Mushroom cultivation

The tunnels that had been cut out of the hillsides in Bradford and Westwood by underground stone quarrying provided ideal conditions for growing mushrooms on a commercial scale. Insulated from the weather, they give stable levels of temperature and humidity all year round and, unlike plants, fungi do not need light for growth. The techniques were imported from France, where they had been pioneered in old underground stone quarries in Paris. The company of Agaric Ltd started up in Bradford just before the First World War with help from French workers. From 1928 the company used part of the quarries at Westwood, but had given up by the start of World War 2. As Blue Prince and Darlington Mushrooms cultivation continued for the Heinz company until production was moved away from Bradford in the 1990s. Underground farming continued on a reduced scale afterwards.

> View 1963 film of Bradford mushroom growing

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