The official ribbon cutting ceremony of the mushroom laboratory, officiated by undersecretary of Department of Agriculture Evelyn Laviña

The Yamang Bukid Farm, the province’s leader in agro-tourism, has launched its mushroom culturing laboratory in a bid to get Palaweños acquainted with the “best miracle food of all time” that has great medical benefits and to bring sustainable income to farmers.

The mushroom production laboratory is led by Leah Grace Conlu, an expert on direct mushroom cultivation.

Conlu said the laboratory will be culturing mushrooms such as agaricus, shiitake, and angel oyster, which are known to help cure ailments such as reducing cholesterol levels, eliminating cancer cells, and provides vitamins, minerals and the like.

Department of Agriculture undersecretary Evelyn Laviña checks the bags of cultured mushrooms ready for its fruiting stage.

Agaricus mushroom, for instance, has chemicals that can improve the body’s use of insulin and lower resistance in people with type 2 diabetes.

Shiitake, on the other hand, can boost the immune system, lower blood cholesterol levels, ease hardening arteries, diabetes, colds, flu, fight against eczema, and treat protate or breast cancer.

Conlu explained that Yamang Bukid is going into mushroom culturing to promote a healthy eating lifestyle for longer life.

“Most of the mushrooms sold here in Palawan are usually imported from Manila. Yamang Bukid, establishing its very own mushroom laboratory, could be able to help supply different restaurants and medicine industries,” she said.

Conlu narrated that she was invited to The Yamang Bukid on the third week of January this year after the farm management saw her on Facebook doing direct mushroom culturing.

Then she was invited to do a three-day one-on-one seminar to share her procedure to some of The Yamang Bukid farmers.

“Nakita nila ako sa Facebook around the third week of January [this year]. Nagdi-direct culture kasi ako ng mushroom na hindi pa nila nakikita sa iba dahil mas mabilis na paraan iyong ginagawa ko sa pagpaparami ng edible mushrooms,” Conlu said.

Now, she is the head consultant of the farm in Bacungan for the mushroom cultivation.

She said the fastest way to culture mushrooms is through base mixture organic kusot (sawdust), darak (milled bran), apog (agricultural lime) and molasses as an alternative to brown (coconut) sugar, she pointed out.

With a barrel of water mixed with miraculous powder and booster, it is filled to the cultivation mixture to both kill active acids that could obstruct the mushroom growth and to add moisture, which will lead to a 15-day composting stage and other procdures.

A mushroom’s shelf life while in its bag, she said, lasts approximately eight to 10 months.

“Mas madali ang mushroom cultivation kapag direct culture dahil isa ito sa organic at mabilis na paraan para makaparami ng pag-produce ng mushrooms at mas matagal na shelf life” she said.

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