June 14, 2008

Enoki Mushroom Factory/エノキきのこ工場

There is an enoki mushroom factory at a stone's throw from my house. It is run by an acquaintance of mine. Today, my son and I visited the factory to learn about enoki mushroom production. I also posted these and other photos here:

It takes a total of two months to cultivate enoki mushrooms. At her factory, four-room cultivation is employed, which was common when the factory was built in 1990. She says that more efficient, one-room cultivation is now possible.

The four rooms are incubation, sprouting, constricting, and growth rooms.

First, saw dust, rice bran, corn cobs, and supplements are mixed together in a large mixer. The mixture is then put in each of plastic bottles. The bottles are sterilized in a big kiln for about 9 hours.

Then, the bottles are innoculated in the innoculation room kept at a temperature of 13C.

The bottles are then placed in the incubation room kept at 15C for one month, until the contents turn entirely white.

The upper part in each of the bottles is removed to make sprouting possible.

The bottles are transferred to the sprouting room kept at 14C, and kept there for about ten days, until sprouting is complete.

Then the bottles are transferred to the constricting room kept at 4C, where caps and stems are grown by applying light and wind appropriately.

The bottles are then transferred to the growth room, where each bunch of mushroom is wrapped in a sheet of paper so that the bunch does not bend.

5 to 7 days after paper is wrapped, the mushrooms are ready for gathering.

The report that the son of the acquaintance wrote when he was a second grader in an elementary school was very useful when I wrote this post.

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