A day in the life of a mushroom grower: the farm of Lukasz Kiwala
Lukasz Kiwala is a project partner of the BIOSCHAMP project, and owns one of the four farms where new BIOSCHAMP products will be tested – a sustainable biostimulant for mushroom cultivation. In this post, Lukasz narrates first hand his experience as a mushroom grower in the BIOSCHAMP project:
My mushroom farm is located in central Poland, the distance to the capital is 70 kilometers and nearby is the Bolimów National Park. The mushroom farm, which was built and equipped a few years ago, enables all-year-round cultivation of mushrooms.
To take full advantage of the mushroom farm, we work according to a strictly defined schedule. Our main goal is to avoid harvesting on Saturdays and Sundays.
The working day starts early with the farm walk. First, I go around all the growing rooms and check how the mushrooms feel: putting an open hand on the mushrooms, I check whether they are cool, i.e. well evaporated, and dry. Soon after, we note the parameters of the microclimate on the technological card. Then, I do a quick overview of the cultivation computer. My colleague Iwona, who is responsible for the harvest, guides pickers to the appropriate growing rooms, assigning the assortment to be harvested. Like this, the mushroom farm begins to bustle with life!
The end of work in the mushroom farm takes place on Thursday with the loading of the substrate and casing. This operation is supervised by Col. Roman, our technologist, who follows the principle “when you make your bed, you will sleep on it“. We are looking forward to the new casing BIOSCHAMP is developing, which is the subject of the grant.
At 12:00 a postman comes and brings correspondence, including electricity bills (blood pressure rises). Then, I carry out a number of interviews with my suppliers, setting prices and dates.
Price info arrives in the late afternoon when I sit down at the computer and check where I am in the economics program. So far it has turned out that it is worth continuing this activity.
At the end of the day, I come home and spend time with my family: our successor, Frederick, was born recently. Remotely, I can still connect to the mushroom farm via the Internet, checking the microclimate parameters of the growing rooms at any time.
Tomorrow morning I will tell again a new generation of mushrooms – hello!