PROJECT: How to grow...

Safer than foraging, it's easy to grow your own mushrooms. Here's how to get started.

PROJECT: How to grow...

Books and bog rolls
DIY The perfect use for your Fifty Shades of Grey: oyster or shiitake mushrooms will happily colonise a good paperback (and a bad one too), as well as unused toilet rolls. Dip the paper in hot water (to pasteurise) and, once cooled, 'inoculate' by crumbling the spawn (order from www.mushroombox.co.uk) over the top and inside.
Pop in a specialist growbag (www.mushroomgrowingbags.co.uk) and mist and aerate each day. Ready in two weeks.

SHOP Buy ready-made kits from www.rusticmushrooms.co.uk or www.annforfungi.co.uk.

Coffee grounds
DIY Already pasteurised thanks to the brewing process, spent coffee offers a less fussy growing medium. With clean hands, mix 2.5kg coffee with 500g spawn and pour into a growbag. Once the contents go white, cut open and allow the mushrooms to form.
SHOP Get kits from Fungi Futures (www.grocycle.com) or the Espresso Mushroom Company (www.espressomushroom.co.uk), which both reuse coffee waste from local cafés.

Log and dowel
DIY Buy dowels impregnated with spawn (www.annforfungi.co.uk) and plant into hardwood logs (e.g. beech, oak or birch). Drill three rows of holes 15cm apart down the length and push the dowels in so they are flush with the surface. Seal with wax and keep somewhere shady. Look out for small white nodes over four or five weeks.
SHOP Source ready-to-fruit logs from www.organiccatalogue.com.

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