Example for a circular economy with mushroom breeding

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Our vision

Pilzwerk

Pilzwerk (=Mushroom factory), many think of a factory in which mushrooms are produced. Well, that’s partly true. The edible, healing and symbiosis-forming properties of the mushrooms are the focus and serve as the starting point for many other products that can be produced with the help of the mushrooms. Our vision is to use cycles of products and residues in a clever way, to recognize new cycles and to develop them further in order to achieve the greatest possible energy efficiency and the lowest possible energy consumption for an ecological food production.

The Beginnings

In the first implementation step, residues and waste from the wood processing industry, agriculture and other organic waste products are to be used to grow gourmet and medicinal mushrooms. At the same time, the aim is to combine mushroom cultivation with aquaponics. The used mushroom substrate provides feed for the breeding of earthworms, which themselves serve as a source of food for the fish. The water removed from the fish farm contains the necessary nutrients for plants. Tomatoes and garden herbs are supposed to be cultivated in the first place. The increased oxygen concentration in the cultivation of plants is used to grow mushrooms, which themselves produce carbon dioxide, which increases the growth rate of plants. (see diagram 1)

Cycles

The pilot plant is started on the site of a landscape and gardening company. The heat output for the cold winter months is to be guaranteed by the installation of a biogas plant near the mushroom and fish farm. Landscaping and horticulture provide the necessary quantities of green waste for the biogas plant and after using the biogas, which has a running time of around 15 months, they can use the compost to fertilize their own plants. Furthermore, the compost of the biogas plant can be used for the cultivation of compost-loving mushrooms.

The worm compost that the earthworms produce from the used mushroom substrate can also be used in landscaping and horticulture. The worm compost is said to be upgraded by mycorrhizal fungi, which forms symbioses with useful plants. Spreading this worm-mycorrhizal mushroom compost on agricultural land strengthens useful plants in their immune defense, improves the water supply and ultimately leads to increased yields while minimizing or completely eliminating sprays (mineral fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides). If the crops in these fields (e.g. wheat) are used again for the cultivation of edible mushrooms, larger cycles can arise here. This is exactly what will be sought in the later stages of our vision, and experimental use of various natural fertilizers (used mushroom substrate, worm compost, mycorrhizal fungi, bio-compost, mixed products) will be carried out with the neighboring farmers.

The recognition and connection of different cycles, both in the manufacture of substrates and in the generation of energy for the cultivation of mushrooms and other mushroom-based products, forms the special element of our vision. The utilization of residues from agriculture and the introduction of natural fertilizers back into agriculture represent a comprehensive cycle, the realization of which is aimed at by Pilzwerk and which is intended to underline the ecological aspect of food productio. Pilzwerk creates and sells products (check out our productworld) from the region for the region. Follow us on Instagram or Facebook to be up to date with us!