It's easy to grow oyster mushrooms indoors. Use them to flavor soups, wild rice, or grill and serve them as a main dish.
Step 1: Wash and prep cartons Cut the tops off the milk cartons evenly around all sides and wash them to remove milk residue. Then use a pencil to punch 4 to 5 holes through each side of both cartons.
Step 2: Sterilize sawdust and coffee Put the sawdust and coffee grounds into a microwave-safe bowl. Add water until the mixture has a spongy consistency and then microwave the mixture for 2 minutes, until the water is boiling, to kill any foreign organisms.
TIP: You may need to microwave the sawdust and coffee mixture in batches.
Step 3: Remove and let it cool Remove the mixture from the microwave and allow it to return to room temperature.
Step 4: Wet the sawdust and mix in spores Dampen the sawdust mixture with non-chlorinated water and mix in the oyster mushroom spawn or starter culture.
Step 5: Pack cartons and store Pack the milk cartons tightly with the sawdust and spawn mixture and place them in a cool, dark place.
TIP: Cover the mixture with loose-fitting plastic wrap or lay plastic wrap underneath the carton with a bit of cooking oil spread around the carton's base to keep bugs away.
Step 6: Keep moist and wait Keep the sawdust mixture moist with non-chlorinated water for the next few months, until your mushrooms are ready to be harvested.
FACT: Some varieties of oyster mushrooms have been used to break down fossil fuel waste.