Technical language can be found everywhere in the world. And that’s how it is also in the mushroom business: or did you know what a casing is? The technical terms are explained in this article.


As by magic, the black soil is covered in small white dots. It’s like cheeky gnomes have been scattering around a bagful of Styrofoam balls. The white balls are newborn mushrooms; their popping up is called, in technical terms, “flush”. It’s not the result of wizardry or gnomes but of an army of hard-working professionals. Professionals talk in a technical language. A few of these technical terms are:

  • Mycelium
    The fungal threads (comparable to plant roots) that sprout the mushrooms.
  • Spores
    Minuscule 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 shoots from the spores and feeds off the grain.
  • Compost
    The compost is 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 head above the casing.
  • Cell
    Space used to grow mushrooms. Kitted out with a high tech climate control system guaranteeing a constant temperature and humidity. Cells can be as long a s 70m (230ft) and seven meters (23ft) wide.
  • Tray
    Trays are metal containers in which the mushrooms are grown.
  • Manual harvesting
    Pickers harvest the mushrooms by hand.
  • Mechanical harvesting
    Mushrooms are harvested using a harvesting machine.

Now you know the language!

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