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The Food Waste to Fungi Project

The Food Waste to Fungi Project

Follow the progress of our food from food waste project! We are using the coffee grounds from the community cafe as a substrate to grow edible oyster mushrooms.

6 December 2023 — Our Growing Project and the Vine Road Community Cafe are working together to reduce waste. We are using the coffee grounds from the community cafe as a substrate to grow edible oyster mushrooms. The coffee is mixed with mushroom spawn at a ratio of 10:1 in plastic bags. These will now be left in a warm room for two weeks and we should then start to see mycelium develop. We will keep you updated on how the mushrooms are growing!

18 December 2023 — It’s week 3 of our mushroom project and we’re seeing fantastic progress! The Vine Road Community Cafe and the Growing Project are collaborating to reduce waste, by re-purposing the coffee grounds from the cafe as a substrate to grow edible oyster mushrooms. We are very excited to see that mycelium (the white, root-like structure of the fungus) is now colonising the coffee grounds – a good indicator that we will start to see the development of mushrooms in the next few weeks! The bags will be moved to a windowsill for the next stage of the growing process

8 January 2024 — It is now week 5 of our mushroom project, and we have seen some exciting developments. During week 4, pinhead mushrooms began to sprout from the grow bags, and these are now rapidly developing into fruiting bodies. The mushrooms are being kept on a windowsill, and sprayed with water twice daily. The mushrooms are being grown on used coffee grounds from the Vine Road Community cafe – a fantastic way to reduce waste.

22 January 2024 — It’s week 7 of our mushroom project, and unfortunately progress has stalled.  The mushrooms began to dry out very quickly, despite being sprayed with water multiple times a day.  It’s likely this was due to the decrease in humidity indoors; the cold weather means the central heating has been on a lot.  As you can see from the picture, our promising crop is now looking pretty sad, but the good news is there are new fruiting bodies starting to form, so we will try to raise humidity levels to prevent the same thing happening again.  It’s disappointing after what looked like a promising start, but half the fun of growing new crops is the learning and experimenting; we’ll keep trying!

5 February 2024 — It’s week 8 of our mushroom project and we are ready to harvest!  Despite the first crop of mushrooms drying out, several new clusters of fruiting bodies appeared and have grown rapidly. It’s great to see that we are able to produce a delicious, edible crop on the coffee grounds, which would otherwise have gone to waste. We’re now feeling inspired to try out some more projects! Coffee grounds can be used in lots of different ways; our next project will be to make a garden fertiliser with them. We plan to try out different methods of growing mushrooms this year as well – inoculating logs with the spores, and growing some in a raised bed under a mulch of straw, are just two of the methods we will try. We’ll keep you updated on progress with this, but please do come and visit the Growing Project to get involved and see the projects for yourself!