I was lucky enough to get 2 oyster mushroom kits for Christmas, now I say lucky but I must point out I have in the past had terrible luck with mushroom kits (from a garden centres) so my expectations weren’t high. I was really impressed with the ethos of the company that provided the kits, they’re a social enterprise based in the West Country and they recycle tonnes of coffee grounds and waste cardboard to make the kits, they collect used grounds from cafes in Plymouth thus keeping them out of landfill. The company is also keen to pass on its knowledge and offers training advice and equipment to other people wanting to emulate their operation.
The kit was simple to use, it consists of a plastic bag inside a box with an aperture. The mushroom spawn and the substrate are in the bag and have been part grown ready for fruiting; you just open the box, cut a hole in the bag, spray with water each day and watch them grow!
We got the first crop about two weeks later; there were 7 mushrooms about the size of a saucer weighing 20 ounces. The kit is then turned around and you begin again, we got 4 mushrooms in the second crop weighing ten ounces. After the second crop the kit can be composted but I am conducting an experiment, I have mixed the spent substrate with sterile coffee grounds, straw and cardboard kept it damp and the mycelium appears to be spreading to the new material once it is fully colonised I hope it will produce more mushrooms. If the experiment works I should theoretically be able to continually divide the substrate add new material and produce fresh flushes of delicious mushrooms, I will report back my findings
You can purchase a kit here: