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19 Mar 2019, Edition - 1344, Tuesday

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Coimbatore

TNAU helps you grow nourishing mushrooms at home

Rohini R

All enjoy eating mushrooms which are neither vegetables nor meat, but just fungus. The most common among them found in the markets are the button mushrooms and oyster ones. Besides there are the milky and the paddy straw ones among the edible variety.

The Tamil Nadu Agriculture University is giving training in growing these at home. They are fully organic because no fertilisers are used. And growth depends just on water, which has to be done at regular intervals and temperature.

Climatic conditions are a factor for growing different varieties. Oyster mushrooms can be cultivated between 25 C and 30C and milky ones between 30C to 35C, ideal for Coimbatore. The most common button mushrooms are usually cultivated in hill stations where the temperature is below 20C. But growing them in Coimbatore calls for high investment because the temperature must be set below 20C with the help of air conditioners.

The varsity first released its Coimbatore (Co) 1 and Co 2 Oyster mushrooms and later came out with the milky Co 3, also in Coimbatore.

Rich in proteins, these mushrooms have other health benefits like being anti-cancer, especially with properties to fight breast cancer. They are also a rich source of Vitamin B, C and the only vegetable source of Vitamin D. It has high fibre content and low sodium and is good for the heart. It has anti-viral, anti-histaminic and anti-oxidant properties.

But risk factors are many as not all of the mushroom varieties can be consumed as some of them are poisonous and some can be cause for allergy. After rainy day, mushrooms sprout in damp areas, and many of them are not edible.

“TNAU is providing training for mushroom cultivation on the 5th of every month covering production to yield. Training is for growing different varieties of edible mushrooms. Besides, the one-day training and there is also a five-day one, said the head of the varsity plant pathology department.

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