In July this year the Fungusloci micro-farm was evicted from it town centre premises. We have continued to produce mushrooms at our ‘Home Farm’ (my back garden) since then. These have included the remaining stock of coffee-grown oyster mushrooms and a good seasonal crop from our oak log grown shiitake mushrooms – some of which, after up to two years incubation are now producing well. We have also been continuing to forage wild local mushrooms and have been supplying our favourite local restaurants.
Fungusloci has been an experimental urban micro-farm project where oyster mushrooms are cultivated on waste coffee grounds in the heart of Stroud’s town centre. The micro-farm was opened in spring 2015, designed, built and managed by artist and educator Dominic Thomas with the help of a ‘Local Food’ grant from Stroud District Council and support from SVA.
As well as supplying fresh and healthy locally grown produce to cafés, restaurants and the general public, the Fungusloci project is a model for small-scale sustainable food growing. We have been collecting and reprocessing up to 150kg of used coffee grounds a week from Stroud cafes (previously being sent to landfill). That’s up to one ton of waste every six weeks being converted into a healthy local food product. At the end of the process a top quality compost and soil improver is produced that can go back into gardens and allotments to help produce other local food crops.
Education and collaboration has been a key part of the Fungusloci farm project. We have worked with schools, youth groups and adult students. It has provided employment and volunteering opportunities for a dozen people and we have shared our expertise with similar projects across the UK.