Solutions for Self-Reliance

How to Turn Organic Waste into Food and Income with Mushrooms


I had a great talk today with Ryan Sansbury.

Ryan is one of the founders of LoGROcal, a sustainable mushroom farm outside of Austin, TX.

Ryan gave me some insight into the process of growing large volumes of mushrooms and the prospects for doing so as a local farm.


Here’s a quick summary.

  • Compost.  Coffee grounds from a local coffee shop and used hops from a local brewery are used as a growing medium.
  • Spores.  Ryan grows his mushroom spores in a clean room.  He then inoculates the coffee/hops with the spores.
  • Harvest.  Two weeks later, Ryan harvests the mushrooms.  He sells them to individuals and restaurants.
  • Fertilizer.  The parts of the mushrooms left over make an excellent fertilizer/compost/soil amendment.  It can be sold.

That’s a very slick process.  A process that maximized the potential value at every step.

To get his micro-farm to the next level, he’s selling DIY mushroom kits on Kickstarter.

These kits look like fun, particularly if you haven’t grown mushrooms before or you have kids.  All you do is cut open the foil and two weeks later you can harvest the result.

Local Mushrooms

Further, the material used to grow the mushrooms in the kit can be used to accelerate the growth of supportive fungus in your garden (they attach to the roots, to help the roots gather moisture and nutrients).

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PS:  If you are a Resilient Strategies member, you’ll be able to access a recording of the call online.   Ryan goes into lots of detail on the process of growing mushrooms at scale, and the economics of doing so as a local business.




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