Mina Mahouti

Experimental material studies, Workshops on mushroom cultivation

Bolzano, 2019


The project is about experimenting how fungi can be cultivated on natural materials. Here I experimented with flax shives, as they are a by-product of industry. Here they were used as substrate for mushrooms. Mushrooms grow well on straw or coffee grounds. Therefore, the idea arose to cultivate mushrooms on flax shives. Compared to straw, flax shives have the advantage that they can absorb twice as much moisture, which is relevant for mushroom cultivation. In addition, there are organisms on the shives that counteract the formation of mold.

The mycelium of king oyster mushrooms and golden oyster mushrooms was cultivated on a brood consisting of wheat grains and then inoculated in a substrate of flax straw. Depending on the temperature, propagation takes four to six weeks.

Within a few weeks the mycelium grows through the substrate. The white micelle binds the shives into a solid body through the mesh. The fungi need oxygen to grow, but no light. Daylight is necessary for the fruiting bodies to grow on the flax shives. Within a few days, fungal huts are formed, which grow in size within a few hours. Altogether 700 grams of fungi grow on 1kg flax substrate. The flax straw can be composted after usage.