Instructables

Personal Mushroom Farm

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Picture of Personal Mushroom Farm

Preamble:

This project was mainly done for participating in the US-China Green electronic Challenge. If you like our project, think it is interesting or just want to make our day, we appreciate a vote for this. Thanks and enjoy our project description :)

Introduction:

Nowadays lifestyle in China is characterized by a strong urbanization. People move from the countryside to the cities, live in small apartments. Although people actually want to live in the city, especially in European countries and in the US a strong counter movement of urbanization takes place. People start growing their own vegetables and fruits in small community gardens like the German Schrebergarten (British English: Allotment garden; Chinese: 社区农圃) are a common sight in western countries, and even public spaces, like parks, are used for this in a project called “Urban Farming”. People grow their own herbs at home to avoid the lower quality of mass products (e.g. in a window farm) and even make their own honey by domesticating bees on the balcony, the terrace or in garden. Some people even grow wine on their rooftops and process the juice with small scale equipment, people brew their own beer or burn their own liquor out of fruits, which is mostly legal if done for private use in small scale. Those activities can be clustered to “Urban Agriculture”. Those activities are mainly done as recreational activity or hobby, as political statement (against consumerism/capitalism and for sustainability) and out of food safety concerns and not out of monetary reasons.

Idea:

When we wanted to take part in this contest because of a class, our given target was to create a product within a short time scale (7 days) from 0 to the finished product and with a very limited budget. First we were browsing our homes for unused electronics, where we found a broken mobile phone, an unused air humidifier, and old (manual) thermometer/ hygrometer and an unused laptop cooling base. From those products we chose the air humidifier and got two different ideas for using it:

Combine the air humidifier with an electronic hygrometer and create an automated air humidifier with adjustable relative air humidity and building a greenhouse for plants that need a high relative air humidity. Since we didn’t have an electronic hygrometer, we chose the second idea. To emphasize on the green aspect, we combined it with the idea of “Urban agriculture” and “Home Farming” to use it as a greenhouse for growing mushrooms.

More information and sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allotment_(gardening)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_agriculture

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windowfarm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_agricultu...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_beekeeping

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winery#Urban_winery

http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environm...

 
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Ironwaveyesterday

Hi, just checking if there has been some development. Any new pics and thoughts toward the final produckt?
Even a failure is of consequence to post, since we can all learn from these faults (not saying there is; just reminding you that people are interested non the less, successful or not.)

-CCCP-1 month ago

This is cool.

-CCCP-1 month ago

This is cool.

jddelta1 month ago

Not trying to be rude but how in the world did this instructable get so many views? Do people think it is the magic mushroom farm. The only farm I know of that has magic mushrooms is a cattle farm. Come on people, really?

Ogt92 jddelta1 month ago

"The only farm I know of that has magic mushrooms is a cattle farm." Yes you can find "Magic Mushrooms" on a cattle farm. I have personally grown "Magic Mushrooms" twice in my home and I live in a large city not anywhere near a cattle farm. Spores can be purchased at local head shops or ordered online from europe and can be easily grown if you know what you are doing. I was farming mushrooms so I would call it a mushroom farm as would most people.

jddelta Ogt921 month ago
Ogt92 Thanks for letting me know this information, I didn't know. I'll try not to be so pointed in the future, gotta respect all farmers.Have a Great summer.Happy farming :P
FirstSpear2 months ago

I've read a few ibles that were basically incomplete experiments, and am always glad to receive them in my mail. There are basically two types that view this site - the practical and the cerebral - each will contain some of the other, of course. Having much fewer tools and skills that many here clearly have, I tend to fall mostly into the cerebral. I enjoy pondering problems/approaches, reading the thought processes that created the (final) choices and amendments along the way, and picking up bits of knowledge and science (and opinion), and almost always follow any links supplied - on any and every subject, from guitar modification to... err... mushroom cultivation.

For me, there are far too few ibles per email. I'd like to see the content at least doubled, particularly as so many concern arduino (don't own and barely know what it is or does) Raspberry Pi (know but don't own), laser cutters and 3D printers (don't own, and probably never will). They all still interest me.

The only snag with Instructibles is that I've (wasted) whole days perusing the site as the email sent me off at tangents, or in search of further knowledge.

I didn't know that mushrooms suffered from infection by other members of their family. Something new every time.

knexbug2 months ago
(removed by author or community request)
knexbug knexbug2 months ago

please follow me :)

snoopindaweb2 months ago
(removed by author or community request)
colt88 (author)  snoopindaweb2 months ago

Actually the project itself was done within one day. The 7 days are the period, where we got the task to join the challenge, thought about an project idea, get any missing material, organize a workshop and write the report for instructables.com. (we are students, so we also attend other courses as well.)

If you would count the time for growing the mushrooms to, it is a 6-8 week project in total.

Cool. I never was good at math. We have some older mines around here, I've worked in a couple. I bet mushrooms would grow in them. There was some kind of white, wet looking spoor growing up near wood that would show up one day while hiking in, and be about 2 inches tall, Hiking back out after drilling and blasting a round, the same one would be twice that size in just hours in the pitch black. The next shift they would be all but gone melting away. Dunno.
ymasullo2 months ago

I was really hoping to see your final product! Sounds great otherwise.

colt88 (author)  ymasullo2 months ago

We are sorry. We will keep our project updated when we got any results.

Ulsha2 months ago

Um this set up seems far too inductive to creating mold tainted mushrooms, and causing food poisoning, if you even get mushrooms to take. Got to agree with wondering why this got email focus. It's more an experiment than anything else.

colt88 (author)  Ulsha2 months ago

Of course it is somehow an experiment, since it is the first time we are doing it, and I don't think it is a bad idea. Based on the resources we got beforehand, it theoretical should work.

We mentioned the danger of molding in our report, this is why we pasteurized all equipment with boiling water. If there will be still mold, we know to be even more careful and use disinfectant, breathing mask (we have them anyway in Beijing) and rubber gloves. For the danger of molding, it was also stated, that some substrate like used coffee powder tends to mold more than other.

wizodd0 Ulsha2 months ago

I believe you are wrong. It is much harder to infect an established mycelium than you might think, and very easy to identify infected cultures. These mushrooms are grown world-wide with little problem, mostly outside.

this doesn't seem safe to me. i shall continue to buy mushrooms at the store. ; )

It's far safer than you seem to think. Contaminated mushrooms are pretty easy to spot and oysters are among the easiest to grow, identify and enjoy.

wizodd02 months ago

"Since we would need to buy additional spores (which is by the way necessary for nearly every other mushroom than oyster mushroom)..."

Not really. Nearly any mushroom can be grown from a tissue sample, and spores are the hardest way to start with no assurance of the eventual quality.

What is the relative humidity of the air in your part of China? In some parts of the world where it is fairly humid do you think it would be enough to just use a covered container and not have to use a humidifier?

SisterMable2 months ago

Ugh. Why feature it in the email if it's not done yet??

maxkrippler2 months ago

What is the source for that analog thermometer/hygrometer? Is it available online?

colt88 (author)  maxkrippler2 months ago

We don't know, whether we are allowed to post a direct link, but we bought it on the Chinese (top-level domain .cn) amazon (since we are in Beijing right now). The article name is: "DeLi 得力 9013 室内外温度计" and the price at the moment is 12 Yuan RMB (1.93 USD).

I just had a brief watch on the american amazon, and the cheapest product I could find was an analog hygrometer for 4 USD (but without thermometer).

rose_adamaj2 months ago
I'm impressed!!! Thinking about giving it a try. Talk about using what you already have - you have taken it to a whole new level!

You remind me of the astronots in there space vehicle having to use what's they have at hand to repair ventilation. Like rose_adamaj said it is even a whole new level. Not repair but create. Great

colt88 (author)  rose_adamaj2 months ago

Thanks for your positive feedback. If you do something similar, please think about us and share your photos and experiences.

We are looking forward to it.

Ironwave2 months ago

Very Nicely done!

Congrats on awesome first 'ible.

Do update it regularly.

Even if it fails, that way everyone can see and learn what to do, and what should be avoided.

colt88 (author)  Ironwave2 months ago

Thank you. We are really happy about the big and positive resonance we are getting for this project (especially since this is our first one).

We plan to update the project for the next 2 steps, which take around 2 weeks and 5 weeks from now and share our experiences. We really hope it works out the way we want and even if not, we try again :)

ajsalazar2 months ago

Hi, very good project! Can you explain a little more about the liquid substrate? how do you mix it? and more or less how much you used for this project? Thanks in advance

colt88 (author)  ajsalazar2 months ago

In the resources we read beforehand, it was stated to use a 4% aquatic solution of honey or any kind of sugar. But instead of following this amount so exactly, we made it by the eye and put some honey in the plastic bowl and added boiling water till the solution looks somehow watery. We took care of the water level, that the mushroom pieces for the cloning are not completely covered by the water, so the mycelium can grow on the surface.

ale182 months ago

sadly no final result

colt88 (author)  ale182 months ago

As soon, as we get a first result regarding the growing of the mycelium, we are going to update the photo in the post and write an excerpt about our experience.

Same with the actually growing of the mushroom afterwards, so check out for updates at those times :)

samuus2 months ago

heyy this work = with mushrooms.. of lsd @.@

colt88 (author)  samuus2 months ago

Hi, this works with every mushroom which can be grown on substrate (some mushrooms, usually the more expensive ones like truffle and alike, are not possible in this farm, since they need trees or roots for symbiosis). We used oyster mushroom, since it can be grown on nearly anything and it is our first try as well, so we wanted to start small.

So if the mushroom you want to grow, just needs substrate, it is probably possible. On the other side, we advice to follow the law of your country, and if those "special" mushrooms are illegal, you shouldn't grow them. Our intention was to grow mushrooms as normal food, best mushrooms which are hard to purchase in one's home country (e.g. Chinese or Japanese mushrooms in Europe or the US and vice versa).