Before you start cultivating your mushrooms , you may find useful to learn some basics of mycology .
Knowing how fungi are structured and what they need to procreate is essential for a successful harvest ( and that’s what we want , right?) .
Soooo , to start we have to realize that the whole fungus organism is bigger than what we normally perceive as a mushroom ; it extends underground (sometimes even for Kilometers) in an intricate network called Mycelium ,which is composed of many Hyphae ( the fungal cell) branched and intertwined to each other.
These Hyphae are eukaryotic cells with a defined nucleus and organelles , but outside their cell membrane , they also have a cell wall made of chitin ( Chitin is the substance that makes up the shells of arthropods such as insects and spiders also).
Just like animals fungi are Heterotrophic , so they don’t produce their own food (they don’t do photosynthesis), but they need preformed organic substances to get their energy from .
Despite that they can’t ingest their prey, so they don’t digest in the same way as animals. They secrete digestive enzymes into the environment that will partially digest their food allowing them to absorb the simple nutrients later ( sugars , amino acids, …) . That’s why mushrooms generally live in their food !
Because of these features , Fungi can’t be classified as plants or animals but they have their own unique kingdom Phylogenetically close to animals.
(Part 2 Coming soon)