The UK’s first urban mushroom farm has officially launched this week growing gourmet mushrooms from recycled coffee grounds - showcasing a new model for the future of sustainable food grown in cities.
GroCycle Urban Mushroom Farm is based in a disused office building in Exeter city centre. The farm takes waste coffee grounds from local cafés and uses them as a growing medium to produce healthy and delicious Oyster mushrooms.
GroCycle, the team behind the idea, say the project is partly driven by the fact that coffee waste is such a huge environmental problem. Approximately 80 million cups of coffee are drunk every day in the UK, yet less than 1 per cent of the bean actually ends up in the cup. The vast majority of the remaining grounds are buried in landfill, decomposing to produce methane, which is 25 times more harmful to the earth’s atmosphere than CO2.
“It’s crazy that most large cafes are throwing their coffee waste away,” said Adam Sayner, company director. “It is still packed full of nutrients which can be turned into delicious Oyster mushrooms. We are making it possible to grow gourmet food from it instead!”
With interest in Urban Agriculture catching on in cities around the world, the farm is also a showcase for how food can be grown more sustainably. Oyster mushrooms are high in nutrients, and producing them in a city close to where they are consumed produces a much lower impact than importing mushrooms from Europe.
“Growing mushrooms in this way is absolutely ideal for Urban Agriculture,” said Eric Jong, company director. “It is where both the waste and demand for food are highest. We hope our farm will serve as a flagship model for more urban farms in the future.”
To spread the concept further, the company has also devised a popular and simple to use grow-at-home kit – bringing the process of growing mushrooms from coffee grounds into people’s homes all around the country. More than 10,000 of these kits have been sold the last 2 years.
The farm was officially opened on Tuesday 23rd September by Rob Hopkins, founder of the worldwide Transition Town movement, who said “this really is a fantastic project - growing food from waste in the middle of a city. What an inspirational idea, and one that’ll spread to other cities I’m sure!”
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- Oyster mushrooms are high in protein, fibre and iron, and contain significant levels of zinc, potassium, selenium, calcium, phosphorus, folic acid, and vitamins B1, B3, B5 and B12, plus vitamin C and vitamin D
- GroCycle Urban Mushroom Farm has recycled over 15 tonnes of coffee grounds into 3.5 tonnes of mushrooms during the last year
- GroCycle is part of the growing movement of Social Enterprise. The focus is on business as a positive force for social and environmental good, rather than for profit
Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of GroCycle, on Wednesday 24 September, 2014. For more information subscribe and follow http://www.pressat.co.uk/