|A mass of oyster mushroom spawn growing on sawdust.|
Supposedly, growing mushrooms is pretty easy. They don't need a lot of light, they just need some sort of growth medium or "food", and some water in a semi-sterile environment. So I chose two growth mediums or "foods" for my spawn, used coffee grounds and toilet paper. According to what I read both are excellent growth mediums for oyster mushrooms. Both mediums need to be sterilized and fortunately used coffee grounds are sterilized in the process of making coffee. Toilet paper on the other had needs to be sterilzed with boiling water. I simply boiled tap water and poured it on top of the role of toilet paper to sterilize it, amazingly it absorbed about half a gallon of water. Once the paper cooled I removed the cardboard cylinder from the middle and filled the hole with spawn. Then the toilet paper role and spawn were closed up in a gallon sized plastic bag with the bag left slightly open to allow for breathing.
|My sterilized toilet paper roll with spawn filling the middle hole. The brown specks are pieces of saw dust. The core of sawdust spawn appears white in this picture because it has been covered with white mycelium. Normally this gallon size plastic bag would be nearly closed to prevent contamination and to hold in moisture.|
As for the used coffee grounds, eight holes were drilled into the bottom of a five gallon bucket and about three gallons of coffee grounds were mixed with about 3/4ths gallon of spawn. The spawn and coffee grounds were already pretty wet so no water was added. Eight holes were also drilled around the surface of the mixture to help drain off carbon dioxide. Lastly, a plastic bag with holes in it was used to cover the bucket to help hold in moisture and prevent contamination.
|Mixture of about three gallons of used coffee grounds and 3/4ths gallon of sawdust spawn. Holes in bucket around surface of mixture were drilled right after this picture was taken. Bucket was then covered with a plastic bag with holes to hold in moisture and prevent contamination.|