Mushroom Farm

The easiest way to grow mushrooms at home is with a five gallon bucket full of coffee grounds, and some Oyster Mushroom spawn.

  • Spent coffee grounds can almost always be obtained free from a nearby coffee shop.
  • Oyster mushroom spawn can be purchased online from Amazon or from a mushroom lab near you.
  • Detailed instructions for putting together a five gallon mushroom farm can be found on

Using Mushrooms

I never ate mushrooms before I started growing my own – the chewy texture was not for me! Then I discovered that cooking mushrooms for a long time made them taste very similar to bacon, and suddenly I was very interested in growing as many mushrooms myself as possible! How would you like an automatic bacon maker?


Watch our new Gardening with 5 Gallon Buckets video for more ideas like this.

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21 thoughts on “Mushroom Farm

    • I don’t think they will grow in a coffee grounds medium, but I believe Crimini mushrooms will. If you are really interested in doing this, I would recommend asking an expert in the field. Here are two companies in my area I have bought mushroom spawn from:

      I’m sure either of them would be willing to answer your questions in more depth.

      • For anyone who happens to come to this post very late, shiitake mushrooms are pickier than oysters and generally want a wood-based substrate. like sawdust. There is a cultivar out there that’s supposed to be un-picky enough to be productive on straw, but coffee grounds will not make it happy because they’re too nutritious and high in nitrogen. This means they will (a) attract more competing organisms like mold (oysters outcompete these pretty effectively, but shiitakes are slower-growing and less aggressive) and (b) yield deformed mushrooms if any (shiitake do not grow normally if the substrate is too nutritious).

    • Good question, Shiitakes taste the most like meat of all mushrooms, but all mushrooms have similar properties. If you do this with Oyster, you will not be dissapointed.

    • The mushroom organism consumes the medium when it produces mushrooms, so it by no means lasts forever. I’ve had smaller kits last a month or two, so I’d expect this one to last 3 or more, but it really depends on how fast you harvest mushrooms. You will need to keep the right temperature; light and humidity levels are also important.

      • In theory you should be able to just add some of the spent coffee grounds to new ones and if the mushrooms are still alive it should colonize the new grounds.

        also i believe paul stamets (google fungi perfecti)
        says you can use spent coffee grounds to seed logs with oyster mushrooms.

      • Check your local grocery stores and restaurants with eggs, pickles, Oleo, etc. I give out 5 gallon egg buckets all the time…I manage a grocery produce/Salad Bar. :)

    • Be sure you use food grade buckets – NOT buckets from the local Home Depot. Those buckets have some very nasty chemicals that will leach into any food you try to grow in them. Try local manufacturers of drinks that would use concentrated fruit syrups as a base. I got mine off Ebay, local pick up only for $2 apiece including lid

    • if you have a favorite bar you go to ask them if they have a spare 5 gallon bucket or a bakery will have buckets as well.

  1. My first thought about the used coffee grounds was the fact that our local water has fluoride in it. There is a store that sells coffee here but I would hestitate to ask for their grounds (my sister works there so I could get them) due to the fluoride. Even green tea and other food plants are having the fluoride issue due to being irrigated with fluoridated water. Just thought I’d throw that out there…I would love to grow my own mushrooms! Is there any other mediums that could be used instead of coffee grounds? Compost?

    • Yes there are mushrooms that will grow happly in fresh compost ( do not use so called mushroom compost, since that is compost that has already been used for mushrooms – the nutrents the mushrooms need are depleted).

    • Oyster Mushrooms do quite well in straw which you can find at any local farm feed store. But you would still need to hydrate it with water

  2. Pingback: 5 Gallon Bucket Mushroom Farm | Five Gallon Ideas « Nub Shrub

  3. I am way late to this discussion but I get icing buckets from the local Dunkin’ Donuts for free and even get to lick the last bit of icing out of the bucket. Sometimes they have as much as a pint left in them!

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