What is Life Cykel’s Mushroom Box?

life cykel mushroom box organic home grown

Ryan (left) and his business partner Julian

Life Cykel was born from Julian and my frustration with access to this natural medicine. We asked ourselves ‘how do we connect people to growing their own food with simplicity?’ It became clear that society’s ill health is connected to the disconnection with fresh chemical free food!

We offer the Life Cykel Mushroom Box that enables customers to simply grow the freshest gourmet oyster mushrooms at home. Plus each box is produced with used coffee grounds from local Melbourne and Fremantle café’s.

Julian discovered on a TED talk by mushroom guru Paul Stammets, that gourmet varieties can be grown from waste products and this really got us excited! Further research into this lead us to the answer we’ve been looking for. A formula for Aussies to simply grow gourmet oyster mushrooms on the kitchen bench! That ‘home grown feeling’ can be felt when you simply add water and watch your mushrooms sprout! No previous growing experience required. Oyster mushrooms are one of the tastiest and most nutritious mushrooms in the world and often rare to get your hands on. You can grow your own within two weeks before continuing to grow multiple harvests. Once they no longer grow the leftovers are a great compost for your garden.

life cykel mushroom box organic home grownThis growing concept was also an awesome opportunity to provide local restaurants with fresher mushrooms than they have ever seen before, whilst also diverting more coffee waste landfill. We had our first mushroom harvest in Fremantle in March this year. Soon after, an ABC News segment skyrocketed our food message across Australia and we received countless enquiries from like-minded people offering to support our dream and in many cases become involved with setting up Life Cykel urban farms in restaurant districts throughout the country. At this point in time we are growing fresher mushrooms for Fremantle, Margaret River and Noosa whilst our dream for setting up a farm in Melbourne will be kickstarted with a crowdfunding campaign running from for 29 days and starting on Sunday August 14th.

How does it work in practice?

Collecting coffee ground waste from Melbourne cafe’s, Life Cykel’s mushrooms will be sold to local restaurants, food outlets, markets and Life Cykel Mushroom Boxes on our website and used by schools for fundraising drives. Oyster mushrooms are a sought after delicacy with incredible flavour. Believe it or not, they don’t taste like coffee!

life cykel mushroom box organic home grownWhile we all love our delicious cup of morning coffee, this boom in society’s love for coffee has led to an unseen problem. It is estimated globally this number is around 2 billion tonnes of coffee by-product being produced every year. Our solution is as valid to the prominent coffee culture of Melbourne as it is to any other city. Current practice sees coffee ground being mixed with other rubbish and taken to landfill. The anaerobic environment in which it is placed allows it to become a greenhouse gas in the form of methane. This waste of a valuable resource is needlessly adding to the waste disposal problems of our city and of our culture in general.

The coffee cherry has been grown abroad, dried, milled, packed and shipped all the way to Melbourne. Given 1% of the coffee bean ends up in your coffee cup, this is a dramatic under-utilisation of energy. The remaining 99% of coffee ground currently ends up as a problematic waste product. Few people are aware of the size of this issue. We estimate there are some 200 coffee houses in the Abbotsford area, with an average coffee ground production of 35kg per week. Six tonnes of used coffee beans go to landfill each week from the local area alone. This figure reaches a remarkable 300 tons per year. The Melbourne city numbers are in the thousands of tons of coffee ground waste per year going to landfill!

Coffee keeps you going and your oyster mushrooms growing…

How easy are the mushroom boxes for ordinary consumers to use?

Just spray, eat and repeat. The boxes have been designed for consumers without veggie patches, gardening knowledge or the spare time. Just spray the mushroom surface with water in the included spray bottle twice per day to harvest 3 mushroom crops over approximately 8-10 weeks.

– Blog post provided by Ryan Creed, Life Cykel

Life Cykel Mushroom boxes are available at the InnerOrigin store. Share your growing mushroom boxes with us using the hashtag #innerorigin