Sunday, 11 January 2015

Home Grown Oyster Mushrooms from GroCycle

GroCycle use waste coffee grounds to grow delicious gourmet oyster mushrooms and now with one of their kits you can enjoy fresh mushrooms in your own kitchen


There really is nothing quite like using ingredients that you've grown yourself, is there?  I've tried chillies, herbs and even some beans but never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would have fresh gourmet oyster mushrooms sitting in the corner of my kitchen, ready to harvest!

GroCycle very kindly sent me a mushroom growing kit to try out for free and it's been a really fascinating project!  I bet it would also be fun for your little foodies to try.

Let me tell you a bit about GroCycle…I had no idea that coffee waste was such a problem but did you know that once it gets carted off to a landfill it just sits there decomposing and creating methane?!  GroCycle have a brilliant solution to this - an unused office building in Exeter (I'm pretty sure I've walked past it without even knowing!) has been converted into an urban mushroom farm where tasty oyster mushrooms are grown and then delivered to restaurants around the South West of England.  Coffee grounds are collected from cafes around the town, given a tumble in a large drum with the mushroom spawn then spend a little time in the "inoculation room".


GroCycle use waste coffee grounds to grow delicious gourmet oyster mushrooms and now with one of their kits you can enjoy fresh mushrooms in your own kitchen
Photo from www.transitionnetwork.org

The waste from growing the mushrooms is then turned into compost to be used locally.  Please, please, please visit their site as there is so much more to read about them!

If you're not local to Exeter (or even if you are!) GroCycle have made it super easy to set up your own mushroom farm right from the comfort of your own home!

I was so excited when a square parcel arrived so opened it immediately!  The kit is simply a cardboard box with a grow bag - this is full of the coffee grounds.  The white layer on the outside are mushroom roots (mycelium) which the mushrooms get their nutrients from.


You can order a kit from GroCycle to grow fresh oyster mushrooms in your own home!

GroCycle use waste coffee grounds to grow delicious gourmet oyster mushrooms and now with one of their kits you can enjoy fresh mushrooms in your own kitchen


The first step is to cut a cross in the front of the bag, aligned with the cutout in the box.  The instructions say to submerge the bag in water overnight which I did and after a week of nothing sprouting I figured it hadn't soaked enough so put it back into the sink and filled the actual bag with water, soaked again overnight and then drained all of the water and popped it back in the box.  Spray the front of the bag at the opening every day to keep the grow bag moist (mushrooms love humidity!)

Every morning I eagerly headed to the kitchen to see if there was any sign of life…and every morning I was disappointed as I couldn't see anything…

…until 4 days later when I looked up inside the bag and found these little guys…


GroCycle use waste coffee grounds to grow delicious gourmet oyster mushrooms and now with one of their kits you can enjoy fresh mushrooms in your own kitchen


Every day after that I was amazed with how quickly they grew - I felt like if I turned my back for a second they'd got even bigger!


GroCycle use waste coffee grounds to grow delicious gourmet oyster mushrooms and now with one of their kits you can enjoy fresh mushrooms in your own kitchen


After 10 days of growing I decided that the time had come - harvest time!


GroCycle use waste coffee grounds to grow delicious gourmet oyster mushrooms and now with one of their kits you can enjoy fresh mushrooms in your own kitchen

GroCycle use waste coffee grounds to grow delicious gourmet oyster mushrooms and now with one of their kits you can enjoy fresh mushrooms in your own kitchen

GroCycle use waste coffee grounds to grow delicious gourmet oyster mushrooms and now with one of their kits you can enjoy fresh mushrooms in your own kitchen


I've only grown one crop but the kit can be used for 2, 3, even 4 crops!  Once you've harvested your first crop then simply soak the bag again and repeat the process.  When finished you can recycle the box and use the contents of the bag for composting - it really couldn't be easier!

So what to do with these beautiful fungi?  Make something delicious, obviously!  I wanted to make something simple so the flavour of the mushrooms could take centre stage (recipe here).




To buy your own GroCycle grow kit visit their site here - you can buy just one but if you buy more than one kit you can save money (great idea for presses for gardeners, foodies or curious minds!).

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