Ashok Vashist

(Mushroom Farming)

Encouraging Story of a Farmer Making Money from Organic mushroom Farming and Mushroom Products

The science of agriculture has been refined and perfected overtimes to fulfill the demands of the ever increasing population. And with advancement, farming techniques has also been changed. Nowadays most of the farmers are dependent on conventional farming (industrial farming) techniques, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, GMO and other industrial product to maximize the potential yield of their crops; very few are doing farming without using chemicals. Today, we are going to introduce you to a personality, who also use to do conventional farming earlier, but after getting the insight and knowing the benefits of using natural ways in farming, he started using natural farming methods.

Ashok Vashist is an ordinary farmer of village Haryana, who breached the stereotypical thinking of using conventional farming techniques and started using organic farming methods for mushroom cultivation. He got the inspiration of doing mushroom cultivation by using natural farming method after his visit to Research Center of Mushroom, where Chief Scientist Dr. Ajay Singh Yadav make him aware of the beneficial properties of mushroom and motivated him to start doing it.

In the beginning, when he started mushroom farming, the person other than Scientist Ajay Singh Yadav, who always encouraged and assisted him in farming was his wife. All the other six members of his family also helped and supported him a lot.

Ashok Vashist mainly follows three important steps of mushroom cultivation.

First Step:
In the first step, he prepares compost by using paddy straw, wheat straw, millet straw, etc. He cut the straws in 3 to 4 cm and soak them in water.

Second Step: In the second step, he leaves the straw for 28 days in the compost made at home.

Third Step: In the third step, when the compost is prepared, he sows the mushroom seeds which are specially prepared in the lab.

He always follows these three steps while doing mushroom farming and other than mushroom he also cultivates wheat and rice in his farm. By qualification, he is just 10th passed, but this thing never dispirited him in learning and exploring new things. With his innovative thinking and enthusiasm, he tries to create different product out of mushroom, and till now he has created products like honey muraba, mushroom achaar, mushroom muraba, mushroom bhujia, mushroom biscuits, and even mushroom jalebi and ladoo also. One thing that he especially cares about while making different food products is health. So, he uses Stevia powder made from the plant species stevia to sweeten the sweet recipes. Stevia is an ideal healthy sweetener and is also nutritious; diabetic patients can consume sweet products containing stevia without any worries.

Ashok Vashist journey started from a very small platform, almost from zero, and today he has setup up his own business from his hard work, where he sold his homemade products which have been passed by FSSAI. Maharishi Vashist Mushroom is the brand name under which he is selling his products, and many experts, officers, leaders, and media house visit his farm, time to time, to know his innovative way and the idea behind mushroom cultivation and creating delicious mushroom products.

Ashok Vashist wall of achievement includes:

• Certificate for mushroom production technology training programme from HAIC Agro Research and Development Centre.

• Training Certificate by Chaudhry Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar.

• Award and Certificate of Achievement in 2nd Agri Leadership Summit 2017

• Appreciation award from DC Amna Tarneem Jind.

Mushroom Seed:
Ashok Kumar is the first farmer of India who recently developed the seed of mushroom, which can be used as spawn.

Well these are just few awards and achievements to mention about Ashok Vashist, even his buffalo also won the competition by giving 23 kg of milk, which gave him a cash prize of Rs 21 thousand. He only owns 4.5 acres of land and 6 Murrah Buffaloes from which he tries to make out the best earning and profit. He is also an active participant of various exhibitions and events which help him in showcasing his products and making awareness of his farming techniques. And with the hard work and passion with which he is working, in future he will definitely going to achieve much more successes and praises in the field of farming.

Ashok Vashist has a special message for the farmers
Mushrooms are highly nutritious and beneficial to human health. I have generated great profit from mushroom cultivation by growing them in a natural way. As, we know that, food processing is going to be a big thing in the future, so try to take advantage of the opportunity. In the coming time I’m planning to expand my mushroom cultivation to produce products in huge quantity for selling purpose. My message to other farmers is that they should also take up mushroom farming and process them to make different products for selling in the market. Even landless farmers can also make great earning from mushroom farming and they should also choose this field for farming.