URBAN OYSTER "Gourmet Mushroom Grow Kit"
Grow oyster mushrooms from spent coffee grounds @ Home- Office- School
The Concept is Simple. Thousands of kilos of spent coffee grounds are wasted every week in Ireland, and it just so happens that spent coffee grounds make a fantastic substrate for growing fresh gourmet mushrooms.
Worldwide coffee is consumed every day and the coffee cup is at the end of the process, where less than 0.2% of the coffee plants biomass has been used, these grounds are then sent to landfill, it's here that the coffee grounds break down, with the remaining caffeine creating harmful methane gases.
URBAN OYSTER Gourmet Mushroom Grow Kit is a simple idea but an important one.
The Urban Oyster grow at home Grow Kit is an initiative to promote and facilitate the cultivation of gourmet mushrooms on spent coffee grounds. With our cities covering just 2% of the Earth's surface and consuming about 75% of the world's resources, we need to reconsider what we consider waste and see it again as resource. We're starting with coffee waste, an abundant urban resource & perfect for mushrooms.
Through the art of cultivating oyster mushrooms on reclaimed coffee grounds, you as an individual can engage with a global problem which sees many millions of tonnes of coffee waste disposed of to landfill, where it breaks down producing millions of tonnes in methane and CO2 emissions.
After all your harvests the contents of this kit can be broken up and added to your garden as an excellent soil enhancer, providing extra nutrients and mycelium networks to your soil. Our plastic tubs are sourced and up-cycled from local food catering suppliers, used once they are then sent for shredding. We think this is a much better alternative before eventually shredding them!
We made this kit to help empower people everywhere to become sustainable mushroom farmers
Turning waste coffee grounds into Oyster Mushrooms
Spent Coffee Grounds are perfect because they are full of essential minerals and necessary elements for the
Oyster mushrooms to thrive on. After the 2nd/3rd harvest your own byproduct, the coffee and mycelium becomes a nutrient rich soil enhancer for your garden, while also helping to renew your kit to grow again.
URBANOYSTER is tackling 3 problems : reducing waste, food miles and Co2
URBANOYSTER diverts what is traditionally considered waste products, multiplies their use, while also focusing on inspiring and providing opportunity within local communities. Through cultivating a network of Urban Oyster grow kit cultivators we hope to help initiate social changes that will improve the livelihood and livability of our communities.
This is an innovative and simple project that we hope will inspire and instigate other such enterprises & example the global enterprise of growing mushrooms on coffee agri-waste.
The Problem with waste coffee
Coffee is one of the largest globally traded commodities, yet only 1% of the plant biomass ends up in the cup after the final brew process at the point of sale in catering. With today's dwindling resources and increasingly complex food system it's important to minimise the waste of nutrients. Ireland consumed over 3,980 tonnes of coffee during 2012, these figures are set to increase year on year, with the bulk of coffee waste ending up in landfill where it often breaks down to produce harmful methane gases.
Where organic recycling facilities do exist, the grounds are fed into a bio-digester (use of anaerobic digestion), but this misses the opportunity to produce a high value food crop from them first, utilising the vast majority of the nutrients extracted from the soil during the growth stage of the coffee plant, the waste grounds themselves are still packed with nutrients and are the perfect growing medium for Oyster mushrooms.
URBAN OYSTER fully utilises the nutrient value of the grounds by converting them into a nutritious food crop. Put simply, the full nutrient value of coffee ground waste is not being utilised, it is now.
Over 350,000 tonnes of organic waste comes from commercial businesses (e.g. food retail, hotels, food wholesale, hospitals, restaurants, etc.) and over 450,000 tonnes is generated by the industrial food producing sector. The Waste Management (Food Waste) Regulations 2009 govern any businesses that sells or serves food. According to these regulations food waste from specified premises must be segregated at source since 1st July 2010.
Coffee is one of the world's most popular drinks. 7.5 million tons of coffee and almost the same amount of waste are produced every year. These leftovers can be used for the production of healthy gourmet mushrooms. The idea for this sustainable business model stems from Africa where people are empowered to supply themselves with important nutrients and create jobs through mushroom production.
URBAN OYSTER is tackling 3 main problems by reusing waste, reducing food miles & greenhouse gases.
Urban Oyster operates as a social enterprise which adds benefit to the community by recruiting local people who can carry out a training program alongside growing fresh mushrooms, assembling grow at home kits, running educational workshops and events, thus creating a location for further food enterprise. Together it forms an innovative social venture that brings benefits economically, environmentally and socially. Our aim is to keep coffee waste out of landfill by using it to grow gourmet mushrooms, produce fertile compost and livestock feed and overall enable others to grow their food.
URBAN OYSTER is a perfect example of the triple bottom line, financially, environmentally & socially
FAQ for your Urban Oyster Gourmet Mushroom Growkit
Below we answer the most common questions regarding your Grow Kit
How should I store the bag of mycelium, before I start my Grow Kit?
The bag of mycelium can keep for up to three months in the refrigerator, in case you don't want to start your mushroom project right away. The ideal temperature is between 2 and 5 degrees centigrade. We advise not to freeze your mycelium.
How do I get started?
Before getting started, it is a good idea to kill off all potential bacteria in the bucket.
This is easily done with a clean washcloth and a bit of household spirits or by giving it a pour with boiling water.
To get your Grow Kit running you need, beside the bucket and the mycelium, coffee grounds.
The grounds should be as fresh as possible - cooled!
Mix the grounds from one, two or three pots of coffee with the mycelium inside the bucket, using a clean spoon. Then close the lid and wait 2-3 days until the mixture has been completely covered with white mycelium.
How fresh do the coffee grounds need to be?
We advice against using grounds that are older than 3 days, as you otherwise risk contamination through green mold or anaerobic bacteria. If the grounds are stored for more than 3-4 hours before mixing it with mycelium in the Grow Kit, we recommend that you store it in the refrigerator until then.
Do I mix the content every time I add fresh coffee grounds?
No, you only mix the mycelium and the grounds the first time you put it into the bucket. From then on, when you add coffee grounds, you simply put it onto the white mycelium in the bucket, in a thin and even layer, using a clean spoon.
How often should I add coffee grounds?
When the last added coffee grounds are covered in white, soft mycelium, you can add fresh grounds. The white layer typically takes 2-4 days to spread. Avoid squishing the grounds into the bucket, and do not add more than an even layer of approx. 1-2 cm grounds at a time.
Can I add the coffee filter?
Yes, you can definitely add the coffee filter into the mix. The mushrooms love the wood fibres in the filter.
How much coffee grounds does the Grow Kit require in total?
You should simply keep adding grounds to the Grow Kit until it is filled to the brim.
Can I use something other than coffee grounds?
If you make sure to sterilize/pasteurize it first, you can use almost any kind of plantfibre as growth medium, such as sawdust, straw, cardboard, wood chips or the like. One advantage of using coffee grounds though, is that it is pasteurized when you make the coffee, and as such it can be used with no other processing needed.
How long before the mushrooms come out?
This depends on temperature and humidity, and of course on how much coffee you drink. Usually it takes between 6 and 8 weeks before you can harvest your first mushrooms. After this first harvest, you can expect a new one approx. every two weeks. The Grow Kit will produce fewer and fewer mushrooms for every harvest, and therefor we recommend restarting the Kit as described in the instructions on the bucket.
How many mushrooms can I produce with a Grow Kit?
This also depends on what conditions the Kit is exposed to. Normally it will produce mushrooms three times, giving a total of 1/2 kilo mushrooms. After each harvest you should add a bit of water to the Grow Kit. The substrate in the bucket might also shrink a bit after a harvest. In this case, you can add a bit of extra, fresh coffee grounds. Then you can restart the Kit by adding new coffee grounds, as described in the instructions on the bucket.
I'm going away on vacation. What do I do?
If you are going away, or for some other reason you can't take care of your Grow Kit for a longer period of time, you can put your Grow Kit in the refrigerator. At low temperatures the mycelium goes into hibernation, and you can simply pick it up where you left off once you are home and ready to continue.
If the Kit is filled and overgrown, a trip to the fridge could actually help the growth in the bucket. The mushroom will believe that winter is coming, and when introduced to warmer temperatures again, after a few days in the refrigerator, it will hurry to produce as it believes it might be its last chance before the frost sets. In any case, you can always use this trick when the bucket is full and ready to produce mushrooms.
What are the optimum growth conditions?
Described below are the optimum growth conditions.Be aware, you can still achieve fine results without following instructions 100%.
The mushrooms development can be divided into two fases:
- the Growth phase
- the Fruiting phase
Next phase is when you have filled your bucket to the brim, and the last coffee grounds have been covered with white mycelium. Now the Kit is ready to give fruit. In this fase, the optimum conditions are 15-20 degrees, high humidity and light surroundings (no direct sunlight). If you can not create these conditions at home, you can place the Kit in the refrigerator for around 24 hours. This cheats the mushroom to believe winter is coming, and it will hurry to bear fruit. To achieve high humidity in dry surroundings, you can spray the mushrooms with water from time to time.
When do I remove the tape?
When the Grow Kit grows the mushroom after approx. 10-14 days into the Fruiting phase, it will push the tape aside itself. If it doesn't fall off, you can help it along by pulling it off. Do not remove tape from the holes from which the mushrooms do not grow.
When should I harvest?
When the Grow Kit has grown a cluster of mushrooms, and the mushrooms heads are horisontal, you should harvest.
When can I restart my Grow Kit?
After you have harvested a third time, your Grow Kit will probably stop producing mushrooms. Now you can remove approx. 80 % of the substrate from the bucket, using a clean spoon. You can use the remaining 20 % to restart the Kit with fresh coffee grounds. The substrate you have removed from the bucket you can compost, or you can leave it in a moist part of your garden or balcony, and perhaps it will produce mushrooms. The holes in the Kit can be re-covered with new tape, which you can buy at a local pharmacy.
What do I do if the mushrooms are very small and dry?
This could indicate that the environment is too dry.
Try moving your Kit away from heatsources or draft. You can also try spraying water on the mushrooms.
What do I do if colorful things start showing up in my Grow Kit?
Anything in your Grow Kit that is not coffee grounds should be white or beige. A yellow or red'ish fluid might appear, which is normal. If you on the other hand observe green mould (rarely also orange) it is a clear sign of contamination. Contamination can occur if the Kit has not been properly cleaned before using it, for example, if you've used dirty tools to add the coffee grounds, if the substrate is too dry, or if mould spores in the air for some reason concur the white oyster mushroom spores. If you only see a small patch of green mold in your Grow Kit, you can - in most cases - simply remove the attacked area with a clean spoon. Keep a daily eye on the development, and remove the mould if it returns. Make sure the substrate is moist at all times.
What if mushrooms grow inside the bucket?
If the bucket hasn't yet been filled, and it bears fruit inside the bucket, you might have waited too long before adding fresh coffee grounds. Remove all the sprouted mushrooms from the bucket, and add fresh coffee grounds
The Dublin InQuirer visited Urban Oyster to report on the projects progress How to Grow Mushrooms on Used Coffee Grounds
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE
Urban Oyster on Exhibition
FIELDTEST: Radical Adventures in Future Farming
Science Gallery Dublin, Ireland March 10th / June 5th 2016
FIELDTEST: Radical Adventures in Future Farming
Science Gallery Dublin, Ireland March 10th / June 5th 2016
We are very honoured to have exhibited the Urban Oyster Kits at Field Test : Radical Adventures in Future Farming at the Science Gallery Dublin, Ireland March 10th / June 5th 2016