Mushrooms on Coffee Waste : effectiveness of incorporating locally available coffee chaff for improving the effectiveness of small-scale oyster mushroom production
Due to extenuating circumstances, we have delayed the start of our research study to allow for business relocation. We plan to begin inoculating materials for the research this summer, which will allow results to be analyzed and submitted in the fall. Some of the materials have been purchased and are ready to deploy when the time comes.
We have, however, experimented extensively in the past 12 months with a new coffee-based substrate formulation. Coffee is mixed with hydrated hardwood sawdust fuel pellets, and left to ferment outdoors for three to seven days. This mix can be pasteurized as with other formulations, responds acceptably to refrigeration before inoculation, and gives good fruit quality with heavier yields than this grower experienced using wheat straw-based substrates. The concept is that fermentation removes some of the richness from the substrate, resulting in a more forgiving medium that does not need to be fully sterilized.
When this mix was tested with fresh or aged hardwood sawdust, yields dropped overwhelmingly. This is likely the result of enzymes present in the sawdust that prevent decomposition (See Stamens, 1993.) We have had some success in composting fresh sawdust further for this formulation by adding wheat bran and extending the treatment time to up to fourteen days, but more testing will be necessary.