Telminsky village 4 E, near Brest Airport

Contacts of the Mushrooms Sales Department on the territory of the Republic of Belarus: +375 (29) 625-05-87

Contacts of the Mushrooms Sales Department on the territory of the Russian Federation: +7 966 844 60 60

HR Department: : +375 (29) 355-54-48

The Best Spot For Mushrooms Is Near Brest!

BONSHE JLLC is 15 already! Many people like to pick mushrooms in the forest. But not everybody knows that they are grown near Brest.


Many people like to pick mushrooms in the forest. But not everyone knows how they are grown near Brest.

This story is about «an enterprise» for growing mushrooms «BONSHE», which is located in the Brest Free Economic Zone «Брест» (airport area).

Looking ahead, we can surely say that there’s no better mushroom place anywhere in Belarus, and even in the territory of CIS.

BONSHE JLLC is very much focused on environment improvements of the territory and keeps everything in order.

France was the first country in Europe which successfully cultivated mushrooms in the XVI century. Dishes with mushrooms were considered specialties for wealthy people. These days, the Netherlands is recognized as the technological leader in the mushrooms production in Europe. Therefore, efficient production with the use of Dutch technologies is organized in Brest.


BONSHE was the first enterprise that adapted a foreign mushroom farming project to Belarusian realities. BONSHE JLLC was founded on September 8, 2004. In March 2009 the first 6 mushroom growing chambers were put into operation. In July 2009 the company started its own production of champignons.

The average capacity of the current company is about 950 tons of mushrooms per month. They are grown simultaneously in 48 chambers (production sites). The task is to significantly increase the production volumes. More than 90 percent of the produced products are exported.


A very long time ago, French peasants noticed that mushrooms grew well in horse hoof pits where horse manure had fallen. After some time, this served as an encouragement for cultivation. Modern production, as noted, is based on Dutch technology and European raw materials.

Vyacheslav Turbin, the Director of BONSHE JLLC, revealed the secrets that you were unlikely to know while looking at the cute white caps.

So, everything starts with the purchase of pasteurized substrate (composted fertilizer) with mycelium (fungi) of mushrooms. Composted fertilizer consists of a specially prepared mixture of manure and straw. It is prepared over 40 days at a specialized plant in Poland. It is sown with mushrooms fungi before being loaded into the truck. The transported raw materials are unloaded quickly, using special equipment, because every extra hour spent in the back of the vehicle leads to the death of the fungi. The composted fertilizer is covered with a layer of peat mixture (casing soil). The produced «pie» is abundantly watered. This work can be done by 5-6 people in a few hours.

Then the technologist (one of the four) comes on board. For the next 16-18 days, he is the «King and God» of the production. For he/she controls the microclimate parameters that directly affect the growth and cultivation of mushrooms. First of all, these are temperature and humidity. He/she even periodically «sniffs» the air in the room. Why?


Composted fertilizer at a certain stage of decomposition releases nitrogen-containing compounds that have a specific odor. And this «smell» indicates a certain maturity of the compost. Naturally, the general parameters are monitored by a specialist via special computer equipment. For this purpose, dozens of compact measuring devices are installed in each of the 48 chambers (production sites). With the help of a computer, control and even management of the microclimate in each chamber can be carried out remotely, at any distance, but daily personal control of the technologists in each chamber is mandatory.


On the 16th-18th day, the first mushrooms appear on the compost piled in the chambers. The crews start picking them. Every day the pace of work increases. There is a reason for the saying: to grow like mushrooms after rain (watering of the compost)… As soon as the mushrooms appear, they must be thinned out immediately, so that they do not slow down the growth of their neighboring mushrooms. Otherwise, you will get a large mushroom «carpet», with which it is impossible to cope without loss of quality.


— This stage is probably the most important and requires responsibility — emphasizes Vyacheslav Turbin the director of BONSHE JLLC during the tour around the enterprise. — High-quality thinning gives good results in the future. Sometimes it is a difficult, but very productive part of work.


The next five days are the most demanding for the mushroom pickers. If the champignons grow out, both the worker and the company suffer losses. In less than a week, the mushroom picker collects 60 percent of the yield on the assigned area. Then comes a pause, when mushrooms do not grow actually. But the break lasts only … one day. Then, the second wave begins. It is smaller than the previous one in terms of yield, but longer for a day or two. Then the next stages are coming. There can be several «waves» like that. At BONSHE two «waves» are used for work. Then the chamber is washed, steamed, and fully sanitized. In the end, the cycle takes 32-35 days.

Working time flies. Shortly, another composted fertilizer is loaded into the same place and a new cycle begins. The production process continues. The same happens in all 48 chambers.


…We entered the «sacred area» to see how the employees work in the production sites -«greenhouses». By the way, they use special light elevators. As the racks are built in several «floors». Work requires certain skills and motor skills. As the result, we have exemplary champignons. They are being weighed, put them in boxes while they are fresh and sent to the warehouse. They are ready for sale.


BONSHE provides delivery of employees with its own transportation means (both to and from work). There are several comfortable buses for this purpose. There is a plan to buy more. Mushroom pickers are brought not only from Brest, but also from nearby district centers — Zhabinka, Kobrin, Malorita, and Pruzhany. In total, the company employs 20 crews. There are about 20 people in each of them. They finish their work at different time. There is a schedule, but it can be adjusted. Two or three years ago night harvesting was practiced, but now the company dismissed it, and even in the busiest times the working day lasts not longer than 21 hours. But in the «easy» days between the «waves» the mushroom grower’s labor day does not exceed two hours. It ends before eleven in the morning.

Natalia Martynovich collects 4.3 tons of mushrooms per month.


This is far from the limit. In 2019, BONSHE JLLC plans to build the fifth production building (with a long-term plan for the construction of two more). So the capacity for the mushroom production will increase by almost 30 percent in 2019. The company has far more perspectives.

One of 48 chambers for mushroom cultivation.

The French for “mushroom” is “champignon”. This word migrated to our language a long time ago. The same is for the European cuisine, which strives for unification. So if you haven’t tasted the champignons — it’s the right time for it!



The working day at BONCHE during the «peak hour» of mushroom picking can reach twelve hours. There’s nothing you can do about it. If you leave them, the mushrooms will grow out and become below standard. The cap begins to «break off» from the stem, and the film bursts from the bottom. Such a mushroom is consumable and fresh, as tasty and good for health. But its price falls. Generally, it is good for the buyer, but for the employee and the company it is not. That is why the first-grade «awesome» mushroom is «appreciated». Such a commercial appearance is valued all over the world.


As mentioned above, the work of a mushroom picker requires skill and «mastered» hand motor skills. Mushrooms are not cut, but twisted with «reciprocating» movements. An experienced mushroom picker takes not one mushroom, but grabs several of them between all fingers one by one. Only then the employee cuts the stem and puts mushrooms in the box. As a result, with each movement of employee’s hand four mushrooms appear in the basket! It is true that it requires long training, because the mushroom is very sensitive to damage, and strong pressure will leave a distinctive trace of the fingers on the cap. By the way, mushroom pickers are not allowed to have long fingernails. Because even soft movements of women’s hands with manicure leave unnecessary traces on the caps of champignons.


Higher education is not required here, but to grow a good mushroom picker requires months of hard work. Since recently, mushrooms at the BONSHE are successfully harvested by men as well. They earn a decent salary which is up to 2 thousand rubles a month and even more. However, one should remember that you should work hard in order to have good results, because the mushroom grower’s earnings depend on the amount of harvested mushrooms.


The worst thing that the company fights against is mushroom diseases. Dry and wet decay, trichoderma (mold), fungus gnat can significantly reduce the harvest of champignons. Even during sanitization, the fungus gnat can «travel» to the next chamber. It can do that as long as it wishes. Unless measures are taken. Therefore, the sealability of the chambers where mushrooms are grown is another very important issue. «It is not a spaceship, but still…» — jokes the Director.


It is worth mentioning that mushroom diseases are not dangerous for humans. But experts confirm: any artificially bred culture is weaker than the wild-growing one. Therefore, cleanliness and order at BONSHE are under special control. An important element is cleaning and sanitizing of the corridors in the production sites and along the production facilities. Floors are washed daily and with the addition of hydrogen peroxide. Even door handles are cleaned with this solution.


Special work clothes are washed every day, disposable gloves are changed several times per shift. If you went out into the corridor, you must put on other gloves. Especially dangerous to bring into the chamber spores of microorganisms harmful to mushrooms. Especially at the early stage of growing the harvest … It is impossible to completely avoid fungal diseases. But to minimize their number and their consequences is quite possible. A lot of attention is paid to this process.

Mushroom growers work on this kind of universal lifts.

Prepared by Sergey MOSCHIK

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