Upcycle Progress: Mycelium

So far everything has been going well with my mycelium aka I haven’t killed it and I haven’t contaminated it. The following image is a depiction of my planned fabrication process.

Mycelium Fabrication Process

Unlike the picture above, I already started growing mycelium from store-bought oyster mushrooms. This meant that I could skip step 1 (buying mushrooms) and step 4 (chopping up mushrooms) was changed to scooping out and breaking up the already growing mycelium with my hands.

Already growing mycelium

Used coffee grounds from Pekoe

Molds for the mycelium (used Tupperware and some scrap 3d printed shapes from the BTU)

The mixture of mycelium and coffee grounds (top beaker), leftover mycelium (bottom container)

Mycelium mixture placed in the molds and watered

Covered with aluminum foil

Placed inside a box and placed in a dark cabinet

It is very important to keep the mycelium in a dark, humid environment. The box and cabinet provide the darkness, but I need to go and manually water the plants with a spray bottle every couple of days. Because I am using a healthy mycelium culture versus store-bought mushrooms, the molds should completely grow in less than 10 days (in theory). Thankfully I started the process very early on in this project and I have a few different sizes of molds to choose from.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Fiona Bell
    George Faraco
    February 4, 2020 3:47 pm

    Fiona, This is really awesome. Mushrooms are absolutely incredible, I love it. The way that you outlined the process and showed all of the pictures of your steps so far was perfect. I was able to follow the process and actually understand what is going on with no questions. The first picture of the steps was key to all of this. It really ties together the rest of the pictures and tells your story how it should be told. I’ve learned about some of the process of growing mushrooms and have learned that contamination is the biggest issue. What steps have you taken to minimize contamination of the mycelium? If there is one thing I want to know more about, it is the sterile processes, how they were done, and what each steps purpose was. And even if you do it right, without the proper equipment, contamination is almost inevitable. Can you speak more to your experience with keeping a sterile environment?

    Reply
    • Hi George! You make a very good point about contamination. I am currently growing this mycelium in a lab, which has all the necessary equipment (gloves, isopropyl alcohol, coats, etc.). Funny enough though, I took all of these necessary precautions, but there were mold spores in a previous set of mycelium samples that contaminated all of my new mycelium samples. This being said, I am starting from scratch with another material and idea.

      Reply

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