Mushroom Glossary

Mycelium – the fungal threads (comparable to plant roots) that sprout the mushrooms.

Spores – miniscule mushroom ‘seeds’ that are kept safe in the brown gills under the cap of the mushroom (almost impossible to see with the naked eye).

Grain spawn – sterile grain inoculated with mushroom spores. The mycelium sprouts from the spores and retrieves food from the grain.

Compost – a mixture of horse manure, straw, gypsum and chicken manure.

Permeated compost – compost that has been mixed with grain spawn. The mycelium permeates the compost. The grower creates the perfect conditions under which the mycelium will start sprouting mushrooms.

Casing – a layer of peat covering the compost to regulate the humidity of the compost. The peat is often mixed with foam soil (spent lime), a by-product of the sugar industry.

Flush – a cropping cycle of mushrooms, from the moment they pop their heads above the casing.

Cell – space used to grow mushrooms. Equipped with a high tech climate control system guaranteeing a constant temperature and humidity. Cells can be as long as 70m and 7m wide.

Tray – Metal container in which the mushrooms are grown.

Manual harvesting – pickers harvest the mushrooms by hand.

Mechanical harvesting – mushrooms are harvested using a harvesting machine.