The Mushroom Initiative and Regenerative Farming
Besides growing mushroom, we also have a small farm.
Overview of the farm
Fungi, or commonly known as “mushrooms” in farming, are inseparable to plants in nature. They are connected in the circle of life, as different kinds of fungi help plants extend their roots for more water and food, decompose dead plants and protect them against pathogens.
Yet, fungi has long been notorious for infecting plants and causing plant diseases, which is only due to a small group of fungi and the thinking kept people from knowing the true value of fungi. In a soil with balanced ecology, fungi have far more positive effects on plants than the negative ones.
Starting from April 2018, we started our journey to explore and experiment the practices of “regenerative farming”, aiming to restore the health of our farmland.
Our main focuses:
- Support our practice with solid soil science
- Emphasize the importance of data collection in the field for outcome assessment
- Restore soil ecology to enhance the health of soil and plants
Brief outline of our practices:
- Make use of the simple handy tools to measure plant health and understand our soil scientifically.
Examples of meters include penetrometer, refractometer, sap nitrate and pH meter.
reading a brix meter
- Thermal Aerated Compost
Please see Doing compost in Hong Kong: Thermal & Aerobic for details
Thermal aerated composting in TMI
- Cover Cropping
Like human being, the soil cannot live without its “skin” too. It is important to keep the soil covered with plants such as legume and grasses. They feed carbon to the soil when growing and can be chopped and mowed in the soil to release nutrients. Legume is well known of its nitrogen-fixing property, while grass is good for soil structure for being deep-rooted. A combination of different cover crops serves multiple purposes.
cover crops just sprouted
growing cover crops
chopped cover crops
- Plant different plants
Planting different vegetables, flowers, edible or not, and herbs are important as the varieties above soil support the diversity of life beneath soil.
- Use mushroom subtracts
- Spray compost Tea