Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Want to multiply the mushroom spawn and increase the spawn shelf life? Here's the solution for it!

Via a recent research study, we found out that corn cobs can be used to multiply the mushroom spawn and to increase its shelf life! Read this conversation between Shrey (the teacher) and his cousin (the student) to know more about this research! If you are a mushroom grower or a farmer or an entrepreneur or someone growing mushrooms at home, this information will be very useful to you!





Reach out to us for more! :) We are always open! :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Let’s move towards Sustainable Living through Mushroom Cultivation



Our workshops on cultivation of mushrooms mostly covers the following sustainable cycle:


The above sustainable and zero-waste cycle is something that our participants learn about in our workshops. One such workshop was held on 8th March, 2020 with a diverse group of participants from Delhi, UP, and Solan at EarthJust Ecosystems Office.  

The different waste materials that we utilized in this workshop were orange and lemon peels, saw dust, corn cobs, used tea, used coffee grounds, pea pods, peanut shells and dry grass! In addition to the individual mushroom-bags which the participants made, we made a separate 10 kgs mushroom bag, which is kept at EarthJust office for observation! So, in all, we utilized a whooping 30 kgs organic waste to grow mushrooms!! Come, visit us in the office if you also want to observe the mycelium growing in this! :) 

Here are some pictures from the session:


“Here we are - with one mushroom-bag each - waiting for the mushrooms :)” 


Join us for more fun sessions! Do look out for our updates! :) 

See ya! 

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Mushrooms - The Soul of the Earth

Insights from our Winter Mushroom Workshop from 27th December - 29th December, 2019

Have you ever thought, why mushrooms are called the ‘Soul of the Mother Earth’? It was a pleasure for Himpicked (in collaboration with EarthJust) to decode the same with 8 participants from around the country in the dazzling, wintry weather of Solan in December, 2019 for three-days. The workshop was an attempt by Himpicked, dedicated to helping the participants know more about mushrooms and their science, their importance, the convenient cultivation techniques and their role in ensuring a sustainable living!



The workshop brought together a diverse group of participants from different parts of the country in Shoolini University (our venue partners) and they went through a series of different activities to dive into the ‘life’ of mushrooms! 

The first day, we began with an interesting life maps session where all of us connected with each other and then explored a forest to understand why mushrooms are called the souls of the earth. This was followed by a learning session on cultivating mushrooms - the mushroom cultivation process was split across all three days and each day we dived into each stage of its cultivation, helping our participants absorb the process properly!

Shoolini University also offered to help us with exploring mushrooms and knowing different varieties of it in their laboratory. We spent a part of our second day in their lab and learning the science of mushrooms - their medicinal value, and also observing the spores and mycelia under a microscope!
To add to the fun and excitement, we did two different treks - the first one was a ‘ Morning Trek’ where we all went to a forest to hunt for different varieties of mushrooms that exist in nature. And the second one was a ‘Night Trek’ where we planted puff balls in nature. The night trek was a way for us to give back to the ‘ecosystem’ for all that it gives us - a small gesture to express our deepest gratitude towards Mother Earth! Take a look at the fun treks -

After the morning mushroom hunt, participants gathered at the Department of Biotechnology, where they were introduced to various kinds of mushrooms found in natural ecosystem & identification features of edible, poisonous & medicinal mushrooms.
The participants were then trained on growing there own mushrooms at home. The workshop highlighted the importance of mushrooms to ensure a sustainable living and so we talked about how this entire process of mushroom cultivation can be completely organic and ensure zero-waste. In order to do that, we created a space for the participants to create their own bio-enzyme (which is used in the waste sterilization stage in the mushroom cultivation process) and helped them create their own eco-bricks with the waste plastic bags (used in mushroom cultivation). Each participant made 1 mushroom grow-bag each, which they would be caring along after the workshop for observations.
 
The participants were then made aware about nutritional & medicinal value of various mushrooms. And how they can incorporate mushrooms in there diet to fight common ailments like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, high blood glucose, protein & vitamin D deficiency etc.
The cherry on the cake was the extra fun we had in the chilly weather with bon-fire almost every night - talking about our life stories, sharing happy moments and connecting better!
Something that we witnessed was the happiness and glow that we all had, thinking about the time when mushrooms would sprout from our bags! Meet the 11 year old Etash -  the youngest in this batch of our participants and see the glow on his face getting all these mushrooms sprouted on the bags he made with his father -

Our youngest in the batch - 11 year old Etash, spent the time with us with great energy and excitement anticipating the grown mushrooms on his mushroom-bag! He was also humble enough to share his lovely notes - take a look -

Himpicked at Lalaji Memorial Omega International School, Chennai

It gives us an immense pleasure to share that our work took us to Chennai in the month of February, and we facilitated a workshop there at Lalaji Memorial Omega International School. The school was established in 2005 and is a leading independent school in Chennai, offering a range of national and international curricula to meet the educational needs of children in the 21st century. The school caters to children from different parts of the world.
It gives us an immense pleasure to share that our work took us to Chennai in the month of February, and we facilitated a workshop there at Lalaji Memorial Omega International School. The school was established in 2005 and is a leading independent school in Chennai, offering a range of national and international curricula to meet the educational needs of children in the 21st century. The school caters to children from different parts of the world. 




Himpicked was humbled to be invited by the school as part of their initiative of being able to utilize the organic waste in the school and at homes! The workshop was held on 15th February, 2020 with 33 participants - Science Teachers, children from the school and even outsiders! Let’s take a look at who all participated -




A few of these children were from China and Korea as well - gives us goosebumps to think about the time these children will take mushroom cultivation as an initiative towards sustainability in their countries! 
The Science students in this batch got hands-on experience to understand the life-cycle of a fungi, which is normally taught inside a classroom. We spent the first half of the day understanding the two families of mushrooms - ‘polypores’ and ‘split-gill’ mushrooms and getting familiarized with the split-gill mushrooms growing inside the school campus! Audience was also educated about the tips & tricks on safe foraging of mushrooms in the wild.



The later half of the day was spent on understanding the process of mushroom cultivation and in the preparation of mushroom-bags (which everyone could carry home). We utilized a whooping 10 kg of paddy husk and 4 kg of garden waste to cultivate mushrooms! Just take a look and see this enthusiastic batch all engaged in preparing the waste to grow the mushrooms.




We also spoke about the health benefits and nutritional value of common edible varieties of mushrooms! Each of our participants took one mushroom-bag home and will now be waiting to harvest and savor them when they are fully grown!




All these amazing workshops just make us think - Oh! The places we’ll go! We are all set for more such fun workshops! 

Mushrooms calling ...................