near the r a i l r o a d , market and manure supply. Old barns, breweries and ice-houses are f r e q u e n t l y used. Although the p r a c t i c e has l a r g e l y disappeared, mushrooms were grown under green-house beds. Many people use a v a i l a b l e c e l l a r space i n t h e i r homes f o r t h i s purpose. For the commercial production of mushrooms, s p e c i a l l y constructed houses have found most favor at the present time, e s p e c i a l l y i n America. The p r i n c i p a l advantages of the s p e c i a l mushroom house are: i t can be s u i t a b l y l o c a -ted w i t h r e l a t i o n to r a i l r o a d f a c i l i t i e s , markets and manure supplie s; v e n t i l a t i o n , temperature and humidity can be e a s i l y c o n t r o l l e d ; houses can be a r t i f i c i a l l y heated when necessary; fumigation can be e a s i l y handled. The only disadvantages are the high i n i t i a l c o s t of the house and high cost of c o o l i n g i t f o r the summer crop. C o n s t r u c t i o n of House_ The commercial mushroom houses are designed to s i m p l i f y and f a c i l i t a t e such operation as f i l l i n g the beds, spawning, emptying beds, d i s i n f e c t i n g , heating s o i l , heating, -10-Fi3. (3 CirOSS Sector} of Three. Umi Beds /Vote: This crou scttim j W s ihe beds. This iypeof bed an be &>-Hfjeo{ •fr-tm one io Any number- oi beds high and ihe beds extended io any lengih Accordmj io ihe rfece w&il&ble . A crofj piece And upright /s Arr&Yiged ~fer every ~foi"feet, of bed hncjih. Ded boards And one tide boh>4 loose. 'ftfn Chester Gxmiy Utmttuitt) -11-*M L i l 1 # 1 ^ l ^ f c f " ^ 1 1 ft ^ v SO ""5 ~r A. >»s *s * j , * .«. v^v^^ O « ^ ^ \f *v t D V * £ £ « £ ^  4k -12-and v e n t i l a t i o n . Figures 3, 4, 5 tend t o bring out the general idea of the design u s u a l l y used. The standard mushroom house i s 18 to 20 fe e t wide and 60 to 1000 fe e t long and i s oonstructed of cinder blocks or o f wood i n s u l a t e d w i t h shavings or of s i n g l e l a y e r of s i d i n g . Cement b l o c k s , b r i c k s and hollo?/ t i l e s are seldom used because of t h e i r tendency t o sweat. The r o o f i s l i n e d w i t h i n s u l a t i n g m a t e r i a l s or a l o f t i s b u i l t and covered with s e v e r a l inches of shavings. Two t i e r s of beds each four to seven and even up to ten beds high run the f u l l l e n g t h of the b u i l d i n g . The beds are f i v e to s i x f e e t wide with an a i s l e on each side s u f f i c i e n t l y wide f o r the operation of f i l l i n g and p i c k i n g . A distance of s i x to twelve inches i s allowed from the f l o o r to the bottom of the bed, and each successive bed i s two f e e t or more above. Between the top bed and the c e i l i n g a space of three to four f e e t i s d e s i r e d . No. 1 common cypress or cedar which r e s i s t s r o t t i n g are used as bed and side boards. These boards are loose and are held i n place by the compost, so that they may be removed when f i l l i n g or clea n i n g the beds. The outside v e n t i l a t o r s r un the e n t i r e length of the b u i l d i n g . The v e n t i l a t o r may be of louvre type, but u s u a l l y a s i x inch opening i s l e f t under the v e n t i l a t o r r a f t e r s . Where a l o f t i s b u i l t , v e n t i l a t i o n i s accomplished by p a r t l y opening the doors and p a r t l y opening the hinged vents of the v e n t i l a t o r s i n the c e i l i n g , which run the length of the b u i l d i n g . G e n e r a l l y the house i s b u i l t w i t h a r i s e -15-of a t l e a s t one foot to s i x t y feet above the other end. This improves the n a t u r a l c i r c u l a t i o n of a i r w i t h i n the b u i l d i n g . The sl o p i n g o f the c e i l i n g upward from the side w a l l to the centre v e n t i l a t o r s a l s o f a c i l i t a t e s the ( c i r c u l a -t i o n of a i r . Sometime numerous small screened openings are made at ground l e v e l to draw o f f the f l o o r a i r . Very few growers have a c o o l i n g p l a n t extensive enough to enable them t o grow mushrooms during the summer. U s u a l l y the water i s pumped from the deep w e l l and c i r c u l a t e d through a spray system. The a i r i s r e c i r c u l a t e d from the house by a fan and d i s t r i b u t e d i n t o the house by means of ducts and thereby c o o l i n g the house. Instead of using c o l d water, the a i r may be r e c i r c u l a t e d over i c e i n the bunker and then d i s t r i b u t e d over the house. I n l a r g e r p l a n t s mechanical r e f r i g e r a t i o n i s used, but owing to the expense of i n s t a l l i n g and upkeep i t i s p r a c t i c a l l y placed out of the range of small growers. In any case where a house i s cooled by r e f r i g e r a t i o n , the p l a n t must be w e l l i n s u l a t e d and so constructed to prevent excessive humidity or c i r c u l a t i o n of a i r . The heating p l a n t or b o i l e r room i s u s u a l l y placed just outside one end of the p l a n t , and the packing room i s b u i l t above i t . Hot water heat i s p r e f e r a b l e to steam heat which tends to dry out the beds. The pipes are placed against the i n s i d e w a l l w i t h i n a few f e e t of the f l o o r . - 1 6 -C u l t u r a l Practice. P r e p a r a t i o n of a Su i t a b l e Pomp-oat S e l e c t i n g and S t o r i n g Manure The compost of. horse manure s t i l l remains the only medium f o r the commercial production of mushrooms. I t contains the necessary n u t r i e n t s as w e l l as the decomposition products upon which the mushroom seems to depend. I n the composting the c e l l u l o s e and hemieellulose decrease markedly (28) w h i l e l i g n i n and p r o t e i n increase i n p r o p o r t i o n . Experiment shows that the mushroom feeds l a r g e l y on l i g n i n and p r o t e i n which supply n i t r o g e n i n various forms, and to a l e s s e r extent upon he m i e e l l u l o s e , c e l l u l o s e and other complexes (28). % u s the manure must he composted to "bring about an enhanced a v a i l a b i l i t y i n the l i g n i n and p r o t e i n content due t o a p o s s i b l e change i n t h e i r chemical nature. In the s e l e c t i o n of manure experience has l e d us to p r e f e r manure from g r a i n f e d horses bedded w i t h a moderate amount of straw. Straws of various kinds are used. 'Wheat straws are p r e f e r r e d by most growers. French growers p r e f e r rye straw which tends to be somewhat more d i f f i c u l t to break up than wheat straw. Oat straw i s l e s s p r e f e r a b l e as i t breaks down very r a p i d l y and tends to overheat and become moldy. A good mixture contains equal proportions of straw and horse manure. Good r e s u l t s were obtained by experienced growers (30) using peat, moss, sawdust and shavings, mixed w i t h horse manure. Using t h i s mixture, however, r e q u i r e s more thorough care than the use of -17-o r d i n a r y manure. Dow manure gave a r e l a t i v e l y low y i e l d . (31) Manure should he cured as soon as a r i c k i s assembled which i s l a r g e enough to f i l l the mushroom house, but sometimes i t has t o be stored. When storage i s necessary the manure i s p i l e d i n t o a l a r g e compost heap up to 8 or 10 f e e t high containing i n most cases at l e a s t 90 tons. The heaps are then covered w i t h s e v e r a l inches o f s o i l and allowed to stand undisturbed except f o r occassi onal watering of the outside l a y e r . The manure i n such a s t a t e of moistness maintains an aerobic condit ion w i t h i n the r i c k , which cheeks fermentation and keeps the compost green f o r three or four months. Composting of Manure The handling of the manure to be composted v a r i e s depending with the type of manure w i t h i n the p i l e . Two p i l e s of manures are seldom a l i k e and they even d i f f e r w i t h i n various p a r t s of the same p i l e . I n general the composting i s done out i n the open or i n a high open shed. The sun and a i r are necessary to prevent the growth of i n j u r i o u s molds on the c o o l surface of the p i l e , as w e l l as a s s i s t i n g the decomposition of the manure. I n the open the manure i s p i l e d on a dry ground wi t h good drainage. The p i l e i s from 4 to 6 f e e t high and 12 to 20 f e e t wide w i t h any distance i n l e n g t h . The height of the r i c k depends somewhat on the texture of the manure. Manure w i t h an excess amount of straw w i l l shrink to about one-fourth i t s normal bulk, which n e c e s s i t a t e s p i l i n g the -18- . manure 6 to 8 f e e t h i g h i n s t e a d of 4 to 6 f e e t high as above. The manure at t h i s stage i s f a i r l y wet. Some p r e f e r to cover the p i l e w ith a 3 or 4 inch l a y e r of s o i l to con-serve moisture w h i l e others f e e l i t i s not necessary as the moisture can be c o n t r o l l e d by watering. The temperature w i t h i n the manure r i s e s immediately to 120° to 160°F. The r i c k s are u s u a l l y allowed to remain undis-turbed f o r 10 days a f t e r they are p i l e d before the f i r s t t u r n i n g . Turning i s u s u a l l y done by hand but some growers use s p e c i a l machinery. During the t u r n i n g , water i s a p p l i e d to the d r y straw and any c alced manure i s broken up. The side of the heap i s c a r e f u l l y turned i n t o the centre. This process i s repeated at an i n t e r v a l of a week to 10 days, u n t i l the compost i s ready. G e n e r a l l y 3 or 4 turnings are s u f f i c i e n t . Each t u r n i n g i s f o l l o w e d by an increase i n temperature and a vigorous renewal of chemical a c t i o n because of the good a e r a t i o n which increases the b i o l o g i c a l a c t i v i t y . Excess watering causes a "greasy" compost which favors " p l a s t e r mold" development on the "bed. Moreover i t makes i t d i f f i c u l t to d r y the manure to s u i t a b l e moisture content. On the other hand too l i t t l e watering slows the decomposition m a t e r i a l l y and causes excessive d r y i n g and even burning of the manure. Generally heavy watering i s confined t o the f i r s t t u r n i n g . At each successive t u r n i n g only s u f f i c i e n t water i s added to maintain a moisture content of around 60 percent, i t the end o f the composting s l i g h t l y -19-rnore moisture than the optimum i s obtained t o a l l o w f o r a small l o s s of water during the f i n a l f ermentatian i n the house. In p r a c t i c e the moisture content of the compost i s t e s t e d by squeezing a b a l l of compost t i g h t l y i n the hand.. I f the hand i s not moistened the compost i s too dry, "but i f the water oozes out f r e e l y the compost i s too wet. During the l a s t t u r n i n g a few drops of water should ooze between the f i n g e r s but no water should run from the f i n g e r s . The number of turnings and the time of composting depends l a r g e l y upon the type of manure. With excessive straw, longer time and e x t r a turning i s probably necessary. U s u a l l y the composting p e r i o d ranges between 25 to 35 days. I n a normal compost the bulk i s reduced to 3 or 4 f e e t h i g h , when the compost i s ready t o be used. I n a w e l l composted p i l e u n i f o r m i t y i n c o l o r and t e x t u r e should be n o t i c e d . The c o l o r should be a dark chocolate brown moderately spreckle d w i t h white . The f i b r e should have l o s t i t s s t r e n g t h . The straw should be p l i a b l e enough to shear o f f readJLly when t o r n across, yet s u f f i c i e n t f i b r e should s t i l l remain t o prevent the compost from s t i c k i n g together i n a muddy mass. .As soon as the compost reaches t h i s p o i n t i t i s placed immediately i n t o the house to prevent r a p i d d e t e r i o r a t i o n . At t h i s point the react ion of the manure i s about n e u t r a l . Aside from d e t e c t i n g harmful m a t e r i a l s i n the manure there i s no l a b o r a t o r y procedure known which can determine s a t i s f a c t o r y whether the manure i s s u f f i c i e n t l y -SO-composted to "be ready f o r the bed. Pre p a r a t i o n of Beds A composted manure i s f i l l e d i n t o the beds with a l e a s t p o s s i b l e handling or delay. The manure may be brought i n t o the house by a s e r i e s of b e l t conveyors d r i v e n by e l e c t r i c motor, or by a bushel basket set i n a narrow car which runs on l i g h t narrow-gauge t r a c k s , or by a wheel barrow. The manure i s l a i d on the beds at a rate of one bushel to approximately two square f e e t of bed space, or to the depth of s i x to eight i n c h e s . When the moisture content i s just r i g h t , the compost may be s i i g h t l y packed, but i f i t i s too wet i t i s allowed to l i e l o o s e . When the compost i s too dry i t i s packed i n order to r e t a i n moisture. i s soon as the house i s f i l l e d , i t i s sealed and the manure i s allowed to go through a f i n a l "sweating o u i " or fermentation. The temperature begins to r i s e immediately and c ontinue to r i s e u n t i l the a i r temperature reaches over 125°F and the temperature of the bed i s between 130° t o 140 F. These high temperatures are maintained at l e a s t f o r £4 hours or more. When a s u f f i c i e n t r i s e of heat cannot be obtained w i t h i n the house, a r t i f i c i a l heat, e i t h e r i n form of hot water or steam r a d i a t i o n can be s u c c e s s f u l l y used to b r i n g up to the de s i r e d temperature. Such a high temperature i s d e s i r a b l e i n that i t allows the compost to dry out i f too wet; i t er a d i c a t e s many harmful i n s e c t s and fun g i i n the manure; and i t b r i n g s about even decomposition g i v i n g more fa v o r a b l e b i o l o g i c a l balance and. n u t r i t i o n a l c o n d i t i o n i n the compost. During the heat p a r t i a l s t e r i l i z a t i o n occurs w i t h i n the manure i n which the heat producing organisms e l i m i n a t e many harmful f u n g i and b a c t e r i a and i n t h e i r t u r n d i e out as the temperature f a l l s . At the peak heat calcium cyanide i s u s u a l l y dusted i n the a i s l e s or a small amount o f sulphur i s burned i n the house to k i l l a n y.insects which may be d r i v e n to the surface of the bed by a heat. Heating process i s l a r g e l y i n f l u e n c e d by the c o n d i t i o n of the compost and the depth o f the manure i n the bed. Undereomposted manure heats more q u i c k l y and cools o f f more s l o w l y . Mofe moisture i s allowed when the beds are f i l l ed and a high temperature i s maintained only f o r a short time i n order to prevent the manure from burning (manure becomes white.) Over-composted manure heats slowly and even when the bed i s f i l l e d i t r e q u i r e s the a i d of an a r t i f i c i a l he at t o b r i n g up t o the necessary temperature. I n the deeper bed, i t tends t o overheat and f i r e f a n g a few days a f t e r the beds are made. Spanning and Casing Spawning Ihe beds are plante d w i t h spam as soon as the temperature i n the compost has receded t o 80°F. Much harm can be done by al l o w i n g the beds to stand too long and become c o l d e r a f t e r they are ready t o spawn. The container of the spawn i s removed and i t i s "broken i n t o pieces about one h a l f as l a r g e as a hen's egg, Jin i m p e r i a l quart b o t t l e of spawn w i l l p l a n t 30 t o 36 square f e e t of bed spaces. The pieces are i n j e c t e d i n t o the bed about 1-1-inch es from the surface and 8 to 12 inches apart. The beds are maintained between 70° and 75°F at which -(.temperature the mycelium grows most v i g o r o u s l y and insures a good catch of spawn. A f t e r a week or ten days the temperature i s s l o w l y lowered u n t i l the d e s i r e d temperature i s reached• Casing I n about two t o four weeks l a t e r the beds are cased by spreading a s o i l about 1 i n c h t h i c k over the beds. A good casing s o i l has a f a i r l y l a r g e water h o l d i n g c a p a c i t y and d r i e s out uniformly without cracking or forming a c r u s t on the s u r f a c e . As long as the s o i l has these p r o p e r t i e s r i c h s o i l i s not r e q u i r e d . Although excess of organic matters w i t h i n the s o i l i s not d e s i r a b l e as i t tends to increase the diseases and i n s e c t s , yet l i t t i e organic matters are necessary to prevent hardening or puddling. Many growers maintain a small f i e l d f o r a casing s o i l . The s i x inches of the surface s o i l are s t r i p p e d o f f and are used f o r casing s o i l , w h i l e the s u b s o i l i s limed and planted with green cover crops to b u i l d up the humus. I n g e n e r a l , a r o t a t i o n i s so arranged that any part o f the f i e l d i s not taken for a second time u n t i l 4 or 5 years , have elapsed. I n the s e l e c t i o n of saeh f i e l d , a f i e l d free -23-from any pests or diseases e s p e c i a l l y "Mycogone" i s used. F i e l d which has heen p r e v i o u s l y f e r t i l i z e d waih a spent manure from the mushroom beds i s avoided. The casing s o i l i s passed through a h a l f inch wire mesh i n order to break up a l l the lumps. I t has become a general p r a c t i c e t o a p p l y lime i n various q u a n t i t i e s to b r i n g the r e a c t i o n of the s o i l to a n e u t r a l or a hydrogen-ion c o n c e n t r a t i o n of 6.7 to 7.5. Such n e u t r a l or s l i g h t l y a l k a l i n e s o i l s are found f a v o r a b l e for the growth of the f r u i t i n g mycelium, but i t r e t a r d s the growth o f many f u n g i which grow i n a c i d s o i l . I n an a c i d s o i l the production of mushrooms i s very slow. Growing Gondition Temperature A temperature of the house l a r g e l y determines the l e n g t h of the growing p e r i o d and also the q u a l i t y o f the mushrooms. Between 45° to 55°F good beds continue to produce f o r 5 or 6 months, w h i l e at 60° to 65°F production ceases i n 3 months. At lower temperature the mushrooms are somewhat l a r g e r , d i s t i n c t l y f i r m e r and heavier than those at higher temperature, yet the t o t a l y i e l d s are p r a c t i c a l l y the same, wi th perhaps a s l i g h t favor to the lower temperature. When two crops are to be produced w i t h i n a s i n g l e season the time becomes an important f a c t o r . The bed must be kept at higher temperature than 55°F. A uniform temperature i s d e s i r e d ranging from 45° to 68°F. Although a lower temperature delays a crop -24-i t does not cause i n j u r y to mushrooms,but a few days of 70°F w i l l i n j u r e the crop s e r i o u s l y . Humidity During the bearing periods the r e l a t i v e humidity i n the house i s kept between 70 to 80 percent. The humidity w i t h i n the house w i l l depend upon the i n s u l a t ing q u a l i t y of the b u i l d i n g and the d i f f e r e n c e s i n p r o p o r t i o n of a i r space t o bed space. High humidity tends t o produce i n f e r i o r mushrooms as w e l l as i n c r e a s i n g a disease Imown as the "spot". I f the humidity drops much below 70$ the casing s o i l tends to dry out too rap i d l y , and the surface of mushrooms becomes tough and i n extreme cases i t becomes cracked and seamed. Watering Water i s a p p l i e d to the beds s h o r t l y a f t e r they are cased. The beds are watered l i g h t l y w i t h a spray every day u n t i l there i s j u s t a s u f f i c i e n t moisture i n the s o i l to cause a normal strand formation. This optimum moisture content i s maintain? d u n t i l the mushrooms begin to appear. The amoung of water necessary to maintain the proper moisture content depends l a r g e l y on the r e l a t i v e humidity o f the house, the moisture content of the compost and the water holding capacity of the s o i l . Excess watering i s avoided as i t tends to decrease a e r a t i o n i n the s o i l and cause a sn other ing of the mycelium by water. _ Puddling of water too, i s objectionable as i t stimulates the development of a harmful green mold and causes the submergences of a pinhead mushroom which turns brown and d i e s . The casing s o i l i s Icept as cl o s e to the s a t u r a t i o n without water p e r c o l a t i n g through that s o i l i n t o the spawn. I f the p e r c o l a t i o n i s allowed, the formation of a wet l a y e r of manure under the s o i l may prevent the mycelium from growing up into the s o i l . On the other hand i f the s o i l i s too dry fewer mushrooms w i l l develop. Mushrooms appear i n sudden outbreaks c a l l e d " f l u s h e s " or "breaks" at an i n t e r v a l o f about a week fol l o w e d by periods during.which very few mushrooms appear. During the production o f mushro oms, water may be a p p l i e d only between the breaks to avoid the wetting of the mushroOD or a p p l i e d l i g h t l y two or three times a week r e g a r d l e s s of the breaks, or a combination of the two i n which the beds are watered r e g a r d l e s s of the break f o r the f i r s t three breaks, f o l l o w e d by watering between the breaks i n the l a t e r stage. A f t e r four or f i v e breaks some growers p r e f e r to give the beds a r e s t o f two or three weeks, keeping the water o f f and keeping the beds f r e e from t r a s h . Such a treatment i s b e n e f i c i a l e s p e c i a l l y i f the mushrooms become l i g h t and spotted. A f t e r t h i s time the beds are watered as u s u a l . V e n t i l a t i o n Considerable vent i l at ion i s necessary f o r the normal production o f mushrooms much v e n t i l a t i o n i s given as p o s s i b l e without i n t e r f e r r ing with the temperature -26-hurnidity c o n t r o l s or causing excessive evaporation from the beds by cross d r a f t . When the beds are watered, increase 1 v e n t i l a t i o n i s necessary to dry the droplets on the rnushrooi caps to prevent any s p o t t i n g . During the v e n t i l a t i o n l i t t l knowledge i s re q u i r e d of the temperature oat side as w e l l as i n s i d e . I f the outside temperature of the mushroom house i s higher than that of the i n s i d e , f r e s h a i r wi 11 bee ome damp on e n t e r i n g , but on the other hand i f the c o l d a i r enters i n t o the warmer house i t tends to absorb moisture and lowers the r e l a t i v e humidity i n s i d e the house. Sani t a t i o n and D i s i n f e s t a t i o n l i k e any other k i n d of crop, mushrooms are sub-jected t o atta c k by many diseases and p e s t s . A d i s i n f e e t a -t i o n and s a n i t a t i o n become an important matter where many diseases and pests are prevalent i n a congested mushroom d i s t r i c t . Thorough d i s i n f est at ion of the compost grounds; of the mushroom houses between crops; and a s p e c i a l p r e c a u t i o n to prevent the contamination of the c a s i n g - s o i l and water become e v i d e n t l y necessary. Where the compost ground i s of concrete only thorough cleansing and perhaps surface d i s i n f eating i s necessary but where the manure i s composted d i r e c t l y on the bare surface ground, s a n i t a r y c o n d i t i o n and thorough drenching of the s o i l w i t h a d i s i n f e c t a n t a few weeks before assembling of manure i s r e q u i r e d . A s o l u t i o n of formal-dehyde made by d i s s o l v i n g 1 p i n t of f r e s h f o r m a l i n i n 15 g a l l o n s of water g i v e s a s a t i s f a c t o r y r e s u l t . Moreover i t has an advantage i n that i t does not corrode metal and remain only temporary i n the s o i l . i s soon as the beds have f i n i s h e d producing they are emptied of the o l d compost which are removed from the premises. The hoards are scraped, washed and thoroughly cleaned and i f p o s s i b l e exposed to the s u n l i g h t . I t has become a u n i v e r s a l p r a c t i c e to thoroughly d i s i n f e a t the i n s i d e of the house a few weeks before they are to be f i l l e d again e i t h e r by burning sulphur or r e l e a s i n g formaldehyde gas. I n e i t h e r case the best r e s u l t s w i t h fumigation are obtained when the room i s s i i g h t l y moist, and when the temperature i s at l e a s t 70°F. As both fumes are i n j u r i o u s t o growing mushrooms, s p e c i a l precautions are necessary when fumigating a house next to one i n < v v h ^ h x a crop i s growing. Sulphur i s burned at the r a t e o f 5 to 6 pounds per 1000 cubic f e e t o f a i r space. Although flowers o f sulphur i s best, crude sulphur may be used and w i l l burn r e a d i l y w i t h the a i d of rag wick soaked i n kerosene or of c h a r c o a l . Deep containers are used and the a i r pockets i n the sulphur are avoided i n order to minimize the f i r e hazzard of running molten sulphur and burning sulphur s p a t t e r i n g over the bed boards. Sulphur i s never burned on a cemesat f l o o r , as the heat generated may cause the cement to buckle and cause an e x p l o s i o n . The commercial 40^ formaldehyde s o l u t i o n i n water i s vaporized at the r a t e of 1 quart t o 1000 cubic f e e t of a i r space. The formaldehyde i s placed i n wooden pails; or tubs along the a i s l e s and vaporized by adding c r y s t a l s of potassium permanganate at the r a t e of 1 pound per quart of f o r m a l i n . Exposed l i g h t i s avoided as formalde hyde gas i s explosive under c e r t a i n c o n d i t i o n s . When the fumigation i s not p o s s i b l e the room should be sprayed w i t h some good d i s i n f e c t a n t . C a r b o l i c a c i d , creosote, h y p r o c h l o r i t e and mercury b i c h l o r i d e can be used. These can be used i n d i s i n f e s t i n g a l l t o o l s , buckets, wheelbarrows, t r u c k s and other equipment. The water supply must be guarded against contamination with fungus spores or any traces of grease or o i l which may cause the deformation of mushrooms» Diseases and Insect P e s t s Diseases Although mushroom i t s e l f i s a fungus i t i s l i a b l e to be attacked by a f u n g i of lower order and by a b a c t e r i a . Some diseases may be p a r a s i t i c to mushrooms, others may cause unfavourable condit ion f o r mushrooms i n the bed, while some may cause the malformation of mushrooms. Bubbles Bubbles i s the most d e s t r u c t i v e disease of the c u l t i v a t e d mushroom and i s sometimes e a i l e d the "Mushroom disease " . I t i s caused by Mycogone p e r n i o i o s a Magn., a p a r a s i t i c fungus, which grows i n t o the mushroom and turns i t i n t o a shapeless mass covered with a7 white or brown -29-spores. The stem of the diseased mushroom i s short and d i s t o r t e d , and the cap i s s c a r c e l y developed, resembling somewhat a p u f f b a l l i n appearance. A f t e r a few days the a f f e c t e d mushrooms q u i c k l y decay exuding watery substances and e m i t t i n g a d i s a g r e a b l e odour. S i m i l a r types of symptoms can be produced by Oephalosporium C o s t a n t i n i i and by a species of V e r t i c i l l i u m , but the decay i s not as r a p i d ( 2 0 ) . The spores of the bubbles may be c a r r i e d by a i r , i n s e c t s , water, spawn, compost, s o i l , or by hands and t o o l s of the workmen. Thorough d i s i n f e g t a t ion o f the house e i t h e r w i t h sulphur or formaldehyde i s s u f f i c i e n t to destroy a l l spores w i t h i n the house. Where open w e l l s are used, occassional d i s i n f e c t a t i o n beeomes necessary. There i s very l i t t l e chance of Mycogone to be spread i n a b o t t l e of pure c u l t u r e spawn unless a b r i c k spawn i s used. Experiments have proved that by heating the house f o r 48 hours at 120°F w i l l e r a d i c a t e the fungus from the house as w e l l as from a manure. Such high heat i s obtained during the f i n a l fermentation of manures i n the beds. Casing s o i l i s u s u a l l y the source of i n f e c t i o n . The s o i l f r e e from Mycogone should be used. For precaution, o o the s o i l may be heated to 120 F f o r 48 hours, or t o 150 F f o r l e s s than 1 hour to destroy a l l the spores. Thus p a r t i a l s t e r i l i z a t i o n with l i v e steam i s quite s a t i s f a c t o r y . Once the disease becomes e s t a b l i s h e d i n the growing beds, s t r i c t s a n i t a r y measures are necessary. A l l the diseased heads should be removed and burned. The l o s s -30-o may be reduced, by growing the crops around 50 or even at a l e s s temperature. The contaminated casing s o i l may be completely removed and r e f i l l e d wi th non-infected s o i l . When the disease has just s t a r t e d , l o c a l i z e d areas may be tr e a t e d w i t h l^fo l y s o l or Zfo f o r m a l i n , but such a treatment w i l l k i l l the mycelium as w e l l . (30) Fl o c k "Flock" or " G i l l Mold" i s caused by the fungus, Cephalosporium l a m e l l a e c o l a . I t i s r a r e l y s e r i o u s and i s u s u a l l y found i n the beds here and the r e . I t causes the g i l l s t o j o i n together and covers them w i t h a white mold-l i k e growth. High humidity i n the room or an excessive wet spot i n the beds w i l l encourage the di s e a s e . A l l the a f f e c t e d mushrooms should be p i c k e d . B a c t e r i a l Spot The spot disease i s caused by the b a c t e r i a , Pseudomonas t o l a a s i , which appears as a brown s p l o t c h on the mushrooms. I n f e c t ion i s known to be favored by high humidity and prolonged wetting of the mushroom caps while watering the beds. When watering, the vent i l a t i o n should be increased to d r y o f f the mushroom as soon as p o s s i b l e . Green Molds The green molds appear as a green splotch w i t h white edges on top of the casing s o i l . Decayed mushrooms and dead butts which s t a r t t h i s disease must -31-be removed, and the holes are f i l l e d up with f r e s h loam. The molds prevents the mushroom from forming i n that area. Sometimes green mold t i s s u e s are completely removed and r e -f i l l e d with f r e s h a l k a l i n e s o i l which g r e a t l y r e t a r d s t h e i r growth. The disease i s caused by a group of f u n g i of V e r t i c i l l i u m and P e n i e i l l i u m . Br own P l a s t e r Mold I t i s a fungus disease of the compost i n the beds. The fungus does not a t t a c k the mushroom or spawn but appears i n the manure i n the beds as a l a r g e colony of white powdery spores which t u r n brown to reddish-brown at m a t u r i t y . This disease prevents the spawn from running where the molds occur• The general p r e c a u t i o n a l measure of c l e a n l i n e s s and d i s i n f e e t a t i o n i s s u f f i c i e n t . White P l a s t e r Mold l i k e the Brown P l a s t e r Mold i t i s the disease of the compo s t . The disease appears as a large colony of powdery chalk-white growth. Once the molds appear they remain and prevent the mushroom mycelium from appearing i n these spots. I n a serious i n f e s t a t i o n , the disease may cause a t o t a l crop f a i l u r e . The same preea ut i o n a l measure a p p l i e s here. The disease i s caused by the fungus M o n i l i a f i m i c o l a . O l i v e Green Mold The o l i v e green molds caused by the genus, Chaetonium appear as a7 deep color e d o l i v e green spots on the manure and sometimes penetrates deeply i n t o the manure. This disease i s prevalent i n the under-composted manure or manure that has heen overheated during the sweating out proc T r u f f l e s T r u f f l e s of "Calf ( a s B r a i n " as i t i s sometimes c a l l e d i s r e l a t i v e l y a new disease which appeared i n c e r t a i n eastern sections of the United S t a t e s . This disease i s caused by the fungus, Pseudoblasmia microspora. I t appears throughout the bed as small w r i n k l e d bodies about the s i z e of very small buttons but d i f f e r e n t i n th a t they have a wri n k l e d surface l i k e a surface of the b r a i n . The parts of the beds i n f e c t e d with t r u f f l e s soon become barren. As very l i t t l e i s known of the disease no d e f i n i t e c o n t r o l measure can be set down. Fumigation, c l e a n l i n e s s , and the thorough d i s i n f e c t i n g of the s o i l w i t h some good d i s i n f e c t a n t should help toward the e r a d i c a t i o n of t h i s d i s e a s e . Mushroom Pests The c h i e f pests causing commercial damages to mushrooms are the fungus gnats, mites and s p r i n g t a i l s . The manure f l i e s , g a l l gnats, sowbugs, and slugs were found also to be a t t a c k i n g the mushrooms. The fungus gnats caused the most i n j u r y to the mushroom i n d u s t r y . The S c i a r i d f l i e s are small black f l i e s whose larvae are white and the maggots are one-eighth inch long, with black heads. They attack the mushrooms, causing -33-black streaks i n the stems and worm holes i n the caps, and even may cause the dying of the small mushrooms. On t h e i r bodies they c a r r y mites, molds and diseases and are o f t e n r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the outbreaks of f l o u r mold. Several species of mites a t t a c k the mushroom. There are the Tyroglyphus l i n t n e r i , the long legged mite or linopodes antennaepes, and Rhizoglyphus p h y l l o x e r a e . These mites are very small and almost colorless,, C a r e f u l examina-t i o n of the beds i s r e q u i r e d before the mites can be detected unless they are moving. I n ge n e r a l , the mites a t t a c k the spawn or puncture and suck the sap from the heavy feeding strands at the base of the mushroom. The mushrooms so attacke have a reddish d i s c o l o r a t i o n on the stem. S p r i n g t a i l s are t i n y gray c i g a r shaped i n s e c t s , which a t t a c k the mushroom spawn, but they a l s o eat holes i n the mushroom, marring t h e i r appearance f o r s a l e . When numerous they are capable of causing serious damage to the crop. Of the various s p e c i e s , Achoreates, lepedoeyrtus, Isotoma, and S c h o t t e l l a attack the mushrooms. The manure f l i e s or Phorids are s l i g h t l y l a r g e r and more a c t i v e than S c i a r i d f l i e s , l i k e the S c i a r i d they att a c k mushrooms as well' as spawns and may cause serious damage. They too are capable of c a r r y i n g common diseases: and mites. Some of the Cecidomyiids, a very small orange c o l o r e d f l y i s sometimes found as a pest i n the mushroom" house. -34-Sowbug s and slugs are found to eat small holes i n the mushroom and may even cause the i n j u r y to the spawn under a heavy i n f e s t a t i o n . C o n t r o l Measures P r a c t i c a l l y a l l i n s e c t pests can he c o n t r o l l e d by the general p r e c a u t i o n a l measures taken during the r o u t i n e of c u l t u r a l p r a c t i c e s . During the sweating out process the heat w i t h i n the bed w i l l r i s e to about 130 to o 140 F which i s s u f f i c i e n t t o k i l l or d r i v e the i n s e c t s out of the manure bed. During the peak heat,calcium cyanide s c a t t e r e d on the f l o o r at a r a t e of 1 pound per 1000 cubic f e e t of a i r space w i l l k i l l a l l the p e s t s . The burning of sulphur at a r a t e o f 2 pounds per 1000 cubic f e e t of a i r space i s g r a d u a l l y r e p l a c i n g the use of cyanide. Both the cyanic gas and the sulphur gas are found to penetrate 1 inch i n t o the compost• In order to prevent the i n s e c t s from b r i n g i n g i n contaminants from the other houses, the v e n t i l a t o r s and doors should be screened with 30 mesh copper wire c l o t h . During the eropping of the mushrooms, the temperature should not go above 55°F as the higher temperature increases the development of i n s e c t s . A dust c o n s i s t i n g of 60 fo pyre thrum powder and 40^ f i n e l y ground c l a y used at the r a t e of 2-§- ounces per 1000 cubic f e e t of a i r space gave very s a t i s f a c t o r y c o n t r o l of the adult f l i e s without i n j u r y i n g the mushroom. There are a number of e f f i c i e n t pyrethrum dusts a v a i l a b l e at the market l i s t e d under v a r i o u s trade names. -35-H a r v e s t i n g , Packing and Marketing In normal circumstances the beds require to be p i c k e d three times a week, but sometimes, e s p e c i a l l y i n c o l d weather the p i c k i n g i s adjusted to the growth of crop. The mushrooms are u s u a l l y picked before the v e i l breaks or about 12 hours before the v e i l ruptures as mushrooms d e t e r i o r a t e very r a p i d l y a f t e r t h i s stage. Mushrooms are t w i s t e d o f f , or p r i s e d up r a t h e r than c u t . .After the mushrooms are picked, the fi e shy stumps are care-f u l l y removed and the holes are f i l l e d w ith f r e s h s o i l of good n e u t r a l or a l k a l i n e r e a c t i o n . This removal of stumps i s very important i n order to prevent the development of green molds i n the s o i l which prevent the formation of new mushrooms. At the sajne time a l a r g e number of small buttons up to one-half inch i n s i z e , which die o f f because of the crowding out, causing the m y c e l i a l strand beneath to break, are a l s o picked o f f . Most of the mushrooms i n America are sold f r e s h while some are canned. Fresh mushrooms are s o l d by weight. I n the East, 3 pound baskets are p r e f e r r e d while i n the West, 1 pound paper cartons are p r e f e r r e d . When packed f r e s h the mushrooms are u s u a l l y sorted i n t o f'lW, separate grades of each c o l o r grown. Although various c o u n t r i e s have t h e i r own standards, grades and grade names, they a l l more or l e s s are much a l i k e . According to the , United States standard f o r mushrooms, United States l o . l i s d i v i d e d i n t o four groups, the E x t r a l a r g e , l a r g e , -36-Medium and Small. The e x t r a l a r g e are those mushrooms l a r g e r than 3 inches i n diameter; the l a r g e , 1 5/8 to 3 inches; the medium, 1 to 1 5/8 inches; and the small or buttons, under 1 i n c h . The packages i n any of these grades must c o n t a i n f r e s h mushrooms of s i m i l a r v a r i e t a l c h a r a c t e r -i s t i c s which are not badly misshapen, are fre e from disease, i n s e c t i n j u r y , open cap, spots, and damage caused by d i r t or by mechanical or other means, and having stems p r o p e r l y trimmed and not more than Ijr inches l o n g . Besides the above grades, there are other grades which in c l u d e a l l s i z e s that are open, spotted or blemished. i s the mushrooms d e t e r i o r a t e very r a p i d l y prompt marketing or consumption i s e s s e n t i a l . I f they are c a r e f u l l y p icked and packed, mushrooms may keep f o r two days at ordinary temperature and longer i f under r e f r i g e r a -t i o n . I n a l a r g e r c i t y mushrooms are s o l d i n commission b a s i s through produce d e a l e r s . Sometimes they may be shipped d i r e c t l y to the r e t a i l e r or h o t e l s . Owing to the r a p i d s p o i l i n g of mushrooms, the mushroom, p l a n t must be s i t u a t e d near l a r g e c i t i e s , as they could not be shipped .for a long d i s t a n c e . The Canning i n d u s t r y has developed i n Eur op e as w e l l as i n i m e r i c a and the Or i e n t . They are u s u a l l y s i t u a t e d i n the v i c i n i t y where l a r g e mushroom i n d u s t r y has been w e l l e s t a b l i s h e d . Button mushrooms are p r e f e r r e d f o r canning. The mushrooms are canned-the same day that they are p i c k e d . The mushrooms are sorted on a moving b e l t , -37-c a r r i e d immediately to vats where they ere preheated u n t i l they have shrunk about 40 to 50^ i n bulk, placed i n cans, weighed and processed* D r i e d mushrooms are e x t e n s i v e l y done i n Europe and the O r i e n t . Each year l a r g e q u a n t i t i e s of d r i e d mushrooms are imported from these continents i n t o America, where the imported d r i e d mushrooms are p r e f e r r e d to t h e i r own d r i e d ones, l i t t l e of dr y i n g mushrooms are done i n the United S t a t e s . Food Value of Mushrooms The c u l t i v a t e d mushroom i s an accessory or luxu r y food, and r e c e i v e s p a r t i c u l a r a t t e n t i o n more as a r e l i s h or eondimentary d i s h r a t h e r than on i t s food value /"/>• H. N-VTftmVE VffLUE OF Tkfr Tpuffps OF S$£.V£K/9L FOODS VI . c C •% Pt IS i ^ ^ > tals 3 * i O 3ee{ (Hov»cl.) 7206 2.5-0 •IS •03 116-6 'Potatoes •/? •6/ /•S3 32 SO 3X5' J-SOQI- (HolkTrtctss) /-/J •// 7-ft /C1f0 Copi-mus caimiius -o¥ •0X5 •tot- ?n J-.SO J-f •oil /HI 2-SO tOohchelh ejcuhht& •ofi •or •JOC f.oo •It •OS •U 13/C i-60 i.1? Qystcf- 'CI 33 Jt36~Q 1-00 //••>. •of •Oi" M l JfOO •ar -?3J2. 08 61 /•/C JfOO •/68 /S3. • / J OC 1X0 /Oi -38-Food, v a l u e s a r e o f l i t t l e c o n s i d e r a t i o n as a r u l e w i t h p r o d u c t s w h i c h fare e s s e n t i a l l y a m a t t e r o f t a s t e . l i k e any o t h e r f o o d m a t e r i a l s the mushrooms have some f o o d v a l u e . Pound f o r pound of f r e s h m a t e r i a l t h e mushroom c o n t a i n s f a r l e s s p r o t e i n t h a n meat hut on a b a s i s o f d r y sub stance the mushroom does c o n t a i n a r e l a t i v e l y h i g h p e r c e n t a g e o f p r o t e i n . I t i s o b v i o u s t h a t many pounds o f mushrooms would be r e q u i r e d t o d i r e c t l y r e p l a c e one pound o f meat. O r t o n e t a l (15) found t h a t .Agaricus c a m p e s t r i s does c o n t a i n a f a i r amount o f v i t a m i n B. V i t a m i n D was found i n s u f f i c i e n t q u a n t i t y i n the w i l d mushrooms such G h a n t e r e l l e and e d i b l e B o l e t u s , b u t p r a c t i c a l l y no v i t a m i n D was found i n common c u l t i v a t e d mushrooms grown i n d o o r s . ( 1 9 ) . as P A R T 11 The P o s s i b i l i t i e s of New S u b s t i t u t e s f o r Manure as a Culture Medium f o r the Mushroom Aft) I n t r o d u c t i o n W ithin recent years considerable a t t e n t i o n has been drawn t o the p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f obtaining a compost s u i t a b l e f or mushroom c u l t u r e other than horse manure. With the i n t r o d u c t i o n of machinery to a g r i c u l t u r e horses are being g r a d u a l l y replaced by t r a c t o r s and motor c a r s . During the l a s t t h i r t y years there has been a very r a p i d expansion i n the mushroom i n d u s t r y . The p o s s i b l e s c a r c i t y of horse manure i n the near fu t u r e looms up as an acute problem to the' mushroom growers. Some progress has been made by the use of straw and other plant refuse in . making a compost s u i t a b l e f o r mushroom growing, but l i t t l e or no work has been done on the use of peat as a manure s u b s t i t u t e . As the peat rre ets many of the necessary requirements f o r a good medium i n the production of mushrooms, the p o s s i b i l i t y of peat as a s u b s t i t u t e f o r horse manure becomes more s i g n i f i c a n t . . A c c o r d ingly experiments using peat as the growing medium were c a r r i e d out i n the greenhouse at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia during the s e s s i o n of 1933-1934. As there i s no data a v a i l a b l e which may i n d i c a t e whether the p a r t i c u l a r medium i s good or poor f o r the c u l t i v a t i o n o f mushrooms i t appeared ad v i s a b l e to f i n d some f a c t o r s which may i n d i c a t e the q u a l i t y of the. medium. Consequently a number of samples of casing s o i l 11 and. liorae manure from the producing and non-producing beds was obtained from s e v e r a l mushroom growers, and an a n a l y s i s of the various samples was made. -.,T.h.e,. P o s s i b i l i t i e s , .o.f._Hew.... S u b s t i t u t e s f o r  Manure as a Culture Medium f o r the. Mushroom Review of L i t e r a t u r e s Very l i t t l e work has been done so f a r to determine what n u t r i e n t s are a c t u a l l y necessary f o r the normal growth of the mushrooms. The f i r s t n u t r i t i o n a l experiment was c a r r i e d out by Dug gar i n 1905, i n con-j u n c t i o n with h i s work on pure mushroom c u l t u r e He grew the mycelium on a s t e r i l e f i l t e r paper i n a s t e r i l e f l a s k , i n which various amounts of d i f f e r e n t s a l t s were added i n the form of s o l u t i o n . Frear (et a l ) (7) working on the e f f e c t o f the hydrogen-ion concentration on the growths of Agaric us campestris i n the l a b o r a t o r y , found that the best growth was obtained around pH7, though they are r e l a t i v e l y t o l e r a n t to a wider range. A drop i n pH was n o t i c e d a f t e r four weeks o f growth from pH6 to pH4, from pH6.7 to ,pH4.7, and from Ph7.0 to pH5.7 r e s p e c t i v e l y i n three separate experiments. L a t e r Styer (24) grew mycelium i n f l a s k s con-t a i n i n g various n u t r i e n t s i n d i f f e r e n t c o n c e n t r a t i o n s , and found that the most complex forms of n i t r o g e n sources gave a s l i g h t l y denser growth. Continuing f u r t h e r i n h i s n u t r i t i o n a l experiment (25) the mycelium of Agaric us was grown upon s i l i c a g e l p l a t e s w i t h a v a r i e t y o f organic _ n u t r i e n t s . H H : 4 I 0 g . 05M was used as a source of nitr o g e n , - 2 ~ unless the p a r t i c u l a r organic m a t e r i a l contained s u f f i c i e n t a v a i l a b l e n i t r o g e n . In order t o f i n d the best source of n i t r o g e n , he used many sources of n i t r o g e n w i t h the s i l i c a g e l . When the n i t r o g e n compound d i d not c o n t a i n any carbo-hydrate group .03M Dextrose, .15M Maltose, and .1 gram Sta r c h were added. He found that the 1 ignin-bearing m a t e r i a l s such as r o t t e d wood, peat moss, etc., produced the f a s t e s t growing and most dense c u l t u r e s of the s e r i e s . I t appears that the mushroom belongs to the group of l i g n i n - d e s t r o y i n g organisms. The decomposition of organic matter i s u s u a l l y accompanied by the accumulation of l i g n i n , or a substance of the same nature. Due to the i n a b i l i t y of mo st organisms t o att a c k i t , peaty or humic substances r e s u l t .as a r e s i d u e . But when the spent manure from the mushroom beds i s a p p l i e d to the s o i l i t soon disappears and does not seem to aid humus to the s o i l . Thus i t would seem that l i g n i n does not accumulate i n the mushroom beds which shows that mushrooms u t i l i z e l i g n i n . l a t e r Wale sm an and N i s sen (28) confirmed Styer t h a t l i g n i n i s u t i l i z e d by the mushroom. They found the a c t u a l chemical c o n s t i t u e n t s of f r e s h manure and com-pared i t w i t h that of the composted manure at various stages of compost. They a l s o analysed and compared f r e s h manure and composted manure i n vh i c h mushrooms were grown. As a r e s u l t they concluded that the mushroom feeds l a r g e l y on l i g n i n and p r o t e i n , and to a l e s s ext ent up on hemicellulose c e l l u l o s e and other complex substances. Styer (25) a l s o found that p r o t e i n i s a very s u i t a b l e n u t r i e n t from a n i t r o g e n standpoint. The ammonium s a l t s and amino a c i d s act as a source of n i t r o g e n , and the p r o t e i n must be broken down in t o some of these compounds before the organism can u t i l i z e them. He f e e l s that c e l l u l o s e i n the manure breaks down more sl o w l y than the other c o n s t i t u e n t s . L i k e Hein (12), he n o t i c e d the appearance of c r y s t a l s on the mycelium i n a l l c u l t u r e s , more i n some than i n others. P e c t i n c u l t u r e s were t h i c k l y covered w i t h c r y s t a l s . . H e i n b e l i e v e s that they were calcium oxalate c r y s t a l s . Styer b e l i e v e s that some organic s a l t s or acids were produced. The lowering of the pH of the medium to about ph4.5 was observed s i m i l a r to F r e a r . He concludes th a t t he pH may have a profound i n f l u e n c e upon the f u r t h e r l i f e of mycelium. The mycelium i s i n t e n s e l y a e r o b i c . He suggested a d e f i n i t e connection between a e r a t i o n changes, m y c e l i o l strands and f r u i t i n g . I n i t i a l growth i s favored by abundant a e r a t i o n , while f r u i t i n g i s brought about by a decrease of a e r a t i o n . The a d d i t i o n of moisture r e s u l t s i n the re d u c t i o n of a e r a t i o n . Although Duggar i n h i s book (6) po i n t s out the p o s s i b i l i t y o f m a t e r i a l other than the horse manure for the production of manure, very l i t t l e work had been done along t h i s l i n e u n t i l 1929. The p o s s i b i l i t y of the s u b s t i t u t e s f o r manure became more evident when H.B. Hutchinson and E.H. Riehard(22) at the Eothamsted Experiment S t a t i o n i n England developed a process of making a r t i f i c i a l manure from composting straw or other m a t e r i a l high i n c e l l u l o s e , w i t h nitrogenous f e r t i l i z e r . Such an a r t i f i c i a l manure compared f a v o r a b l y i n appearance and chemical composition with s t a b l e manure. The e s s e n t i a l feature of t h e i r process was that the four main n u t r i e n t s , n i t r o g e n , phosphorous, potash and calcium were added t o pl a n t refuse i n varying proportions w i t h a r e s u l t i n g r a p i d decay of organic matter. The plan t refuse or straws are wetted and the r e a c t i o n i s adjusted to a favorable pH f o r the a c t i v i t y of the organisms. The compost i s then t r e a t e d as one would w i t h horse manure i n s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t way. I n .America many experiments were conducted f o l l o w i n g the "'Adoo" process, but using the ordin a r y common f e r t i l i z e r s i n v a r y i n g p r o p o r t i o n s . The use of the a r t i f i c i a l l y made manure for mushroom growing was attempted by Stewart (22) using bean straw and t r e e leaves as a compost but no mushrooms were obtained. Lambert (16) i n 1929 attempted to grow mushrooms on various types of s y n t h e t i c manure using d i f f e r e n t amounts and k i n d s of f e r t i l i z e r . The best of the sy n t h e t i c manure beds y i e l d e d only about one-half that of the composted horse manure bed while the average y i e l d was l e s s than a f o u r t h . He p o i n t s out that such v a r i a b i l i t y w i t h i n the syn t h e t i c s e r i e s was due to d i f f e r e n c e s i n the m i c r o b i a l f l o r a . The horse manure beds were quite uniform i n r e a c t i o n , being normally a l k a l i n e , having a mean pH value _5-of 7.7, while the s y n t h e t i c manure beds were h i g h l y v a r i a b l e ranging from pH7 .2 down t o an a c i d r e a c t i o n . The low y i e l d may have been due to comparatively low a l k a l i n e reserve i n the a r t i f i c i a l compost, as the mushroom produces a c i d i n the c u l t u r e . Spent manure beds are g e n e r a l l y a c i d ranging from pH5 to pH4.5. Mushrooms were grown i n an a r t i f i c i a l straw compost by Hein (12). He added the n i t r o g e n compounds i n various forms such as horse manure, l i q u i d manure, ammonium sulphate and n i t r a t e , e t c . , to the compost. On the whole, low y i e l d was obtained, probably due t o an environmental f a c t o r , as humidity and temperature were d i f f i c u l t to c o n t r o l because of the l a c k of equipment. Later i n the year he used a soy bean stover, compost as the medium i n wh i c h to grow the mushrooms. Besides the compost made wholly of the stover, straw and rnanure i n varying proportions were added to the s t o v e r compost. I n a l l the heaps, the r i s e i n temperature was very g r a d u a l , r i s i n g to 120°F i n four weeks. Mushroom beds made of various composts were kept i n rooms i n which the temperatures were maintained at 75°, 70° and 60°F r e s p e c t i v e l y . Ho c o r r e l a t i o n was obtained between the temperatures used and p r o d u c t i v i t y or run of the mycelium. The average y i e l d of the four beds was four ounces per square f e e t . The mycelium grew slowly and s t r i n g y , probably due to an excess of water, The experiment was repeated again i n the f o l l o w i n g s p r i n g , but l i t t l e or no better re s u i t s were obtained. -6-Waksman and Rencger(29) found that a c e r t a i n balance between c e r e a l straw and a plant m a t e r i a l i n a green state can form an i d e a l manure f o r the preparation of a mushroom compost c The green m a t e r i a l s whether d r y or f r e s h are able to h o l d water and absorb the added water r e a d i l y . Moreover i t w i l l supply the microorganism with some of the n i t r o g e n and other minerals which are r e q u i r e d for i t s decomposition. He t r i e d various combinations of straw and tobacco stems and also of straw and a l f a f a hay. To the compost, ammonium phosphate (16$ nitrogen) was added at the r a t e of 5 pounds to every 100 pounds of dry straw used. .A mixture of 70$ straw and 30$ tobacco stems gave e q u a l l y as good or even a s l i g h t l y higher y i e l d than that from the horse manure bed.. When the compost contained 40$ tobacco stems i n j u r y occurred to the mycelium although i t d i d not hinder the development of mycelium. 60$ straw and 40$ a l f a f a gave over two-thirds the y i e l d of that from the horse manure bed. I t was found that the compost o f straw and tobacco stems was s i i g h t l y more a l k a l i n e than that of the horse manure. A recent a r t i c l e i n one of the a g r i c u l t u r a l magazines published i n Japan, (10) s t a t e s that s u c c e s s f u l p r o d u c t i o n of mushrooms was obtained from a b o t t l e containing a s t e r i l i z e d mixture of r i c e p o l i s h i n g s and sawdust i n the r a t i o of one to three. M a t e r i a l s and Methods Sphagnum peat and f i n e quartz sand were used as a medium i n which to grow the mushrooms. The sphagnum peat was broken i n t o small pieces and passed through a quarter i n c h wire mesh s i e v e . The f i n e quartz sand was passed through a f i n e wire mesh i n order to remove any-organic matter, and then thoroughly washed wi t h water, so tha t a l l the s o l u b l e , e s s e n t i a l n u t r i e n t substances i n the sand were completely washed o f f . Twelve wooden boxes measuring sixte e n inches wide, t h i r t y - t w o inches l o n g , and seven inches deep, were b u i l t . Each of these boxes was f i l l e d i n d u p l i c a t e as f o l l o w I o . 1 -sand I o . 2—----sand (limed) • Ho . 3 — • -sand cased w i t h peat I o . 4 peat No. 5 • peat (limed) Ho. 6 • -peat cased "with s o i l i t the time of f i l l i n g , the limed peat, gave a r e a c t i o n of pH8 w h i l e the unlimed peat was pH.4.1. The limed sand gave a react i o n of pH7.2 . As the sand i t s e l f d i d not contain any nutrients whatever, the sandwas f e d w i t h n u t r i e n t s o l u t i o n s . The n u t r i e n t s o l u t i o n s were made up according to Hoagland. Stock 1 Potassium n i t r a t e .... .134 gras. per l i t r e Magnesium sulphate ... .200 gins* • • per l i t r e . Stock 2—--Calcium n i t r a t e .......415 gms. per l i t r e . Stock 3- - - — P o t a s s i u m dihydrogen phosphate,..100 gms. per l i t r e Each/of these stock s o l u t i o n s was kept i n t h e i r own b o t t l e s . Mien the beds were watered, the f o l l o w i n g amounts were taken from each stock s o l u t i o n : Stock 1——• 22 cos. Stock 2-- 26 c c s . Stock 3 -12 c c s . The stock s o l u t i o n s were d i l u t e d t o 2 l i t r e s with water to make a double s t r e n g t h s o l u t ion, which was thought to be necessary as the mushrooms are rank feeders. Ion Concentration i n F i n a l D i l u t ions K i o n s — - —342.52 ppm. 10-7, " 1201.66 ppm. llq" 147*34 ppm. ' PO4 " —• 582.66 ppm. C a " — — - - 2 9 2 . 8 0 ppm. S 0 4 0 -.~*r-—139..66 ppm; To every 2 l i t r e s of n u t r i e n t s o l u t i o n 5 ccs of .5% f e r r i c c i t r a t e s o l u t i o n was added along with the n u t r i e n t s i n order to supply carbon to the mushrooms. Besides these n u t r i e n t s , ammonium n i t r a t e ' was g i v e n to the s o i l as an e x t r a n u t r i e n t , once every week. Eig h t pieces of dry spawn about h a l f as large as a hen's egg were planted i n each of the boxes. All the boxes except the two sand boxes were placed below the greenhouse bench on top of the hot water r a d i a t i n g c o i l to insure the p r e l i m i n a r y heat necessary t o s t a r t the spawn to run. Because of the l a c k of the space on top of the c o i l , two sand hoses were placed on the ground "beside the c o i l . The s ide of the benches were covered w i t h sacks to darken the underneath of the bench. Throughout the whole experiment the general procedure as p r a c t i s e d i n the commercial production' of mushrooms was f o l l o w e d . Water and n u t r i e n t s o l u t i o n s were a p p l i e d only when necessary. The sand tended to dry out much more r a p i d l y than the peat. The temperature of the beds was taken twice every week. When the beds were watered, the temperature was taken before they were watered. Observations During the f i r s t month of growth the day temperature v a r i e d from 60° to 60°F», but during the night o dropped to around 50 F 'which was too c o l d to obtain a good catch of spawn. At the end of the month very l i t t l e growth was n o t i c e d . I n the limed peat, however, s l i g h t l y more growth was found t h a n , i n the others. In the second month s i m i l a r v a r i a t i o n s i n temperature were observed,, accompanied by very l i t t l e growth. During the t h i r d month, the day temperature s l i g h t l y dropped as the heat was shut o f f i n t h e e o i l . Although the room of the greenhouse reached a f a i r l y high temperature, the beds beneath were f a i r l y c o o l . During t h i s month a one percent s o l u t i o n of urea was aided t o the sand bed. I t the end of the fourth month, no mushrooms were obtained from any of the beds except i n a s i n g l e bed of unlimed sand from which only one mushroom was obtained. Throughout the experiment d i f f i c u l t y was en-countered i n t r y i n g to maintain a proper moisture content w i t h i n the peat beds. The peat when once watered too h e a v i l y was very d i f f i c u l t to re s t o r e to an optimum water eContent. • . Chemical A n a l y s i s of the Mushroom Beds A number of samples of the casing s o i l s and of the horse manure were obtained from s e v e r a l mushroom growers. The samples were from the a c t i v e l y producing mushroom beds. The hydrogen i o n concen t r a t i o n and the r e l a t i v e amount of the e s s e n t i a l mineral elements were determined according to the method devised by Spurway ( 2 1 ) i n t e s t i n g the s o i l f o r the presence of the e s s e n t i a l m ineral elements. As the mushroom i s a very rank feeder, the c o n d u c t i v i t y i n ohms r e s i s t a n c e wa s measured as i t i n d i c a t e s the concentration of the mineral i n the beds. The increase i n r e s i s t a n c e i n d i c a t e s the decrease i n con-c e n t r a t i o n of the minerals i n the beds, while decrease i n r e s i s t a n c e i n d i c a t e s increase i n co n c e n t r a t i o n . R e s u l t s The hydrogen i o n concen t r a t i o n i n the casing s o i l s and horse manure ranged from pH5.9 to pH 6.9. A s l i g h t drop of PHI i s n o t i c e d . The limed peat gave a I 51 O I I; C I 9C \*3 •4 o s-§s. *\ . -e «J U • <^> V o •o w \ i f •• <o o o , ^ . s' *) • f F c > ^ > i . •• <^  ^ "si t \ ^ > W - » V 5, o 1 (<> f o .Hi ^-> • 5 <5K V r e a c t i o n of-Ph.6.0, 111 the easing s o i l s are r e l a t i v e l y high i n minerals i n d i c a t e d by a low r e s i s t a n c e . The unlimed onus ca s i n g s o i l i s very low i n m i n e r a l . The limed unused casing s o i l i s much higher i n minerals than the unlimed unused casing s o i l , but s t i l l lower than the used casing s o i l . The concentration of minerals i n the peat i s about h a l f of that of the horse manure. The r e l a t i v e amounts of various e s s e n t i a l elements are not consistent except i n the case of calcium which i s high i n a l l the s o i l , but the unlimed unused casing s o i l . - 1 4 -H B , E 2 • CHEMCVL COMPOSITION 0 F HOHSE HBMREL l-i-ah Minute /i Dayj Old. 3'A Honih Old. tye/l 'RoiteJ £(>-l776 7***7: Soluble oe&n/c vtidHet 3-71 Soluble, mohgimc Yn&ittn- J.-97 M7 Nitrogen / iotJ. •if i f ^Phasphohous pentoxicl<L, {d&l. •M •3K •C7 •79 />/? /•3f 1-7.1 /r •/i •/^ •OE 73 (fitter-Stolen) l*ble 3 . CHzn/cni^ ConPos/r/w or J^a/tr. Tottsh yhosphdf-ous pent M r dp £/.f6 7o 727, 08-7* (U.S. 'Bureau of F?jHculii,r'e^ T>ulleitn -15™ Di s c u s s i o n flr^1 The-reaction of the growing medium appears to be one of the most important f a c t o r s i n the production of mushrooms. According to the Table ^ there seems to he some d e f i n i t e connection between the r e a c t i o n of the median and the prod u c t i o n of mushrooms. In every case the c a s i n g s o i l and the manure compost of the mushroom beds which were producing abundant mushrooms gave e i t h e r an a l k a l i n e or a very s l i g h t l y a c i d r e a c t i o n . This a l k a l i n i t y of the mushroom beds was a l s o noted by Styer (25) and Lambert (16) who found that the w e l l corn-posted manure was s l i g h t l y a l k a l i n e . I n some of the casing s o i l which was t e s t i n g pH7 at the time of p l a c i n g the s o i l on the bed, gave pH5.9, which showed a decrease i n re ac t ion of 1.1. The lowering of the r e a c t i o n of the bed as the mushrooms were produced appeared to be t y p i c a l l y the case as found by Styer (25) and Frear ( 7 ) . I t seems apparent t h a t the fungus or 7 mushroom exudes some k i n d of organic a c i d s which lowers the hydrogen i o n c o n c e n t r a t i o n o f the medium. The f a i r l y l a r g e q u a n t i t y of calcium present i n the beds a f t e r they have produced a good crop i n d i c a t e s the n e c e s s i t y f o r a good reserve of a l k a l i n i t y . Waksman and Reneger (29) l i k e w i s e observed the same p e c u l i a r i t y i n the tobacco stem and straw compost. Along with the r e a c t i o n the r e s i s t a n c e of the growing medium showed that there may be some r e l a t i o n with -16-the p r o d u c t i o n . The casing s o i l s from the growing beds have a f a i r l y low r e s i s t a n c e i n d i c a t i n g a high c o n c e n t r a t i o n of m i n e r a l s . The compost too showed high i n m i n e r a l s . On the other hand the unlimed, unused s o i l , which i s prepared f o r the use as a casing s o i l was very low i n mi n e r a l s . The a p p l i c a t i o n of lime to the unlimed, unused casing s o i l , gave a d e f i n i t e increase i n the min e r a l s . The peat when compared to the' other s o i l s on the b a s i s of minerals, does not favor too badly, but i t s mineral i s s t i l l about h a l f of that of the compost. Since the mushroom i s a very rank feeder, the coneentration of the minerals i n the medium may have some marked i n f l u e n c e on the production of mushrooms. I t seems t h a t a r i c h s o i l i s not necessary f o r the casing of the mushroom beds as long as the easing s o i l has a f a i r l y l a r g e water holding c a p a c i t y and d r i e s out uniformly without c r a c k i n g or form ing a crust on the surface. The r e l a t i v e q u a n t i t i e s of n i t r a t e , phosphorous, potash, and other e s s e n t i a l minerals v a r i e d from one s o i l to another, g i v i n g no d e f i n i t e consistency, except i n the case of c a l c i u m which was high i n p r a c t i c a l l y a l l the casing s o i l s . Ware (30) also mentioned that the ca s i n g s o i l need not be r i c h . Peat has a very good water ho l d i n g c a p a c i t y and i s more l i k e l y to absorb more water than i s necessary. Once the peat i s h e a v i l y watered i t i s very d i f f i c u l t to b r i n g back the moisture content to i t s optimum. This may account f o r the very s l i g h t growth of the mushroom i n the peat. Apparently excess watering i s detrimental to the growth of the mycelium. This i s i n accord w i t h Styer (25) that the mycelium i s d e c i d e d l y aerobic and i s i n j u r e d by excess of water. The a i r spaces between the peat p a r t i c l e s i n a bed are f a i r l y l a r g e . Moreover peat i s l i g h t and buoyant even when the water i s a p p l i e d . By adding s o i l to the peat to weigh down the heap and to f i l l up the l a r g e a i r spaces, i t seems probable that the temperature and e s p e c i a l l y the moisture content can be more e a s i l y c o n t r o l l e d . Although both the peat and the stable manure co n t a i n s i m i l a r q u a n t i t i e s of n i t r o g e n (Table 2,8,) the peat laclcs h e a v i l y on potash and phosphorous. The a v a i l a b l e n i t r a t e i n the peat i s much lower than i n the manure compost while the a v a i l a b l e phosphorous and potash are p r a c t i c a l l y l a c k i n g . The peat may c o n t a i n a r e l a t i v e l y high t o t a l content of various organic and inorganic elements; most of them are not held i n the r e a d i l y a v a i l a b l e form. Con-sequently the a d d i t i o n of v a r i o u s e s s e n t i a l mineral elements to the peat may be g r e a t l y b e n e f i c i a l . -19-Summary The -©suits of f o u r months observation on the c u l t u r e of mushrooms grown on peat and sand are dealt with i n t h i s paper. Negative r e s u l t s were obtained where y i e l d was concerned. The peat s o i l tends to have too many large a i r spaces i n between s o i l p a r t i c l e s . The peat i s more l i k e l y to absorb more water than necessary, and i s hard to dry. As there i s no decomposition, no heat i s produced. A r t i f i c i a l heat i s necessary to maintain normal growth of mycelium. Peat i s a c i d i n nature. Thus t h e i r r e a c t i o n must he cor r e c t e d and brought to n e u t r a l or s l i g h t l y a l k a l i n e , which i s necessary f o r the growth of mycelium. A n a l y s i s of peat, easing s o i l s and horse manure from a growing bed shows no c o r r e l a t i o n between the r e l a t i v e q u a n t i t i e s of the e s s e n t i a l minerals and the production of mushrooms except i n the ease of calcium which was high i n a l l . The pH of the growing mediums, casing s o i l and horse manure, ranged from pH6 to pH6.9. The concentration of minerals i n the casing s o i l and of the horse manure from the growing beds were decidedly much higher than that of the unprepared casing s o i l or of the p e a t 6 - 2 0 -R e o ornm e nda t i o n s Further experimentation along t h i s l i n e w i l l he of great i n t e r e s t and b e n e f i c i a l to the mushroom industry as a whole. Various experiments c a r r i e d on under d i f f e r e n t sets of c o n d i t i o n s and procedures are necessary before any d e f i n i t e c o n c l u s i o n can be drawn as to the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of whether the peat can s u b s t i t u t e f o r the horse manure i n the p r o duction of mushrooms* Peat may be used alone by c o r r e c t i n g the a c i d i t y of the peat by the a d d i t i o n of s u f f i c i e n t lime u n t i l the r e a c t i o n i s s l i g h t l y a l k a l i n e . S o i l may be added to the peat i n order to reduce the a i r spaces between the peat p a r t i c l e s . Peat may be used i n com-b i n a t i o n w i t h horse manure, straw compost and plant refuses, and composted before i t i s a c t u a l l y used i n the bed. The a n a l y s i s of the peat tends t o show t h a t n u t r i e n t s necessary f o r the growth o f mushrooms are h e l d i n an unavailable form. Consequently the a d d i t i o n of various e s s e n t i a l mineral e l e -ments may be g r e a t l y b e n e f i c i a l . When the peat i s used as the growing medium wet spawn i s more d e s i r a b l e to spawn the beds as the mycelium s t a r t s to run immediately. In any case a r t i f i c i a l heat i s necessary e i t h e r i n form of the hot water heat or the steam heat i n order to maintain the tempera ture of the bed as high as 75°F during the f i r s t t e n days of growth at which temperature the mycelium i s found to grow most v i g o r o u s l y . 1 eknowl e dement s The w r i t e r i s very deeply indebted to Dr. G. H. H a r r i s of the Department of H o r t i c u l t u r e of the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, under whose d i r e c t i o n the work was c a r r i e d out; and e s p e c i a l l y f o r h i s con-t i n u a l i n t e r e s t and encouragement shown throughout the p e r i o d during which the study was i n progress. The w r i t e r f u r t h e r wishes to express h i s sincere a p p r e c i a t i o n to Dr. A. F. Barss, Professor of H o r t i c u l t u r e i n the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia f o r h i s k i n d l y suggestions and i n t e r e s t shown daring the work. To Mr. Frank Garnish, former foreman i n H o r t i c u l t u r e , the w r i t e r d e s i r e s to express h i s sincere thanks f o r h i s c h e e r f u l suggestions and help which he has shown from time to time during the per i o d when the experiment -was c a r r i e d out i n h i s greenhouse. The w r i t e r wishes to acknowledge the k i n d cooperation of Mr. H. E. Devore and Mr. W. T. Money i n supplying various informations and a l s o mushroom s o i l s f o r chemical a n a l y s i s . LITERATURES 01TED 1. Beach, W.S., C o n t r o l of Mycogone p e r n i c i o s a on Mushrooms. Pennsylvania St a . , B u i . 230, 1928. 2. B u l l e r , A .H.R., Researches on Fungi, p.1-287, f i g s . 8 3 , 1922. 3® C o l l i n s o n , R.C., and H.J. Conn, A r t i f i c i a l Manure from Straw., lew York State Agr. Exp. S t a . Geneva, B u i . 573, p.1-17 9 1929. 4 . D i e h l , W.W., and E.B. Lambert, A lew T r u f f l e i n Beds of C u l t i v a t e d Mushrooms, Mycol. 22, 223-226, 1930. 5. Duggar, B.M., The C u l t i v a t i o n o f Mushrooms, U.S. Dept. A g r i c . Farmer's B u i . 204, p.24, f i g s . 1 0 . 6. Mushroom growing, Hew York, Orange Judd Co., 1915. 7. F r e a r , D., J.F. Styer and D.E. H a l l e y , A Study of the E f f e c t of H-ion Concentration on the Growth of Agaricus campestris; P l a n t P h y s i o l 3, 91-94 1928. 8. Gahm, 0.E., The Mite Linopodes antemnaepes Banks as a Pest of C u l t i v a t e d Mushrooms w i t h P r e l i m i n a r y Tests Toward C o n t r o l ; Jour. Econ, Ent.23, 744-747, p l . i , 1930. 9. Harshberger, J.W., A Text Book of Mycology and P l a n t Pathology; P.Blakeston's Son & Co., p.231-257 1917, 10. Hashioka, R. C u l t i v a t i o n of Mushrooms i n B o t t l e s ; Hogyosedai, p,67-70, October, 1932. 11. Hein, I . , Mushrooms; Pennsylvania St a . , Bui.243; 16-16, 24-27,'figs3. 1929. 12. Straw Compost f o r Mushroom Cu l t u r e ; Mycol. 22; 39-44, 1930. 13. Soy bean Stover Compost f o r Mushroom C u l t u r e ; Mycol. 22; 227-231, 1930. 14. Helm, F. and A. Hebert, Am, Jour, Bot. 15; 246. 15. I n g l e , H. Manuel of A g r i c u l t u r a l Chemistry; S c o t t , Greenwood & Son, London, 1908. 16. Lambert, E.B., Normal Mushroom from A r t i f i c i a l Manure, Sc. 70; 126-128.,. 1929. LITERATURES CITED 17 . Mushroom growing i n United S t a t e s , U.S. Dept. A g r i c . C i r c . 2 5 1 , p.1-34, f i g s . 1 8 , 1932 18. Orton, C.R., McCollurn, E.V.,. Simmonds, N . , Observations on the Presence of the A n t i n e u r i t i c Substance, Water soluble B, i n C h l o r o p h y l l free p l a n t s 5 Jour, B i o l , Chem. 53; Ho.l, 1922. 19. Scheunert, 1. and R esc like, J . , The Vitamin Content of Edible Mushrooms, Deut. Med. Wohnscher 57; 349-351, 1931. 20. Smith, F.E.V., Three Diseases o f C u l t i v a t e d Mushrooms; B r i t . Mycol. Soc. Trans. 10; 81-97, pi s . 2 21. Spur way, C .1-1., S o i l T e s t i n g , Michigan A g r i e . Exp. S t a . Tech. B u i . , 132, 1933. 22. Stewart, P.O., Experiments w i t h Cottonseed Meal i n Mushroom C u l t u r e ; lew York A g r i c . Exp. Sta., Geneva Bui .546, pp .1-38, tables 15, 1927 . 23. Strode, J.W., O.E. Gahm et a l . Successful Mushroom Growing; Chester County Mushroom Lab, p.1-57,1932. 24. Styer, J.F., P r e l i m i n a r y Study of the N u t r i t i o n of the C u l t i v a t e d Mushroom, Am. Jour, Bot. 15; 246-50, 1928. 25. N u t r i t i o n of the C u l t i v a t e d Mushroom; Am. Jour, Bot,17, 983-984, tables 2, 1930. 26. Styer, F . J . P r i n c i p l e s of Commercial Mushroom Culture ; E.H. Jacob, Inc., West Chester, Pa. 1933. 27. Thomas, C .A.. Studies of Mushroom P e s t s ; Pennsylvania Sta. B u i . 243; 29-31, 1932. 28. Waksman, S.A., and W.Nissen, L i g n i n as a Nutrient f o r the C u l t i v a t e d Mushroom Agaricus Canmestris; Sc.74, 271-272, 1931. 29. Waksman, S.A., and C .A. Renege r-, A r t i f i c i a l Manure f o r Mushroom Production; Mycol.26; 38-45, t a b l e s 4, f i g s . l . 1934, 30. Ware, W.M., Mushroom Growing; M i n i s t r y A g r i c . F i s h . Bui.34, p.1-28, 1932. 31. White, T .H., Mushrooms; Maryland Sta., Bui.232, p.67-85, f i g s , 2, 1919. 

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