A few weeks ago we were sent a grow your own mushroom kit from the lovely people over at GroCycle. I was so excited. The kids not so much. They only like mushrooms in the sweet from! I saw this as my opportunity to help (make) them fall in love with them.
GroCycle is part of the growing movement of Social Enterprise, where the focus is on business as a positive force for social or environmental good, rather than for profit.
They operate as a not-for-profit Community Interest Company, which means that all income they receive goes directly towards their aims. Any surplus they make is ploughed straight back into developing the idea further and maximising their impact.
Our pack arrived and when we opened it there was a nice surprise of some dried oyster mushrooms for us to get cooking with. Once they’d been soaked for a while they went form being tiny shrivelled things to huge juicy glorious mushrooms. We decided to make Spaghetti Carbonara with them and I hoped the children didn’t notice the mushrooms (that I’d cut up into really small pieces). It went down a treat although Ava doesn’t like ‘bits’ in hers!
Anyhow, back to the main event. First we had to soak a strange black and white block (mushroom spawns and coffee grounds) over night which we dutifully did. Anyone else worry when something says leave overnight? I mean, my over night can be 4 hours or 12 hours! As I have a habit of over thinking things, we left them for a good 10 hours.
Once it was drained we put it in its little cardboard box house. It says to keep out of direct sunlight so I popped ours on the kitchen unit (above the tumble drier, I think he liked that) He also liked to be sprayed with water twice a day. The first day or two we could see teeny tiny growth when we looked really hard. By day 3 they were a bit bigger and by day 4 they had gone crazy!
I was genuinely excited to see how much they grown by day 5 and I wasn’t disappointed
The information sheet said to harevst when the caps flattened out which happened for us on day 6. Once we had harvested them we got cooking straight away. Some were cooked simply and the flavour was incredible. It’s always amazing to taste the difference between fresh home grown produce and supermarket bought produce. It’s so easy to tell which is which! The others were used in a mushroom risotto which was demolished before we could take any photos! Suffice to say it was delicious, the mushrooms were fresh and meaty. Everyone loved them!
All in all, this kit has been fantastic. The children have enjoyed taking care of it and delighted in watching it grow day by day. Jack touched the growing mushrooms and had a little sniff, brilliant work Jack! If you want to get your hands on one hop one to the GroCycle website, where discounts are offered on multiple purchases.