When talking about mushrooms, many would have probably thought they grow from the soil. Well, you are not wrong, but not for the big fan-shaped cap oyster mushroom that is slightly more majestic.
Also known as Hiratake mushrooms, oyster mushrooms cannot tolerate the soil and direct sunlight, so instead of growing out of the ground, they are farmed in a bottle.
To cultivate successful oyster mushrooms, make sure to provide them the care they need as they are sensitive to changes in their environment. They specifically require 10 percent sunlight, a pH value of 7.5 to 8.5 and a temperature of 30 degrees.
Did I mention that they don’t appreciate germs and dirt on your hands when handling them? So make sure to clean up before you touch them.
On that note, Ipoh Echo recently discovered that the city also has its own oyster mushroom distributor.
FM Farm is operated by a dedicated owner, Fazila Mohd Zin, who has more than 15 years of experience in oyster mushroom cultivation. They are one of Perak’s main distributors of oyster mushrooms and they are in dire need of your assistance!
Supplying to the community through pasar malam (night markets), pasar tani (morning markets) and sundry shops since 2006, the farm has now moved to Lot 87533, Jalan Kledang Raya 22, Taman Alkaff Silibin, 30020, Ipoh a few years ago in 2018.
Fazila told us that the ingredients used are of wholly natural original. The natural sources required are rubber sawdust (habuk kayu), rice bran (dedak padi), lime (kapur), fertiliser (baja) and water.
There are about five stages to growing the mushrooms and each process has a designated room.
The ingredients first have to be churned with water and a machine is responsible for all the mixing work. When ready, the mixture will be bagged in plastic and steamed in an oven.
Once it is heated to its desired temperature, they will be placed in another room to cool off. Then, they will be transported to a different room and rested for 60 days after inoculating the grain spawns (mycelium seeds). The bottle will be sealed with a cap to prevent interruption of atmospheric air while the germination process (spawning) takes place.
In the last stage, you can harvest the mushrooms (approximately 50 grams) in a separate building on the rack after five days. Sprouting can happen about six times per bottle. The bottle has to be capped after each harvest and the next produce will take about 10 days.
Unfortunately, financial constraints forced the farm to halt operation during the MCO and Fazila had no choice but to lay off her workers, some of whom were single mothers.
One bottle requires an average cost of RM2. Hence, about RM10,000 is needed to harvest 5,000 bottles. The sheer weight of the situation has set off great stress to Fazila and her family. Running solo, she hopes that the community can support her cultivation work.
In order to sustain her business, she is in need of raw materials such as rubber dust, rice bran and fertilisers. She also welcomes anyone who is interested to join the team; part time or full time.
For inquiries, contact Fazila at 016-5039180.