Reviewed by Julie Lawrence
GroCycle Mushroom Kits offer you the chance to grow gourmet Oyster Mushrooms in your own home in a simple box full of used coffee grounds. Now, this may not at first to be something that you would expect to get wildly excited by, I presumed it’d be a satisfying eco-friendly, interesting project, but through the process I found myself shouting to the world about my mushrooms, stopping neighbours in the street to tell them what we were growing, my children were racing downstairs every morning to check how much they’d grown!
The GroCycle Mushroom Kit arrived promptly, a study cardboard box that had protected the kit through the post. The box then doubles up as the “pot” for the mushrooms to grow in. It has clear instructions provided inside and has a simple logo and neutral design on the outside, neutral enough to fit in with your normal kitchen accessorises but with enough style that it didn’t “just look like a box”. The instructions were simple to follow with pictures and clear text. A quick look on the website also provided some videos and FAQs. We really enjoyed watching the time-lapse video which got the whole family excited about our future crop.
The process really is incredibly simple; soak the bag overnight, spray twice daily. We knew day 1-7 was just going to about spraying the pack, we knew there wasn’t much to see… but day 8 onwards is where the fun really begins to explode! We soon saw small spores starting to grow horizontally out of the front panel. Luckily, with two children, I was pleased to know that the mushroom pack needs spraying twice a day, as they were SO excited to get involved and to see what was growing. By day 9-10 we could see a change in the size of the mushrooms within a few hours. They were quite literally growing before our eyes. At this point I was telling the world about our mushrooms, I didn’t realise how excited I was going to be! I’ve grown lots of plants before, but never seem them grown, change and develop with such speed. They were true to the description exactly. Our only surprise came around day 11 when we found our mushrooms surrounded by a thin white dust. I can only presume this was mushroom spores and it did take us (and the kitchen surfaces) by surprise. It was easy to clean up but may have been useful if mentioned in the leaflet as I would have positioned the box in a slightly different area of the kitchen. By day 14 our mushrooms were ready to harvest, ours went straight into a stir fry and tasted delicious. The children were eager to try them (not normally excited by mushrooms or new foods) as they had been part of the process of the growing them. We had so many we shared them with the neighbours that we had told about our mushroom journey. Everyone loved them and enjoyed the knowledge of where they had come from, how fresh they were and how eco-friendly they are.
I’ve already planned who I will be buying them for as gifts. I want to share the mushroom excitement with other people! They are particularly great as Christmas presents although they are a “live” plant they can be stored for 4 weeks before you start growing them, so no rush to give the pack immediately which is always tricky around the busy December period. They also tie in nicely with the “fresh start, healthy food, healthy body” approach so many of us start in January. What’s better to get you excited about healthy eating than a kit you grown yourself. For those who can’t wait till then, get growing now and boast on Christmas day when you’ve cooked a huge dinner that the mushrooms are home grown. Each kit guarantees at least 2 crops (sometimes 3 or 4) and if there are any problems with you kits you simply send them a picture and they’ll send you a replacement.
What can I say, great kit, great delivery, clear and accurate instructions and the most exciting thing you’ll ever grow!
For more information or to buy visit grocycle.com.