FAQ - Frequently asked questions
A CONCISE AND BRIEF SUMMARY

I’M INTERESTED, BUT NOT HAVING  ANY KNOWLEDGE OF MUSHROOMS OR OTHER FUNGI, WHOULD THAT BE A BARRIER

  • No matter what course level you decide on, no prior mushroom cultivation knowledge is needed
  • If you are already cultivating, it might not be according to international standards

SHOULD I DO THE ONE COURSE LEVEL AFTER THE OTHER

  • Although the basic information of all course levels are the same, the scope and sequence as well as the software / books included or excluded will be different
  • Important to select that one course level that is most suitable to your long-term needs

HOW TO DECIDE ON THE MOST APPROPRIATE COURSE LEVEL

  • Look ahead in time and visualise the level you aspire to
  • If you decide on mushroom cultivation at the commercial level, compare the duration of the course, software / books included, scope and cost of the COMMERCIAL COURSE with that of the course just one level lower, in other words with the SEMI-COMMERCIAL COURSE
  • Taking your personality, financial situation and commitment into account, any of these two course levels will be suited to your long-term needs
  • If you decide on the COMMERCIAL COURSE, then choose between the virtual real-time or e-Learning method of training

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VIRTUAL REAL-TIME AND e-LEARNING TRAINING

  • First let us explain the similarities. Both are interactive and web-based
  • Regarding the differences, see table below:

Comparison between the two types of interactive web-based training

COMPARISON

VIRTUAL REAL-TIME

e-LEARNING

Environment

Virtual classroom

At own premises

Date and Time

Specific date and time

Own pace and schedule

Teaching platform

Zoom video / audio,
supporting information via e-mail, attached PDF, XLSX and JPG documents

Modules via e-mail, attached PDF, XLSX and JPG documents

Technical requirements

Access to laptop, desktop, tablet or smartphone with applicable camera, microphone and speakers, availability of browser or downloaded free version of the Zoom app, a reliable internet connection and set of ear / headphones to minimise disturbance in co-sharing environments and to avoid voice echoing in the meeting

Ability to send and receive e-mail, preferably an e-mail address where size limitation is not a barrier (minimum 25 Mb) e.g. gmail.com or yahoo.com

 

Interaction

Allows learner to interact with instructor and other participants

Allows learner to interact with instructor

Number of learners

One to seven learners /
instructor

One learner / instructor

Price structure

No discount applicable

Discounted course fee

Problem solving

Learner decides on the means of interaction, usually e-mail, phone, mobile app or video chat   

Learner decides on the means of interaction, usually e-mail, phone or mobile app chat

Follow-up

Complimentary
post-training assistance

Complimentary
post-training assistance

WILL THE COURSE CONTENT OF VIRTUAL REAL-TIME TRAINING BE IDENTICAL TO THAT OF THE e-LEARNING METHOD OF TRAINING
To compare apples with apples, there are four instances where the course framework will be identical:

  • ENTREPRENEURIAL
    6-hour virtual real-time course @ R 3 999
    equals the e-Learning course @ R 2 999
  • SEMI-COMMERCIAL
    6-hour virtual real-time course @ R 4 999
    equals the e-Learning course @ R 3 999
  • COMMERCIAL
    12-hour virtual real-time course @ R 8 999
    equals the e-Learning course @ R 7 999
  • INDUSTRIAL
    12-hour virtual real-time course @ R 12 999
    equals the e-Learning course @ R 11 999

PLEASE EXPLAIN THE e-LEARNING PROCEDURE

  • The first e-Learning material will be provided within 24 hours of receipt of payment
  • No matter what course level, the learner will receive an introduction with basic background information, followed by ten individual course modules
  • Although the basic information of all course levels will be the same, the course level content will be different in respect to detail, topics of discussion, documents included etc 
  • The instructor / lecturer will provide one module at a time, allowing sufficient time for interaction to address all questions and uncertainties
  • When satisfied with the feedback, the learner will request the next module
  • The learner will be in control of the pace and progress

HAS THE PANDEMIC CHANGED THE WAY YOU DO TRAINING

  • The trend for interactive web-based training, whether via the virtual real-time or the e-Learning method of training, was growing before the pandemic but now it is more relevant than ever
  • According to recent surveys, interactive web-based training is an essential requirement across generations, including but not limited to millennials, Gen Z’s and baby boomers. It also allows reaching people further afield and encourages greater diversity
  • From a learner perspective, interactive web-based training is more suitable to those with family or career related responsibilities

WHY ARE PEOPLE INTERESTED IN MUSHROOM CULTIVATION

  • Mainly because of financial reasons
  • Due to the rotational indoor cultivation process, to harvest mushrooms on a daily basis and thus having the benefit of a positive cashflow to support the operational management of the business
  • To be in charge of their own destiny
  • Enjoying the creativity and excitement associated with cultivating
  • As a means of job creation

WILL THE TRAINING BE PRACTICAL ENOUGH

  • The focus is always on the step-by-step practical information and guidance to cultivate mushrooms at the entrepreneurial, semi-commercial, commercial or the industrial level
  • Like any other field of specialisation, you also need to understand the basic theoretical aspects

WHAT IS THE SUCCESS RATE

  • For every five people we deal with, two will be cultivating successfully within a 3-month period and will stay in business
  • Another person will get there eventually, but might take months or years because of lack of time (often full-time employment elsewhere), current family and / or financial responsibilities
  • One person usually completes the training just because of interest in mushrooms as an organic food source (especially vegetarians and people looking for an alternative protein supplement), from a complimentary-based medicinal point of view or because of career benefits in related fields such as mycelial biomass for alternative packaging, mycoremediation, mycorestoration, biotextiles, mycotourism etc
  • One in five will never get to the cultivation process    

WHAT MAKES THE ACADEMY LECTURERS DIFFERENT

WILL I QUALIFY FOR COMPLIMENTARY POST-TRAINING ASSISTANCE 

  • Applicable to all training levels, no matter what course level or method of training you select
  • No time limitations involved 

PLEASE EXPLAIN THE TYPICAL LEARNER PROFILE

  • Entrepreneurial mindset
  • Ambitious, visionary and driven
  • Expect and value quality, professional training and services by experienced post-graduates and willing to invest in their future 
  • Have a great attitude setting themselves up for success

WHAT ARE THE BASIC CULTIVATION SET-UP REQUIREMENTS

  • One or more empty buildings / structures, no matter what shape, size or condition
  • One or more plant-based agricultural or forestry or invasive waste products including, but not limited to, different types of straw or other waste products or concentrates associated with wheat, triticale, maize, oat, rye, canola, cotton, sugarcane, sunflower, invasive tree, reed, large grass type such as elephant grass or equivalent, water hyacinth, coffee, rooibos, honey bush etc.
  • Steam / steam boiler / steam generator for pasteurisation, super-pasteurisation or sterilisation of the plant material prior to the cultivation process
  • Applicable training prior to the planning or setting-up process to eliminate spending of money on unnecessary and irrelevant infrastructure or equipment that might not be needed

WHY ARE PEOPLE CULTIVATING GOURMET MUSHROOM SPECIES INSTEAD OF THE BUTTON MUSHROOM 

  • No animal manure used, thus no smell involved and can therefore be cultivated anywhere worldwide
  • No lengthy, cumbersome and expensive three week compost preparation, substrate preparation for gourmet mushroom species completed within one day
  • Not limited to straw, a variety of inexpensive, locally available plant-based substrate materials should be sourced and used 
  • No open tray cultivation process, a modern substrate bag system is used which act as barrier against pest and diseases
  • No use of fungicides or pesticides, thus eliminating the risks and costs associated with these harmful substances    
  • Reduced cropping cycle period applicable to some of the gourmet mushroom species, as short as three weeks
  • No casing layer used or needed
  • Not cultivated in total darkness, thus focussing on an extensive range of light dependent species 
  • Fruiting body colour spectrum a marketing bonus ranging from pink, blue, yellow and other colours depending on the species
  • Known for its medicinal and nutritional properties, interesting textures and exceptional taste experiences
  • An international trend, growing faster than the button mushroom industry 
  • Higher profitability margin
  • Ease of cultivation

WILL THERE BE ANY TESTS OR ASSIGNMENTS

  • No formal evaluation will take place
  • As all our training levels and methods are interactive, we will do the necessary interceptions if and where needed to ensure a successful outcome

WHEN AND IN WHAT FORMAT WILL THE CERTIFICATE BE ISSUED

  • Sought-after when applying for grants of loans, the certificate will be issued upon successful completion
  • The well-known financial institutions often refer applicants for commercial or industrial training as a basic prerequisite prior to funding consideration
  • The certificate will be issued electronically in PDF format only
  • It is your responsibility to request the certificate if and when needed
  • Some learners will request the certificate immediately upon successful completion, especially when applying for funding
  • Others prefer to make use of our complimentary post-training assistance during set-up and cultivation and will only request the certificate at a much later stage