Mushroom Production

To start we collect the coffee grounds from the different cafes and restaurants  located in Carcassonne, you can check out which businesses are supporting our mission by clicking here. We collect the coffee grounds using buckets that are cleaned before and after each use to ensure there is nothing in the buckets that could cause contamination. The buckets are cleaned by simply using water and a cloth, no chemical products are used in this process. Once the buckets have been cleaned, we collect the coffee grounds and make sure the coffee grounds we are collecting are fresh and have not started to produce mold. Green mold will start to appear on the coffee grounds within 24 – 48 hours unless the coffee grounds are refrigerated. When we have collected the coffee grounds it is time to transfer the grounds from the bucket used to collect them into a mixing container. 

A container to mix the different components

Just like the buckets this mixing container needs to be free of any substances that may cause contamination, so we clean the container with water and a cloth before and after each use.

Coffee grounds mixed with coffee silverskin

After the cleaning process is complete, we add 10 kilos of coffee grounds into the mixing container followed by coffee silverskin. Then we mix the two components together until the silverskin has been distributed evenly through the coffee grounds.

full screen picture of mycelium

Mycelium seeds

Then we add the Mycelium to the mix. We add approximately 500 grams of Mycelium for every 10 kilograms of coffee, after the Mycelium has been mixed with the coffee grounds and the silverskin we add some water to the mix to help produce the ideal substrate for mushroom cultivation.

(insert picture of bags before cave here here)

Once we have mixed everything together we put the substrate into plastic bags that have small holes pierced in them to allow some air into the substrate during the growth phase. When all the bags are filled we move the bags into a warm (20 – 25 degrees) dark room for about two weeks or until the coffee grounds have been fully covered by the Mycelium.

(insert picture of bags after cave here)

After this phase we take the bags and move them to a bright room that has a high humidity level, ideally 90% or higher. Usually after about 7 – 10 days we begin to see the start of the fruiting phase.

The first growth of the mushroom

During this phase the mushrooms start to grow and we need to make bigger holes in the bags to ensure there is enough space for the mushrooms to continue to grow to their full potential. Once the head of the mushroom has opened and it starts to become more horizontal it is time to pick the mushroom. 

Mature mushrooms

Usually the substrate will produce mushrooms three times and then it can be used for compost.