Schools and community organisations have a new, healthy and environmentally-friendly fundraising tool with the launch of Coffee Mushroom Kits by Hunter mushroom grower Bean Cycled.
Co-founder Leisha Parkinson said the kits are practical, educational, easy to use and a healthier alternative to fundraisers that rely on the sale of chocolate or other candy.
“Our Coffee Mushroom Farms are easy to grow; simply spray regularly with water and the oyster mushrooms will start to form in about two weeks,” Ms Parkinson said.
“Stockton and Broke public schools and Kotara Scouts have used the kits for fundraising.
“Scouts can potentially earn a gardening or agriculture badge from using the kits. The kits are also perfect for sporting clubs, dance groups or service clubs.”
Ms Parkinson established Bean Cycled in 2017.
The kits are the latest offering from Bean Cycled, which grows oyster mushrooms in a special facility at GPT Charlestown Square.
The Coffee Mushroom Farms are grow-at-home oyster mushroom kits that use recycled coffee grounds from retailers in the shopping centre.
Each farm will produce two or three crops. Once the crops have been harvested the contents can be used in garden as compost.
“The recycled coffee grounds are pasteurised during the coffee making, a process that is vital to remove contaminants from the material in which the mushrooms grow,” Ms Parkinson said.
“Traditional mushroom growing uses a lot of energy to sterilise material which this process avoids so there is another environmental benefit.
“The mushrooms are free of caffeine and won’t taste like coffee.
“Oyster mushrooms are a super food that are nutrient rich, high in protein and have a great nutty taste; perfect for eating on their own or for use in stews, soups, stir-fry and sauces.”
Each Coffee Mushroom Kit costs $25 with $6 going to the fundraising organisation.
Schools or community groups who order and pay for a minimum of 60 kits by November 30 will go into the draw to win a cash prize of $500, further boosting their fundraising effort.
Bean Cycled continues to sell its own oyster mushroom to cafes and restaurants and to the public through Your Food Collective.
It also makes the rich compost material left over after harvest, freely available to community gardens.
For more information about the Coffee Mushroom Kits phone Ms Parkinson on 0401 281 606 or visit Bean Cycled on Facebook.