The ecological mushrooms of Dominica
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CTA. 1999. The ecological mushrooms of Dominica. Spore 79. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/48317
Internet URL: http://sporearchive.cta.int/spore79/SP3_79A.html
An entrepreneurial couple in Dominica in the Caribbean have developed a way to farm mushrooms organically. Mushroom gathering on the island has long been a tradition. Since the eighties the Luke family tried through trial and error to find ways to...
An entrepreneurial couple in Dominica in the Caribbean have developed a way to farm mushrooms organically. Mushroom gathering on the island has long been a tradition. Since the eighties the Luke family tried through trial and error to find ways to collect and propagate spawn from local as well as foreign mushroom species. They were successful and established 'Rainforest Mushroom Ltd'. Currently they produce 50 kg of mushrooms a month but their aim is to increase to 500 kg for export to neighbouring islands and to produce spawn for local farmers. The local oyster mushroom gives the highest yields. Mushrooms are cultured first out of spawn and then multiplied in sawdust or grain. The couple developed two ways of cultivation, a natural method and one in substrate culture. For natural culture, small branches or trunks of temperate trees are most suitable. These are inoculated with the sawdust and laid flat. About one year later harvesting can start and the logs are put upright. Harvests can then be gathered every 2-3 months for 5 years. To obtain larger yields it is necessary to use substrate cultures in containers. The Lukes discovered that a good substrate composition without chemicals is bagasse (pressed sugar cane from the rum industry) mixed with sawdust and coffee husks. After inoculation the mix is put in sterile containers and left in the dark for ten days before putting it in strong light and high humidity conditions. Harvesting can start after another ten days in ten-day-intervals. (International Agricultural Development, October 1998) Matthew & Christine Luke Rainforest Mushrooms Ltd, Pond Casse, P.O. Box 377, Roseau, Dominica Fax: +1767 449 1836