Mushrooms at RCG

The Golden Years

Before Roger's Community Garden was RCG, it was established as Roger's Urban Farmlab (RUF). RUF had a greater focus on engineering and experimentation than RCG today. RUF decided to experiment with growing edible fungi all-year-round inside of a humidified chamber with outdoor cultivation possible during the cooler and rainier months. RUF constructed a simple hinged box fitted with inexpensive mist emitters and timed irrigation. They also fitted a student-built shed with hanging substrate bags to compactly grow mushrooms.

First Trial at RUF

The first trial was with King Oyster (Pleurotus Eryngii) and Almond Agaricus (Agaricus Subrufrescens) mushroom spawn. The Oyster spawn was mixed with coffee grounds, gypsum and lime in a cardboard box. The Agaricus spawn was mixed with fresh compost in trays and topped with a layer of peat moss and vermiculite to retain moisture. Unfortunately, the Almond Agaricus mycelium did not seem to colonize the substrate (it was later discovered that we accidentally killed the mycelium by placing it into the fridge). 

However, the King Oyster mycelium showed approximately 80-90% colonization of the substrate after two weeks and was ready to fruit after three. The Almond Agaricus is promising for us because it tolerates warm weather and has an extremely fragrant almond aroma. There are many species of edible and medicinal mushrooms such as the Paddy-Straw Mushroom (Volvariella volvacea) and Pink Oyster (Pleurotus djamor) which also tolerate the warmer climate. 

Caps and pins in abundance.


The gourmet mushroom project was seeing great success under the set up by our predecessors, Roger's Urban Farmland. RUF produced buckets of mushrooms a week in the compact mushroom shed. 

However, due to safety concerns, Roger's Community Garden was advised to tear down all student-built sheds in the area, including the Solar Shed and the gourmet mushroom shed. As of 2022, RCG has stepped into a new era post-ShedGate and will work to re-establish our thriving gourmet mushroom project.