It’s okay to have a humongous Hobbit-like appreciation for a certain type of fungus that grows among us. In fact, you can grow your own mushrooms – particularly the shiitake and oyster mushroom varieties – in a bucket or a bag filled with used coffee grounds.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 5 lbs used coffee grounds, the fresher the better
- 1 lb sawdust or pasteurized straw
- ½ lb mushroom spawns
You can adjust up or down based on the size of your container and the space available for growing, as long as you keep the ratios the same. The weight of straw or sawdust you use should be 20% of the weight of the coffee grounds, while the weight of the mushroom spawns should be 10% of the weight of the coffee grounds.
Mix these three things together and put the mixture in a grow bag or bucket, no more than half to two-thirds full. Above the level of the coffee grounds mixture, cut four 5mm air holes in your container. (An open container can be covered with cellophane poked with air holes.) Store in a dark, humid area.
Spritz the coffee grounds mixture lightly with water each day to keep them moist. After two to four weeks, you should see dense white mushroom buds. This is your signal to move the container somewhere with indirect sunlight and fresher air. Harvest your mushrooms when they plump up and their caps start to flatten!
Maybe DIY mushrooms aren’t a shortcut when it comes to the time it takes to grow them, but you won’t have to run to the store every time you want fresh mushrooms anymore!
Editor’s note: you can do a Google search on Mushroom Spore to find a purveyor of same. For example we found https://northspore.com/ which has some dandy options.