Thursday, April 9, 2015

Growing Mushrooms in Compost

I’m a sucker for pasta with lots of mushrooms and creamy tomato sauce. But when I think of cooking this at home, I always wish I had access to really fresh mushrooms. Who knew one of my favorite dishes has a connection to compost.

You can grow edible mushrooms in compost!

I’ve never tried it and I’m certainly no expert, but I received a catalog from Field and Forest Products which details how to grow edible mushrooms in compost. Looking at all the varieties of mushrooms I could grow makes me hungry!

My coworker Chris told me about his experience growing mushrooms. He used a kit that included compost as a means of growing the mushrooms. Chris says he yielded plenty of mushrooms, but he’s not sure the amount covered the cost of the kit.
Another person at the office told me mushrooms can be grown in old coffee grounds. Hmm, I have those on hand. I googled it and sure enough, there it was.
Whatever you chose to grow them in, I think to be safe you would need to buy your mushroom spawn (yes, that is what they call it) from a reputable source. You certainly don't want to eat just any mushroom growing in your compost.
Does anyone have experience growing mushrooms? If so, did you use compost or coffee grounds?

I don't think I would eat these either...


  1. It's so funny that you posted this. I was researching growing mushrooms yesterday! Apparently you can use an old laundry basket as the container. I'm super new to gardening (this is my first spring) so I'm not sure if I will try it this year or not. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

  2. A great resources is Alan with Probasco Farms - he is working with coffee grinds now too (and he is really nice and smart and will be happy to provide advice).

  3. Alan's email is

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  5. Kits for growing mushrooms. Varieties include button, oyster, portabella, almond, and shiitake. growing mushrooms indoors

  6. Do you remember which kind of mushrooms that the catalog from Field & Forest Products were saying that can be grown with compost? Thanks!

    1. They seemed to be saying that any mushrooms could be grown in compost. I would check out their website or call them to verify.

  7. I've grown them in an outdoor bed, and an indoor container. It requires a fair bit of homework, and you have to follow sterile lab procedures to avoid contamination that will kill your mushrooms. I would recommend growing from a kit of live mycelium for first time growers. If you're interested in how to do it yourself from start to finish I would recommend "Growing Gormet and Medicinal Mushrooms" by Paul Stamets, it covers multiple methods used for different types of mushrooms, techniques from start to finish.