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I'm wondering if the processed food waste (PFW) output of an electric composter, like this one, could be used to grow (oyster) mushrooms on?

The PFW is supposedly sterile, so the idea is to lightly hydrate the PFW, inoculate with mycelium, and follow the steps of indoor mushroom growing. What I am wondering about is:

  1. Will the medium be too acidic or basic?
  2. Will the medium contain too high concentrations of nitrogen or phosphorus?
  3. Is a combination of PFW and other cellulose material best?
  4. Should certain foods (ex: high sodium foods) be avoided in the PFW?
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    since the end product is described as a fertilizer, you're going to run into bacterial and mold contamination issues due to the high N content unless you are set up to inoculate the medium in sterile"ish" conditions. Also, it seems like a pretty high energy input to generate an "iffy" substrate. You could consider using it as a supplement for a less rich substrate like straw or newspaper. – That Idiot Nov 20 '19 at 16:28
  • thanks @ThatIdiot, feel free to add this as an answer so we can +1 – Cam.Davidson.Pilon Nov 20 '19 at 18:34
  • comment added as answer. – That Idiot Nov 21 '19 at 12:34
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The link you provide shows that the manufacturer recommends the final product as a soil amendment, not as actual soil, so they have the same concerns about unusually high levels of acidity or specific components as you do. The output of the process depends entirely on the composition of the inputs, which may vary considerably. Diluting such effects diminishes their potency, so you might do well to find a source of fresh waste coffee grounds and mix your waste output with that, and use the result to grow mushrooms. There needs to be a sufficiently high cellulose component (which might not come from arugula or orange peel) and air gaps to allow mycelium penetration, which the high coffee component would supply.

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Since the end product is described as a fertilizer, you're going to run into bacterial and mold contamination issues due to the high N content unless you are set up to inoculate the medium in sterile"ish" conditions. Also, it seems like a pretty high energy input to generate an "iffy" substrate. You could consider using it as a supplement for a less rich substrate like straw or newspaper.

| improve this answer | |

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