Growing Mycelium (Lo-tech indoor mushrooms)

Fox is growing the first batch of Oyster mushrooms by setting up a low-tech mushroom farm. The mushroom spawn has been mixed with a substrate of straw pellets and is currently incubating and growing the mycelium. An incubation space needs to be dark and warm. A fairly constant room temperature of 20 C seems to be working. The lumps and strands of white mycelium are slowly beginning to spread through the substrate which it is using for food. The incubation phase lasts about 14-21 days. When the plastic bags are completely white with the mycelium they will be ready to be moved into the fruiting space. A fruiting space needs humidity, light and fresh air for the mushrooms to fruit from the mycelium.

Alongside, enjoying the oyster mushroom harvest Fox is growing mycelium to experiment with the development of bio-degradable materials for sculptural form.

A primary resource is GroCycle (based in Devon UK) ‘How To Set-up A Low-Tech Mushroom Farm – Growing Mushrooms The Easy Way’. The initial batch of spawn was purchased from them too. Oyster mushrooms are said, to be aggressive; meaning they are easy to grow.

21 days on in the incubation room (fairly constant temperature 19-20 C) and the mycelium is growing nicely.

The mycelium is being grown with the intention of experimenting with the material to make 3D and sculptural forms. The texture of the mycelium is firm, flexible and rubbery.

On this first occasion the mycelium was allowed to fully fruit into Oyster mushrooms and a mighty harvest was enjoyed. Mushrooms are best enjoyed fresh but they can be frozen and dried.