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This is something new i am trying with coffee grounds before the worms get to chow down on them. 

During the cooler weather i drink a lot more coffee than i do in the summer so i have more than my herd can handle right now.  A while back for a lark i ordered a Oyster mushroom growing kit.  I have to admit i had never tried Oyster mushrooms thus the choice when buying the kit.  When it arrived i found that the growing media was used coffee grounds and bird seed hulls (millet).



After goggling reading up on how to grow mushrooms i started saving up some used coffee grounds for a try at growing some mushrooms in my own grounds.  Oyster mushrooms sell for 5 dollars a pound locally so i figured its worth a try.  When i had enough grounds I took a start from the mushroom growing media and added it to the grounds. 


Today a little over week after starting my own grounds i noticed the spawn is growing inside the grounds.  So if i don't make a major mistake i should have free mushrooms.  The only drawback to the setup is i have found that Oyster mushrooms are not my favorite mushroom.  I don't hate them i just prefer the button mushrooms.

If the mushroom info is right the coffee grounds should loose about half their weight making mushrooms.  And when i am done harvesting mushrooms i can give the spent mushroom spore/coffee ground mixture to the worms.

If you guys want to try it you will need a source of mushroom spawn. 

the grounds should be damp but not soggy.

You should use new coffee grounds just out of the coffee maker it sterilizeas the grounds and store in a sealed bag until ready to add spawn, don't use any grounds that have started to turn white.

The container should be plastic with a few very tiny vent holes in the top.  I am using a ziplock bag with a circle of pin holes at the top.

Add spawn into the center of the grounds and pack a bit.  Then let the kit sit in a cool (55 - 60F) dark place until the outside layer in the container turns white inside.


When the inside of the bag is white (about a month) cut an X  a couple inches tall into the plastic and soak the whole bag in a container of cool water overnight.  After soaking place the bag back in the cool space.  You need to spritz the mushroom spawn with water every day.  I found it works better if i put the whole kit into a larger plastic bag and loosely close the top to keep everything damp.  The mushrooms can dehydrate into hard crispy chunks if the humidity is too low. 


It should take a month for the mushroom spawn to get mature enough to start making mushrooms.  And the kit should keep making mushrooms for 6 to 8 weeks. 



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Comment by Rich Feiller on November 7, 2011 at 11:44pm
thanks for sharing, sure sounds worth trying.
Comment by Joseph Despins on November 13, 2011 at 3:18pm
This is fascinating, thank you for the detailed instructions!
Comment by Ar-Pharazon on November 16, 2011 at 1:06pm

That growth of mushrooms in your picture is really cool looking!

Comment by Brian Moyer on November 16, 2011 at 2:45pm

I urge you to be careful adding the spent spawn to your worm bin.  It is possible that spores or mycelium will continue to grow and choke out your worms.  Worm castings, cardboard, and news paper are also a suitable growing medium for oysters....  I know that this has happened on at least one occasion, killed all the worms in the bin as the mycelium forms a solid mass.  Oysters are great at breaking things down.  They can even digest oil.

Comment by Lorrie on November 25, 2012 at 7:32pm

I'm very curious to know what happened in this experiment. Did you succeed in growing an endless supply of mushrooms in spent coffee grounds (mocha mushrooms?)?  Did you try growing other species of gourmet mushrooms? It's tempting to try this now, at the dark, cold, snowy, end of the year. Thanks for posting!

Comment by Metqa on February 24, 2013 at 2:41pm

I wanna do this too. thanks for details. any new experiences?

Comment by Eve on March 31, 2013 at 12:32pm

Hi everyone,  i been gone a long time.  I didn't have a working computer for quite a while.  

I did quite well with the mushrooms.  I had them producing in the colder months until the house got too warm in the spring.  Then saved one of the blocks in the fridge until the next winter and had mushrooms this winter too.  I also tossed out the spent spawn into a pile of old half decomposed tree branches and used sawdust last spring and now have a spot outside that looks like they will produce some mushrooms this fall.  

It was a very interesting experiment and i learned quite a lot about mushrooms.

One penny pinching thing i did learn that i feel if should pass on to everyone.  White button, crimini and Portobello mushroom are all the same verity of mushroom.  The white button is grown in the dark and picked small. Crimini and Portobella are just different sizes that are grown outdoors in the shade so they brown up.  So don't pay 9 dollars a pound for the Portobella when you can pay 1.50 for the button mushrooms. They taste the same.

Comment by Metqa on March 31, 2013 at 6:23pm

I figured that out last week when I bought  package called "Baby Bella" and I looked over the label and saw that it was listed a crimini as the actual name.

Thanks for coming back and letting us know.  I'm starting my  own mushroom grow setup. I have one set up growing in an easter bucket, another growing in a mason jar, two experiments with just coffee filters that have coffee stuck to them with bits of spawn stuck between, and a box with four alternate layers of grounds and spawn. I still have half of my commercial spawn block left. I'm trying to decide whether to chop it up and start a new box to grow more or to go ahead and soak it ( shock it) and see if I can get some mushrooms from that half while my mushroom boxes grow new mycelium.

Comment by Metqa on March 31, 2013 at 6:25pm

ETA: I think what I'll do is add some fresh coffee grounds to the commercial bag to fill in the empty space I scavenged from it and go ahead and soak it to start getting some mushrooms now.  I doubt all 3 of the new set ups I made will fail, and I might as well get some mushrooms out of it now, while I wait for them to mature. and if they do fail, then I can at least have some fresh mushrooms to spore and try again.

Comment by Eve on March 31, 2013 at 7:58pm

I tried all your methods and had good luck.  I did find that spore in alder shavings took forever to be covered with spawn.  It turned out to be the best medium to use when i wanted to save some in the fridge for the next year.


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