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Haversting Happiness at North Cyprus’ Mushroom Farm

Not a lot of people think about how mushrooms are grown or the journey they make on the way to your plate. Like with a lot of the food we eat, it’s a pretty busy and fascinating story.

A Growing Cycle – Mushroom farming is one of the immense potential crops which could trigger youth generation towards its production. High valued crop in terms of both food and medicine with low cost production technology cannot only attract the youth but also smallholder farmers to get high return within short time interval.

Process Involved:
Materials: polytene bags, straw, woods and bamboo Started to cultivate and develop the Oyster mushroom farming business.“ It was a real challenge for us with limited knowledge and know how, but we did not give up. Having explored different literatures for best practices of its cultivation, its potential and importance.

Devising and developing a growing-system by building a plastic tunnel with bamboos and sticks. Then the straw, chopped into small pieces and soaked in water for 2-3 hours was followed by heating and sterilizing the soaked straw in the tank.

The climate-smart irrigation system was designed with the aim of addressing these challenges; by collecting rainwater, transferring it below the soil surface and using it during the time of low rainfall thus making water available and accessible for perennial plants all year round.

After 2 months, the polybags were fully covered with mycelium and fruiting body was starting to emerge. It was a real pleasure for us to see the first harvest’s sign. Whereby, we started to happily harvest and sell our products to the local markets across the island on a daily basis.

The process: After having heated it for 3 hours, it is kept in big plastic covers to cool it. We inoculated the Oyster spawn spread in every layer of straw of 6-8 cm height and pressed the straw slightly to make the bag compact. After having filled the bag with spawn and straw, the mouth of the bag was tied with thread. Small holes were made for aeration. Eighty of these polybags were firstly prepared and installed in the shed house, in order to irrigate afterwards 2-3 times a day.

Cultivating Oyster mushrooms began in an unused fallow in North Cyprus. As it can be cultivated in almost all ecological areas. Agroclimatic variation in Cyprus is a boon for the mushroom farming. To sum up, through our project, were successful in demonstrating how the mushroom farming works where many youth participated to learn the farming process. Accordingly, the success of this Oyster mushroom farming organic organization motives us to continue to farm and give training to young people and farmers.

The climate-smart irrigation system was designed with the aim of addressing these challenges; by collecting rainwater, transferring it below the soil surface and using it during the time of low rainfall thus making water available and accessible for perennial plants all year round.

Agroclimatic variation in Cyprus is a boon for the mushroom farming. To sum up, we are successful in demonstrating how the mushroom farming works. Accordingly, the success of the oyster mushroom farming project motives us to continue to farm and give training to communities people and farmers. We hope to see and read more agricultural success stories and experiences on New Cyprus Magazine, for we firmly believe the future is bright for the farming industry in North Cyprus.

We got to interview the Biologist Sami Kutay Şener working for Yapim Construction, who has been in a big part in making all this possible. When started their mushroom farm in Nicosia they made very clear that it will be done in a self-sustainable and environmental friendly manner.

He explained the real pleasure to see the first harvest results, having explored different literatures for best practices of its cultivation, its potential and importance, and the road to where they are today, where they are selling their quality products to the local markets across the island.

How do mushrooms grow?
“To get started: they devised and developed a growing-system by building a plastic tunnel with bamboos and sticks. Then collected the straw, chopped it into small pieces and soaked it in water for 2-3 hours. This is followed by heating and sterilizing the soaked straw in the tank where it will be grow for quite some time. After 2 months, the polybags are fully covered with mycelium and the fruiting body is starting to emerge.”

He continues;
“Mushroom farming is one of the immense potential crops which could trigger youth generation towards its production. High valued crop in terms of both food and medicine with low cost production technology cannot only attract the youth but also smallholder farmers to get high return within short time interval.”

“After having heated it for 3 hours, it is kept in big plastic covers to cool it. We inoculated the Oyster spawn spread in every layer of straw of 6-8 cm height and pressed the straw slightly to make the bag compact. After having filled the bag with spawn and straw, the mouth of the bag was tied with thread. Small holes are made for aeration. Eighty of these polybags were firstly prepared and installed in the shed house, in order to irrigate afterwards 2-3 times a day.

How is the farm sustainable and environmental friendly?
The electricity comes from solar panels, the climate-smart irrigation system was designed with the aim of addressing these challenges; by collecting rainwater, transferring it below the soil surface and using it during the time of low rainfall thus making water available and accessible for perennial plants all year round. All materials are done by polytene reusable bags, straws, woods and bamboos. We have started to cultivate and develop North Cyprus first 100% “no-emissions” farming business together with closed production cycle.”

As it can be cultivated in almost all ecological areas, as planned, in the beginning, North Cypriot representative Biologist Sami Kutay Şener, started to cultivate oyster mushrooms in an unused fallow at Kyrenia, North Cyprus.


A delectable Oyster Mushroom Success Story in North Cyprus: Harvesting happiness – an agricultural challenge!

Activity: Promote agriculture awareness amongst the community
Place: North Cyprus
Product: Organic Oyster Mushrooms from the growers market

Experience and journey • A season of innovations • Feeling proud

Simple and Delicious : Let it be known I am a mushroom lover, promoting agricultural awareness among young and old. Oyster Mushroom Farming is one of the immensely popular crops, which is triggering an ergonomically designed agribusiness farming process here in Cyprus and I am delighted that fresh Oyster mushrooms are a perfectly nutritious ingredient and can be found all over Cyprus from the growers market. They are out of their world, and we are sure that you will love these amazing mushrooms in a delicious wok of vegetables, or as the leading role in a fantastic risotto. Better still, everyone’s favorite Mushroom Pasta.
I hope you like the recipe folks. Bon Appetite.

Italian Pasta with Oyster Mushrooms

Ingredients
1 cup petite Frozen Peas
3 tablespoons of Butter
3 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cloves minced garlic [about 1 tablespoon]
1 bunch Oyster Mushrooms [approximately 2 cups]
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup Dry White Wine
1 Tablespoon Fresh chopped Parsley
1 Tablespoon Fresh Chopped Basil
1 pound imported Italian Pasta

Instructions
In a large sauté pan, add butter, and olive oil, mushrooms and garlic. Sauté, until mushrooms are tender about 5 minutes. Then add wine and herbs. Cook until the wine has evaporated about 2-3 minutes. Add peas, cooked al-dente pasta and Parmesan cheese. Gently fold pasta into mushroom sauce until ingredients are coated with the mushroom. Serve immediately.

Notes: Use a high quality pasta noodle, it really does make a huge difference in taste and texture!

We hope to publish more agricultural success stories and experiences on NCM, for we firmly believe the future is bright for the farming industry in North Cyprus.”

Mushroom farming congratulations from New Cyprus Magazine

About Sophia Söderholm 2642 Articles
At the age of ten Sophia moved from Sweden in 1998 and has since lived in several locations around the world including Spain, and has been residing in North Cyprus for four years now. Her educational background is in marketing, hotel management and real estate, and she now works as a real estate agent and is editor in chief for New Cyprus Magazine. If you any questions for Sophia, please write to: sophia@newcyprusmagazine.com.