How It Works
Stage 1 - Collecting
Our process begins by cycling to local coffee shops in Exeter to collect used coffee ground waste. The coffee grounds are filled with useful nutrients which the mycelium use to grow from. In our urban farm, we then sterilise the coffee grounds to kill off any bacteria and prevent mould growth.
Stage 2 - Mixing & Incubation
Mycelium spawn is thoroughly mixed with the coffee grounds to create the beginnings of our mushrooms. Mycelium is the vegetive growth of mushrooms, essentially the ‘seeds’ of ‘plants’. The mixing evenly distributes the mycelium allowing the incubation phase to be as quick as possible. In our process the incubation process can be from 2 to 4 weeks, depending on the size of our grow bags. The incubation ends once the bag has turned completely white meaning they’re ready to begin fruiting.
Stage 3- Fruiting
Fruiting involves cutting holes into the sides of the grow bags to allow the mushrooms to grow out. In the wild, mushrooms grow from stress or a change in environment so holes are cut into the bags to replicate this process. Once the edge of the caps of the Oyster mushroom starts to flatten out or turn upwards, it's time to pick the mushrooms.
Stage 4 - Composting
To create the circular business model we desire, we take all our leftover soil to be composted locally. This prevents our waste from going to landfill completing our cycle. Typically, coffee grounds are too acidic to be composted but, the mycelium neutralises this making it a nutrient rich composting material.