Mushroom growing kit and automation

2 minute read

In the middle of Oct, I attended a talk by Paul Stamets about Mushroom Mycelium & The Worldwide Food Web. Specifically about how Bees and Mycelium are linked and his research into different uses of mushroom mycelium. Paul Stamets also did a convincing TED talk Paul Stamets: 6 ways mushrooms can save the world in 2008. He wrote several books including The Mushroom Cultivator: A Practical Guide to Growing Mushrooms at Home. A leader in Mushroom/Mycelium/fungi. Paul Stamets talk convinced me to take a closer look into mushroom cultivation.

I went to the Mushroom show by Vancouver Mycological Society at VanDusen Botanical Garden. The show has many different varieties of mushrooms from all over the world as well as a very good collection from local BC. I took some photos from the show but it was very crowded and it was hard to get good photos to talk to many of the exhibitors. I did pick up an oyster mushroom kit that the Mycological Society were selling as a fundraiser for the club.

Growing oyster mushroom is very simple. Basically put the mushrooms kit outside (10-15C), north facing out of direct sunlight. Put a transparent bag over top to trap the humidity and poke some holes in the bag for air flow. Nothing else is really needed.

Always looking for ways to automate things, created a new project to monitor and automate the growing of the mushroom. MushroomGrowMonitor. Using a ESP8266 as the Mushroom controller and two DS18b20 OneWire sensor for temperature sensors. The mushrooms controller reads the sensor data and sends the values back to an online server Master control program AKA MCP using MQTT protocol. The MCP stores the temperature data and visualize it into graphs. The Mushroom controller then talks to MCP to get commands. The mushroom controller can do things like turn on/off the heater or a fan using relays. If the sensors values go above a certain threshold then the MCP will send me an SMS alert with twilio for manual intervention. The entire system is way over kill for growing oyster mushroom but it was a great learning experience.



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