By Laura Gartry | October 10, 2015
A little-known method of using coffee grounds to grow mushrooms may soon result in Fremantle boasting WA’s first urban mushroom farm, if a crowd-funding campaign is successful.
The plan by two fly-in-fly-out mine workers would see the fungi grown in used coffee grounds sourced for free from around 70 cafes in the city.
Ryan Creed and Julian Mitchell saw a market for mushrooms and a cheap way to grow them, with moist coffee grounds providing the perfect soil for gourmet oyster mushrooms.
“We’ll be cycling around the CBD area of Fremantle daily, picking up the coffee ground, taking it to our commercial space, mixing it with mushroom spores,” Mr Creed said.
“Within six weeks we’ll have mushrooms starting to grow which we’ll sell to the local restaurants, the markets and also to the local people who will be able to grow their own mushrooms in their mushroom box.”
The easiest way to health, to achieve health with people, is to … grow food in their own back yard. -Life Cykel founder Ryan Creed
Mr Creed said only 1 per cent of the coffee bean ended up in the cup, while the remaining ground becomes a problematic waste product.
“When coffee waste goes to landfill it creates methane gas, and we have the ability to now divert that away from landfill, grow local food, grow oyster mushrooms which is healthy,” he said.
The two would-be mushroom moguls set up “Life Cykel”, with a view to create more local jobs and food in sustainable way.
They estimate there are about 150 coffee houses in the larger Fremantle area, with an average coffee ground production of 30 kilograms per week.
This waste results in around six tons of used coffee beans going to landfill each week and reaching up to 300 tonnes per year.
As well as setting up a commercial urban farm, Life Cykel also hopes to encourage more people to grow their own mushrooms with boxed home kits.
“The easiest way to health, to achieve health with people, is to … grow food in their own back yard,” Mr Creed said.
“The fastest way to achieve that … was spraying water on a mushroom box, and harvesting your own mushrooms within 14 days, would be an exceptional way to improve people’s health and happiness.”
Once the coffee grounds are finished with growing mushrooms, it will be treated and sent to gardens.
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