The place of the mushroom in the vegetable kingdom
Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of a fungus, just like apples are the fruiting bodies of an apple tree. A mushroom is a kind of fungus with the Latin name of Agaricus bisporus. Other cultivated mushrooms in the Netherlands are the oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) and the shiitake (Japanese mushroom) (Lentinula edodes).
In the vegetable kingdom the mushroom is ranked with the heterotrophic organisms (lower plants). In contrast to the higher, green plants, these heterotrophs are not capable of photosynthesis. Fungi are the scavengers of nature. In mushroom cultivation, too, waste products, such as chicken manure, horse manure, straw, gypsum and waste water (from their own composting) are used to produce a high-quality substrate, from which the mushrooms will grow. Ammonia is removed by means of an ammonia washer from the process air before it is returned to nature. Even the ammonia from the air is used as a source of nitrogen in composting. The fungus, also called mycelium, uses the compost as a source of energy for its combustion, in which energy is released that is used for growth.