The success in mushroom cultivation is directly related to how deliberate the meaning of compost in these mushrooms’ lives is. Understanding the importance of the compost’s role begins from the realization that a compost heap is not simply a physical mixture of moist straw and poultry manure. For the endless number of microorganisms that live in the compost, it is the whole world, compared to the meaning of the Universe for humankind, moreover, the laws of development and the structure principles are most likely the same, because both are parts of a single whole. One of the differences between these substances is that we create the «compost» form of life for a specific intent – creating a habitat for mushroom mycelium and the conditions for its vital activity: nutrition, growth and propagation. But the question of why the human world was created remains unanswered.
On the assumption of aforesaid, it’s easy to conclude that the primary basis of a high profitability of a mushroom industry is high-quality compost, which is maximally suitable for the mushrooms’ life. The preparation of this compost is possible only if the production of compost is sensible and serious. That is: timely and high-quality work execution according to the adopted technology, quality of the raw materials and the compost control, constant work on an improvement of the qualification of the compost building’s workers, regular keeping of necessary records and documentation.
The preparation of high-quality compost is practically impossible, when the compost is considered manure, or something even more unsightly.
Let’s try to look at this «philosophy» from a different point of view.
First – what is good and high-quality compost? It seems like it’s something that supplies the mushrooms with the most important in life – nutrition. The dry material of mushrooms consists mostly of organic matter. Therefore, mushrooms require organic matter, and the more of it there is in the compost, the bigger will be the mass of grown mushrooms. On the other hand, how do mushrooms feed? A well-known fact is that mushrooms have no teeth, so they can only consume food dissolved in water. Water is an essential condition for a mushroom’s life (and not only). Yet, what can hold the water in the compost? The same organic material. This means we’re interested in its preservation from this angle also.
What does only for mushrooms mean? It means that it’s necessary to get rid of any excess materials that can be used for food by the mushrooms’ competitors – other microorganisms. «Excess materials» are also understood as easy accessible carbohydrates. A mushroom industry’s technologist’s goal is to use the energy of this available nutrition for compost preparation, and not «climb into» a potential nutrition for mushrooms. Also, the execution of this condition gives a significant increase in the release of prepared compost from a ton of straw.
A second thing that must interest any compost producer is the reduction of the first phase of composting time-limits, which promotes the increase in the efficiency of compost houses. And there’s something to strive for.
Modern technology for compost preparation allows the obtaining of high-quality compost in less than two weeks.
The last thing to think about before starting with the production, is the decrease of the manufacturing cost of a ton of compost. That means to maximally simplify the technological process and to pick the optimal combination of the machinery use and hand labour. The cost of machinery can differ also, and the more expensive machinery doesn’t always guarantee high-quality compost.