Super recycling, one mushroom package for three times! Rice mushroom food creates a new mode of sustainable mushroom cultivation, planting mushrooms without cutting down trees.

Published: 2024-07-23 Author: mysheen
Last Updated: 2024/07/23, Super recycling, one mushroom package for three times! Rice mushroom food creates a new mode of sustainable mushroom cultivation, planting mushrooms without cutting down trees.


Zheng Renkai, standing in the mushroom house, is like illuminating a dark ray of sunshine. This year is the fifth year of the establishment of rice mushroom food. Rice mushroom food uses rice stalks and coffee grounds to make space bags and grow oyster mushrooms on their own. After oyster mushrooms are harvested, discarded mushrooms can be replanted. After planting mushrooms, these mushroom dregs can also grow crops such as ginger or strawberries, which is tantamount to using the materials for three times. This fledgling mushroom farm gives full play to the spirit of "friendly environment and recycling".

The children of the peasant family with fire tattoos learn from other countries to learn "sustainable cultivation of mushrooms".

When I met Zheng Renkai for the first time, the Hickey that the flame left on him was impressive. Born into a peasant family in Changhua, he suffered extensive burns from work more than a decade ago, and then went to work at the Sunshine Foundation and Taiwan. While working in Taiwan in 2012, Zheng Renkai frequently visited the aboriginal tribes of Xinbei Wulai, which became an opportunity to start a business in the future.

Cheng Jen-Kai recalls that at that time, together with Taiwan's original Wu Mei Mei and Tzu Xin Organic Agriculture Development Foundation, they went up the mountain to coach the indigenous people to switch to organic farming. There are many indigenous species of Linden mushrooms on the mountain. In the process of establishing a demonstration farm, he found that the process of growing mushrooms will produce a considerable amount of waste.

"growing mushrooms requires a lot of sawdust, but the source of the sawdust is unknown, and the disposal of mushroom residue after planting is a headache." Zheng Renkai had planned to first study at the Wulai demonstration farm and farm in his hometown in Changhua. When she met Li Yizhen, who also wanted to farm, she proposed Gunter Pauli's "blue economy" model: the role of mushrooms in nature is a decomposer, decomposing the remains of animals and plants for use by other creatures, which can generate income according to this characteristic.

So Zheng Renkai, Li Yizhen and their third partner, Zhou Mengjie, went to Sylvia to learn how to grow mushrooms in an environmentally sustainable way, and then co-founded Rice Mushroom Food in 2015. the common idea is to use traceable and reusable materials to grow mushrooms.

Zheng Renkai, founder of rice mushroom food, raised mushrooms with rice stalks and coffee grounds, and recycled mushroom residues at different stages (photo / Lin Yijun) Xanadu mushroom farm, raising bacteria, growing mushrooms, making space bags, and selling through-train.

Mida Mushroom Food Farm is located in Pingxi District, New Taipei City. It is the only way for Zheng Renkai to fork out from the busy very old street and walk up the mountain along the Pingshuang industrial road. He goes out at seven o'clock every morning and goes home at about eight o'clock in the evening at the mushroom farm. "carrying materials up the mountain and delivering goods down the mountain" is a portrayal of his daily commute.

"it can be said that a layman like us is bold enough to enter the mushroom circle." Zheng Renkai says that according to the hills, most of the domestic mushroom farms operate second-generation, third-generation, or even more than four-generation family businesses, and have a solid foundation in both mushroom-growing equipment and technology.

Rice mushroom food, however, has to explore everything on its own, and boldly try "one-stop management." Zheng Renkai explains that the mushroom culture industry is quite mature, with purchasing pipes for bacteria, mushroom culture media, and all kinds of materials, while rice mushroom food is arranged from bacteria culture, space bag production, production scheduling, and mushroom planting technology to find out feasible ways on their own.

The "big tree bag" is made from rice stalk, cinnamon bamboo shavings and coffee grounds.

When I walked into the 400-ping mushroom farm, I didn't see the mushrooms, but I first smelled the fragrance of coffee, which came from the coffee grounds piled into hills, which is one of the media of mushroom cultivation. Zheng Renkai uses organic rice stalks from Shang Shui friendly farming in Changhua Xizhou, raw cinnamon bamboo shavings from Nantou Zhushan Raw Materials Factory, and coffee grounds from Golden car Company (RAC certified by Rainforest Alliance and UTZ certified by good Coffee) to make "big tree bags" for mushroom culture according to a certain proportion.

"it's not called a space bag, but it's called a big tree bag, because most mushrooms in nature are on or near trees." Zheng Renkai explains that mushrooms need bacteria and medium soil. after the production of the tree package is completed, it will be connected with the cultivated bacteria and allow the bacteria to decompose the medium in the tree bag to grow.

Feimei oyster mushroom grown with recycled materials (courtesy of Zheng Renkai)

When the staff enters the Dashu bag studio, they must be packed tightly, "this is to avoid miscellaneous bacteria pollution." Zheng Renkai explained. The staff will first wash and drain all the incoming materials, put them into the boiler for sterilization, stir, and then make big tree bags.

Zheng Renkai recalls that at the beginning of making the big tree bag, the water content was not well controlled due to lack of equipment, and the bacteria had been stored for more than three months, resulting in a decline in the activity of the bacteria. At that time, it was undoubtedly a big blow to the rice mushroom food, which had just started and was not yet mature. After many failures and trials, the experiment was finally successful.

Imitate the self-culture of the laboratory and arrange the production according to the order

In addition to the Dashu bag production room, there is another place where the mushroom farm has to be "fully armed" to enter, and that is the sterilization room.

There are incubators, aseptic operating tables, sterilizers, etc., the most eye-catching is the conical bottles on the shelves, large and small. There are wheat and bacteria in the conical bottle, and the inoculation time and strain are marked outside the bottle. Zheng Renkai went into the bacteria room, took out the bacteria in the petri dish in the incubator, and explained one by one, "first grow in the middle of the petri dish, observe the growth rate of each strain, and only when it is full will it be put into a conical bottle to breed."

Zheng Renkai did not neglect the source of the culture medium in the petri dish. He boiled friendly potatoes and added cabbage powder as a gel. The propagation rate of different mushroom species in the conical bottle is also different, and the fastest propagation speed is oyster mushroom. At the same time, other mycelia such as hericium Erinaceus and Auricularia auricula cover part of the wheat, but the mycelium of oyster mushroom has filled the whole bottle, like a bottle of white snowflakes.

Rice mushroom food self-growing bacteria, bacteria culture (Photo / Lin Yijun)

When the bacteria in the bottle are full, they will be planted on the big tree bag, and then the bacteria will slowly go down. After the mycelium is full, the mushroom will grow. The big tree bag will make holes at specific intervals to allow the mushroom probe to "produce mushroom." Different strains will be moved to different areas to grow, the bags of oyster mushroom, Lentinus edodes, fungus and hericium Erinaceus will be moved to the mushroom house built by black net, and some oyster mushroom and mushroom will be moved to the environment-controlled mushroom house. Zheng Renkai explained that the growth of mushrooms in the environment-controlled mushroom house is relatively stable, and it will be moved to the environment-controlled mushroom house before shipment, and the schedule will be adjusted according to the order.

After raising oyster mushrooms and mushrooms, you can also grow strawberries with secondary mushroom residue.

A seemingly orderly mushroom house has actually gone through a painstaking process, says Zheng Renkai. Unlike the experience of mushroom farming families, rice mushroom food has to be explored and tested on its own. "for example, mushrooms are suitable for growing at a temperature of 15 to 25 degrees Celsius, and how to water mushrooms to grow beautiful. this is common sense for several generations of mushroom farms, and we have to rely on experiments to know." In addition to temperature and humidity, ventilation control is also very important, because mushrooms release carbon dioxide and heat when they grow, and the environment must be ventilated without direct ventilation.

Now that he has jumped away from the traditional mode of raising mushrooms, rice mushrooms are not afraid to try, and the huge white mushrooms in the mushroom house are planted by Zheng Renkai with the original intention of recycling.

Zheng Renkai said that oyster mushrooms produce a lot of mushroom dregs, and when I was thinking about how to reuse them, I accidentally found that mushrooms could be planted. Compared with other mushrooms, oyster mushrooms grow faster and are relatively strong. "oyster mushrooms are tantamount to 'tidying up' big trees into an environment suitable for the growth of other mushrooms." After the oyster mushroom is harvested, it can be used to grow mushrooms, as well as fungus and shiitake mushrooms.