Farm visit Medallion Mushrooms, SA

  • Photo impression of the farm visit to Medallion Mushrooms during the 2008 ISMS conference in Cape Town, South Africa, May 24.

    Medallion Mushrooms is situated at Blauklippen wine estate near Stellenbosch.
    Founded by Graham Boonzaier, Charles Benade and Tim Crawley, mushroom growing started here in 1981.
    The international visitors were split up into colour coded groups to visit the mushroom farm.
    At the compost yard. Mountain scenery in the back.
    All phases from composting to the sales of mushrooms nearly literally take place under a single roof.
    Phase I takes about 20 days. This consists partly of a flat pile stage, dike stages and the final days in a bunker.
    Compost yard.
    Compost yard.
    Compost yard.
    Visitors at the compost yard.
    Compost yard.
    The compost is cased using Topterra casing soil from The Netherlands, the market leader in South Africa.
    Workers living very close to the farm.
    Family living near the farm.
    Mushrooms are grown in the
    Piet Lempens of Hooymans Compost in The Netherlands digging in.
    Wooden trays in one of the growing rooms. Phase II is done in trays. The filling weight is about 115-120 kg/m2. The phase II process lasts 8 days. 
After phase II, the compost is inoculated.
Mycelium growth lasts 13-14 days, after which the compost is cased.
    After mycelium growth the growing room is cooled down. Harvesting is done in three flushes, in twelve growing rooms (four of 422 m2 and eight of 352 m2).
    Taking care.
    Watering is done manually.
    American and Dutch visitors in a growing room.
    Growing room.
    Pickers at Medallion farm.
    Mushrooms on trays.
    A little problem.
    Medallion grows Sylvan A15, alongside trials with the 81B.
    Visitors were surprised as to the fine pin heading and development of the flushes and the final mushroom quality at Medallion. Certainly if you take into account the technical conditions at this rather outmoded farm.
    Packing line.
    Products of Medallion.
    Company trucks.
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