Mushrooms are grown in prepared containers of formulated compost and spawn (the mushroom's equivalent of seeds). The compost contains all the nutrients the mushrooms will need.
The mushrooms grow in these containers, which are placed in large refrigerated rooms, where the farmers can precisely control light, heat and humidity, while maintaining sterile conditions to ensure the best crops.
It takes a couple of weeks for the compost to grow the roots of the mushroom (called mycelium). A layer of peat moss is added, and the temperature and humidity are carefully controlled to enable the roots to grow fully.
A couple of weeks later the tiny mushrooms come through the layer of peat moss and continue to grow into mushroom caps, of various sizes.
The crop is harvested over several weeks, then the refrigerated rooms are emptied and sterilised before repeating all over again. The spent compost is recycled and sold as soil conditioner and garden mulch.
The mushrooms are packaged, refrigerated and sent quickly to supermarkets and restaurants.
As the refrigerated growing rooms control the growing conditions precisely, we are able to grow mushrooms throughout the year.