Urban Mushroom Farming

Some months ago, Open Biotecture tried growing oyster mushroom in ground coffee waste, according to what Back To The Roots had disclosed in their TED talk. Growing mushroom in coffee waste is a good way to re-use waste as a resource, spur mushroom growth and create healthy garden nutrient (once the mushrooms fixed the nitrogen in the coffee).

Our first, undocumented attempt has not been successful. It was conducted poorly and we did not foresee the rat intrusion that ate all our mycelium-covered wheat.

We set out to growing more today, using equipment we have gathered in the last few days. We required the following only:

  • coffee waste ( 10 Liters)
  • mushroom mycelium
  • solid plastic bag
  • hook
  • cable

We proceeded as follow:

  1. Collect coffee waste,
  2. sterilise coffee waste with boiling water (to remove any competing fungus),
  3. sieve and dry coffee waste
  4. mix mushroom mycelium with coffee
  5. fill plastic bag with mixture
  6. close, tie up and hang up plastic bag in a dark room
  7. perforate the plastic bag slightly (6 holes)

As we had some spare mycelium and coffee we tried mixing a small batch with styrofoam to aerate the mixture (that was an idea that crossed our mind and we wanted to try too), we poured that one into a reversed soda bottle and hung it as well.

Now we will have to wait one to two weeks and see if the mycelium will propagate. Then after tearing openings in the bag, mushroom should sprout.

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