Fungi grow on various types of substrates, and many types often even thrive on materials such as food waste (corn stals, coffee beans,..), grains (wheat, rye, oats,..), or dead wood. They transform WASTE INTO FOOD AND MEDICINE.
In this Instructable a simple and accessible method on how to grow spawn - the mycelium of a fungus - on cardboard is described; which can be used during process of at home mushroom cultivation. :)
*** Photos of steps will be added in about a week (my phone is not functional and sent into repair at the moment unfortunately). Cover photo used from web!
- big bucket or another type of container for soaking
- bucket(s) or another type of plastic containers for growing
- drill or scissors
- mushroom spawn (your own grown at home, or bought online in growkits) of any kind of fungi you wish to grow
- bigger piece of plastic (eg bag, or tarp...) to cover the growing bucket
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Step 1: Soaking Cardboard
- Find cardboard (easily found in supermarkets or often already at your homes), preferrably plain, without colouring or plastic cevering.
- Tear cardboard into small pieces, so they will easily fit into a bucket or another type of container.
- Soak the cardboard pieces in container in warm water for about 1 hour.
Step 2: Preparing Growing Buckets
While the cardboard is soaking, prepare the buckets for growing. We need to make holes at the bottom of your growing bucket(s) to allow excess water to drian away.
- Using scissors or drill, create few holes in the bottom of your buckets.
Step 3: Layering Cardboard and Spawn
- After about 1 hour, drain water from the soaked cardboard.
- Put a layer of the drained cardboard on bottom of your bucket with holes.
- Add a layer of mushroom spawn (=mycelium of mushroom of your choice) on top of cardboard.
- Repeat layering cardboard and spawn until about 3/4 height of the bucket.
- Press with your hands, so everything is in touch.
- Cover the bucket with piece of platic to keep high humidity.
Step 4: Watering, Airing, Storing and Wondering on Growing
Fungi require water, oxygen and certain temperature levels. We - growers - need to ensure optimal growth conditions.
- Regularly check on humidity and water the cardboard, so it never dries out.
Fungi, same as animals, breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide.
2. To secure enough oxygen levels, take of the plastic cover at least once a day and fan or ventilate for a minute or two.
Mycelium best grows in temperatures around 24-28 C, in dark.
3. Find a suitable warm spot out of direct sunlight at your home.
To avoid contamination, keep the space, yourself, water and air clean as much as you can manage. Sterilizing and desinfecting the areas are highly recommended.
Step 5: Full Colonization and Follow Up
Depending on type of fungi, temperature, and size of buckets, it will take about 2 weeks to 2 months for mycelium to colonize the cardboard - and cover it white :)
In this phase the cardboard spawn is ready to be introduced to another type of substrate to fruit = grow mushrooms. Depending on what options you have and what is best for the type of fungi you are growing, you can now:
a. enoculate fruiting bags with pasteurized straw, or another type of substrate (corn stalks, coffee beans, grains,..) for indoor cultivation
b. introduce spawn to outdoor compost, wood chips, or wood pellets to be used to enoculate dead logs
Have fun while watching fungi thriving on cardboard that would have otherwise been probably thrown away; while growing delicious food or medicine at home!
***I will continue to post follow up links on possible steps, focusing on different methods and choices in detail soon! :) ***
Also will update and add photos to this Instructable as soon as my phone is back and working again.
Participated in the
Cardboard Speed Challenge