Not lucky enough to have a garden? You don't even need a window box to grow your own mushrooms at home
When you don't have any outdoor space, you're limited when it comes to the range of food that you can grow for yourself. You may be surprised to learn, however, that you can grow one of the most nutritious vegan foods there is from a box no larger than a shoebox placed inside your home and you can be picking and eating your first crop - about a standard vegetable punnet's worth - within two weeks. The fast growing crop we're talking about is mushrooms.
My sister bought us this GroCycle mushroom kit as a gift and it's been enthralling watching these fungi grow. To start, all you need to do is cut out the opening outlined on the front of the box, place it in a shady spot somewhere in your home – we chose this kitchen shelf – and then spray it daily with water. Then you can just sit back and marvel as the oyster mushrooms start to take shape.
Made from a mix of straw, coffee grounds and oyster mushroom spawn, the kit is pretty environmentally friendly as well. We're going to be harvesting our first crop in the next two to three days; the oyster mushrooms are ready to pick when the caps start to turn over into an opened umbrella shape, and we should be able to get another two or three crops from the box after that too. Pretty good value and so rewarding to grow something so easily from your kitchen table.
If you go on to catch the mushroom-growing bug, GroCycle also run courses (resuming after lockdown) in growing mushrooms from scratch for those who want to start their very own mushroom farms, although you will likely need to find space for a lot more than one shoe box, if you do decide you want to get serious about fungi!
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