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Starting My Espresso Mushroom Kit

June 23rd, 2011

A while ago I purchased an Espresso Oyster Mushroom kit from Grow Organic. I started saving our coffee ground until I had the three gallons needed for the kit. It took me few months to save up enough coffee ground. If you’re interested in doing this make sure you start saving coffee ground way in advance. You can store them in the freezer to keep them from getting moldy.
It’s quite easy to get the mushroom kit going. You’ll need: a 5 gallon bucket, mushroom spawn kit, three gallons of coffee grounds, and filtered or distilled water. First you want to make sure your bucket is clean, you don’t want any stray bacteria mucking up your mushrooms. You want to drill drainage holes in the bucket and maybe in the sides of the bucket depending on how full it is after mixing all the ingredients.

The next step is to mix the coffee grounds with the mushroom spawn. The directions state to pour coffee grounds into bucket and moisten them, then add spawn and mix. I added half the coffee grounds, wetting them with some filtered water, then I added half the spawn and mixed well. I proceeded to add the remaining coffee and spawn and then I mixed the top layer. Then I made sure the whole lot was damp but not soggy wet.

Needless to say mixing the all of the ingredients well in the bucket was not super easy. It would be much easier to mix it all in a shallow square storage tote first then transfer to the bucket. I’ll remember that for next time.

Then you place the plastic dome provided with the kit on the bucket and place it in a shady area that receives some light. If the amount of coffee and spawn in your bucket does not come up to within a few inches of the top of the bucket you’re supposed to drill a few holes in the sides of the bucket for ventilation. The directions say to mist with water every day and you should have mushrooms to harvest in a few weeks.

It really is that easy. I spent about 15 minutes to get the kit going, that included drilling holes in the bucket. I’ll be letting you know when I harvest the first mushrooms from this kit. It will be interesting to see how many I harvest. The directions say that you can use the spent kit a few more times my inoculating more coffee grounds. It should be an interesting experiment!

Have you ever grown mushrooms? What’s the most unconventional thing you’ve grown in your garden?

Friday Favorites: Fabulous Fungi

November 19th, 2010

I couldn’t do Friday Favorites for very long without talking about mushrooms. I’m a huge fan of mushrooms, one of my favorite ways to eat them is simply sauteed in butter, I could eat them every day, and do several times a week.

I love mushrooms of all shapes and sizes from the regular old white button mushrooms to the lion’s mane and oyster mushrooms that I buy at my local farmer’s market. I think my favorite of all are crimini, or baby bella mushrooms. There’s just something about these little beauties. Recently I just discovered hen of the woods mushrooms and I’ve been enjoying them in some mushroom lasagna.

In the spring we hunt for morels, but not for any other varieties. This winter I want to spend some time reading about growing my own mushrooms and hopefully in the spring I’ll inoculate some logs and give it a go. I’m hoping to go visit our local mushroom grower to get some tips and maybe I’ll be able to buy spawn plugs from them.

One of the best parts about loving mushrooms so much is that they’re super good for you. Eating mushrooms regularly can help you fight off the cold and flu and help you fight all sorts of things like cancer, obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, etc. Here’s an interesting article about mushrooms and immunity.

So what about you, are you a mushroom lover or a hater?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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