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Start your own ‘shrooms

Here’s how you can make your own DIY mushroom lab at home

Start your own ‘shrooms

Start your own ‘shrooms

There are things growing in all corners of our Kitchen Gardens – and sometimes in our buildings, too. At each of THE PIGs, we’ve converted a few ramshackle old outhouses into some state-of-the-art mushroom labs. And here’s how you can make a DIY one at home…

From the outside, it looks like we’re growing aliens in our PIG Mushroom Houses. What makes them look really weird and wonderful is the mushroom bags – they’re long sleeves stuffed with saw dust from our friends at the Sustainable Yurt Company, spent hops from brilliant local breweries and various other sustainably sourced materials.

Dart Valley Fungi provide our ‘shrooms and we’re mostly able to grow oyster mushrooms as well as large grey, brown, bronze, yellow and pink oysters. We can usually get three mushroom harvests per bag (about 10-15kg worth) before we recycle the bag and start a new one.

To get started at home, you’ll need a mushroom starter kit – we recommend picking up a kit from our friends at Grocycle. Simply cut out the panel of the box of your Grocycle kit, soak overnight and continue to spray with water daily… then watch your mushrooms grow!

You can find other kits specifically designed to sit on your windowsill, so even if you don’t have a garden, you can still grow something gorgeous and proudly bring it to your plate.

The ready-to-use kits tend to consist of a base tray, lid and pre-spawned substrate, but you can go really DIY and introduce spawn to a variety of other growing mediums such as books or logs.

A number of suppliers also sell wooden ‘spawn plugs’. Just drill holes into freshly cut logs (making sure they’re the right type of wood for the variety you’re growing) and push in the plugs. Then wait a few months and start cropping your delicious mushrooms.

Need some inspiration for what to with your ‘shroomy loot? Give THE PIG’s Chicken Mushroom and Leek Pie recipe a go – the ultimate king of comfort food!  

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