Most mushrooms favor moist conditions and this is mainly on the ground surface in hardwood forests. In this area, they will mostly grow on litter but not on decaying decomposing matter. Chanterelles however unlike truffles, are not grown officially by people in large scale however in recent years it has become a favorite delicacy in several parts of Europe and the United States. The best way to grow them is by cultivating the areas in which they naturally grow as there is a ready market for them. Truffles have been gown by man since the 19 th century but the peak of its production was reached at the start of the 20 th century. Today in the best-case scenario mushroom production especially truffles reach several hundred tones especially in France. These mushrooms are grown in soils with good aeration, drainage and with some aspect of biological activity. There are three ways of cultivating them; tanguy method, parllier method and the traditional method (Pierre,2017).
Of all the mushrooms, truffles are one of the most marketed and fetch heavy prices per pound. They are easily marketed through all of the aforementioned mushrooms are popular delicacies today. There is a strong consumer demand for these mushrooms all over the world though they are mainly marketed in Europe where the market taste for them is already well developed. For instance, when marketing the black truffle, it can be stored for a maximum of just two weeks and preferably when chilled. Since mushrooms are highly perishable, it is highly advised that they should not be stored longer as this would make it deteriorate in quality. The jelly ear mushrooms are also known as shiitakes in japan are largely popular hence a ready available market for this kind of mushroom species. Marketing of mushrooms is therefore very much possible as in the current world market mushrooms can be a million-dollar business or investment scheme. It is a notable fact that marketing of mushrooms did not start recently as in by early to mid-20 th century notably in France, mushrooms were being produced in hundreds of tones (Pierre,2017)
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The world wars greatly had an impact on the growing of food as those able bodied young men who would be involved in farming, were instead holding fire arms. These wars ensured that no one fit was left behind to farm or to cultivate their piece of land which immensely reduced farm productivity. In addition to depriving farms of able bodied young individuals to be involved in farm work, these world wars ensured that there was no conducive environment for any farming process. The fields which could have been used in any farm work was instead being used in digging war trenches and acting as war zones. The world wars particularly had a negative impact on the truffle industry which as mentioned earlier was the best-selling mushroom plant from the 19 th century. There was a decline in truffle production since the truffle growing grounds were being neglected and instead food crops were being planted (Santiago & Barreda, 2014). There was also a rural exodus which created a very huge demographic situation which in turn made it very hard for people to renew the truffle plantations which required great time and effort.
Even after the second world war, the effects were still severe to the truffle industry. This is due to the fact that production methods and mechanisms largely changed after the war. There were several radical methods which were introduced and this altered the initial effort of growing purely nutritive crops to purely industrial crops. Truffle being purely nutritive, suffered a further decline in production. Gradually people also stopped planting the particular tress which were associated with the growth of truffles since annual production was no longer reliable coupled with the financial burden and stress of repaying bank loans. Since people no longer planted or maintained the trees which formed a good ecosystem for the growth of truffles, the landscape changed gradually and the conditions became totally unsuitable for the growth of truffles.
Mushrooms are a great source of proteins and vitamins and a delicacy that has been in existence since time immemorial. Truffles, chanterelles, morels and the jelly ear mushrooms are but a few of kingdom Fungi which are edible since not all mushrooms are safe for human consumption. Most of these mushrooms are highly marketable today and some like truffles fetch high prices though their popularity is mainly in Europe, it is gradually spreading. The production of these mushrooms however has not been without its challenges like for instance the world wars hampered their production but fortunately their production has since been revived.
Pierre, S. (2017). The Truffle And Its Cultivation In France. 14.3 :206
Santiago, R. (2014). "Black Truffle Cultivation A Global Reality ". Forest systems 23.2; :317.
Spahr, D. L.(2009). Edible And Medicinal Mushrooms Of New England And Eastern Canada . 1st ed. Berkeley, Calif.: North Atlantic Books. Print.