Fruit and vegetables

Cultivation of porcini mushrooms

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Cultivation of porcini mushrooms

Porcino is certainly the most popular mushroom in the Italian culinary tradition. Famous for risotto, scallops and for various typical dishes, it has an unmistakable flavor and can be used to prepare various specialties. Belonging to the Boletus family of mushrooms, the porcino is found in the undergrowth of oaks and chestnuts and in areas where the main flora consists of fir and beech trees. The environmental characteristics are fundamental for the growth of porcini mushrooms, the mushroom lives in symbiosis with the roots of the trees, therefore, its cultivation must be organized by recreating the ideal conditions between undergrowth, soil substrate and climatic conditions.

There mushroom cultivation porcini is not very simple and can only be obtained through mycorrhization, a particular technique used in agriculture and horticulture, which consists in transferring the roots of the mushroom to a soil and creating a symbiotic relationship with other higher plants. In the case of porcini mushrooms, for example, chestnuts and oaks are used, creating a symbiotic relationship between the fungus and the roots of the plants so that the porcino can receive the nourishment necessary for its growth from the chestnut.


Cultivation of porcini mushrooms: mycorrhized plants

The ideal habitat for the porcini mushroom is a natural environment with particular conditions of humidity, solar lighting and temperatures. Of course, the soil must be fundamental and must consist of soil where other porcini mushrooms have already developed in the past. Under these conditions, a mycorrhized cultivation can be attempted.

A large area must therefore be set up where there are favorable conditions bury mycised plants and porcini mushroom spores. For the supply of spores there are specialized companies that supply spores also for other plantations, from truffles to champignons. The presence of chestnut and beech trees can help cultivation. It is easy to understand that this operation requires an economic feasibility study at the base.

Before proceeding with a culture of mycorrhized plants, the soil must be evaluated through chemical and physical analyzes and a climatic analysis of the area must be taken into account, especially as regards the frequency of precipitation. There mushroom cultivation as well as as an economic investment, for the sale of the product, porcini can also be used for reforestation operations. When choosing to create green areas and plant higher plants suitable for developing symbiotic relationships with mushrooms, burying porcini spores can help support the investment. In the first years, the conditions for growing the undergrowth and larger plants will be created, and later, even using specific cultivation care, the vegetation that can attack the roots will be eliminated leading to the development of a hospitable habitat for porcini .

This process requires a period of time ranging from 3 to 5 yearscertainly represents a niche market and some production years are needed to amortize the costs of the plant. Although research in the sector is evolving, the cultivation of porcini mushrooms remains very difficult and in most cases there is no production. Also for these reasons, in general not just one plant is created of porcini but also truffles are grown which can lead to a production after 6 years, barley, lavender and other essences that have a positive influence on the growth mechanisms of the undergrowth.

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