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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?

18 Comments to “Starting My Espresso Mushroom Kit”
  1. Nancy M. on June 23, 2011 at 8:33 am

    Thanks for the wonderful instructions. I’ve been thinking about growing my own mushrooms for a long time. I only drink coffee a few times a week these days. Maybe I’ll be able to get some grounds from one of the cafes in town.

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  2. Jenny on June 23, 2011 at 9:15 am

    I grew some mushrooms once, but it was an accident. I put a planter in my kitchen one winter, and put a light over it. I guess the light wasn’t bright enough because all the plants in it died, but then some mushrooms sprouted. They were bright yellow and pretty neat looking. I didn’t try eating them though.

    I guess the most unconventional thing I’m growing is catnip, at least I think that’s what it is. I put some store bought catnip on a plate for my cats to enjoy, and when they were done, I saw a bunch of what looked like seeds on the bottom of the plate. I threw them in some dirt, and they sprouted. Now I have a small pot of it. My cats don’t seem to show any interest though. Maybe it has to be dried to affect them.

    I’m also growing a pineapple top. After eating the pineapple, I stuck the top in a pot of dirt, and now its growing happily. I’ve actually done this before and it grew pretty large, but then I gave it away when I moved, so I started a new one.

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  3. kristin @ going country on June 23, 2011 at 9:16 am

    I grew mushrooms in a kit in our bathroom one winter. I got a couple of meals out of it anyway, and it was fun, if not super cost-effective. Next I want to try inoculating the old spruce stump outside the kitchen door. I think it would be the perfect place for Chicken of the Woods mushrooms.

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  4. Michelle @ give a girl a fig on June 23, 2011 at 10:31 am

    I can’t wait to grow mushrooms! We’ve got so many other projects going on right now that I’m not ready to add a new one to the mix yet…but probably next year I’ll give it a try.

    The most unconventional thing I’ve grown is a birdhouse gourd. It was awesome! Huge beautiful leaves…giant gourds. It wasn’t the most useful plant…but it sure was good for my gardening ego!

    Reply to Michelle @ give a girl a fig's comment

  5. Wendy on June 23, 2011 at 10:59 am

    So far I haven’t grown anything really unconventional, but I have been eyeing mushroom kits for a couple of months now. I have been holding back, because I wonder if it will be cost effective. Looking forward to hearing what your impressions are from your mushroom experience.

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  6. Barefeet In The Kitchen on June 23, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    I can hardly wait to see how this works for you! We adore mushrooms. I am going to start saving coffee grounds now. YAY for another awesome homegrown vegetable.

    Reply to Barefeet In The Kitchen's comment

  7. trashmaster46 on June 23, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I gave my husband a portabello kit one year. He enjoyed the heck out of it, and got several pounds of mushrooms from it (-more- than repaying the cost of the kit!). When the kit stopped fruiting, we figured, “okay, that was fun” and he dumped the kit contents into the side yard. We didn’t think about it much till the next year when we saw the portabellos coming back. Which they’ve done for three years so far. Anywhere from little handfuls to nearly dinner-plate sized!

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    • Donna B. on June 27, 2011 at 1:49 pm

      !!! I’ve always been a bit weary about the kits, since I’m prone to forgetting and might skip a session or two of “misting” – but if this is true… with the right conditions, you can get the mushrooms to grow in the yard?! Eee! What conditions do you have in your side yard, if you don’t mind me asking?

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  8. Angela on June 23, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    My husband really wants to try growing mushrooms (we have an amazing variety of mushrooms in our yard already, so clearly the conditions are right, but we aren’t confident enough in IDing them to eat them), but the kits are so expensive that we haven’t tried yet.

    The most unconventional foods we grow are the ones we aren’t growing intentionally. :) Most of the weeds in our yard are edible (catnip, nettles, wood sorrel, lambs quarter, and apparently even the quackgrass!), so we’ve been experimenting with using those as crops, since they require no effort to maintain and show up no matter what we do.

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  9. MAYBELLINE on June 23, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    I’ve never intentionally grown mushrooms.
    Nothing unconventional grown in the garden. We’re having a convention all the time – garden party style!

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

  10. Candie on June 23, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    This is cool I might try it! We have lots of shady spots it would be a good use for them!

    Reply to Candie's comment

  11. Kathi on June 23, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Notthing too unusual, but someday want to try my hand at giant pumpkins. Think I’ll wait for a bigger yard first though. It looks like so much fun and I love Halloween in New England.

    Reply to Kathi's comment

  12. Allison on June 23, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    My husband and I are growing Portabella’s from a kit — the first harvest was so exciting. I am interested to see, as well, how long we’ll be able to harvest from this kit.

    Reply to Allison's comment

  13. Djk on June 23, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Starbucks gives them away free. You can have three gallons in two or three days.

    Reply to Djk's comment

    • trashmaster46 on June 24, 2011 at 10:11 pm

      The coffee grounds, not the mushrooms ;)

      Reply to trashmaster46's comment

  14. Donna B. on June 27, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    I want to grow any edible kind of mushrooms! Hehe. Must look into getting the right environment for them – I have a nice shady side yard that is shielded with two sentinel pines… it’s very mossy and moist back there. But I’m willing to sacrifice some of my hosta-growing areas if I can get a stump with edibles on it! ♥
    PLEASE keep us updated with the progress of your espresso-mushrooms! Oyster is one of my favorites… yum!

    Unconventional… hmm… everything growing in my yard is unconventional… hehe! At first I grew 4’o’clocks (Mirabilis jalapa) for the SOLE reason of Japanese Beetle control… but now it’s a major design point for it’s gorgeous late-blooming flowers and SMELL!

    Reply to Donna B.'s comment

    • Susy on June 27, 2011 at 2:02 pm

      Sounds like mushrooms would do very well in your side yard! You should give it a go!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  15. James on October 17, 2012 at 10:46 am

    I bought one of these grow your own kits which grow pearl oyster mushrooms on old coffee grounds and it worked perfectly! After one week of spraying with water it didnt seem like much was happening (and was starting to get ichy feet..) then some tiny pins started and then they exploded! they doubled in size everyday until the boquet was about the size of my two fists together. Tasted lovely and a joy to watch grow with my son. Am on the third harvest now, cant wait!

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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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