Growing Mushrooms in Shipping Containers
First Published by Budget Shipping Containers on September 10, 2019
Okay, so you might think an article about growing mushrooms in shipping containers is a little far-fetched? Well, what spurred us on to create this post was a short piece that was featured on Countryfile a few months ago. Following this, we looked into how this was being done only to find the growing of mushrooms in shipping containers, well-refrigerated shipping containers (as we discovered) wasn’t that far-fetched after all.
The Countryfile feature focused on Cyan Jones of Snowdonia’s The Mushroom Garden. Mr Jones’ growing system was set up in two converted shipping containers that effectively mimic the seasons with controlled temperatures, airflow and humidity levels.
The mimicking of the seasons is key to growing the mushrooms within the shipping container and for the first part of the growing process, the system recreates the summer season. So, the container’s internal temperature is maintained at about + 25C.
To then force the mushrooms to ‘fruit’, the mushrooms are moved to a second container where the temperature is held at about + 15C, 97% humidity, about 12-hours of daylight with the air being exchanged once every 45-minutes.
After about 2-weeks, the mushrooms are ready to be harvested.
With the right cycle, Mr. Jones can harvest two times a day and grows about 100kg of mushrooms per week.
Croydon Urban Mushroom Project
A great example of a community project growing mushrooms in a shipping container is the Croydon Urban Mushrooms project. Here, this local community project collects waste coffee grounds from local cafés and uses this as the substrate on which they grow oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus).
The project then sells the mushrooms to the local community and local restaurants with the income being re-invested in to the business to make it more sustainable.
In this instance the ‘farm’ was built in a 30-foot shipping container that was custom fitted out to enable the mushrooms to grow all year round.
Mushrooms don’t need much light to grow in simply because they cannot extract any nutrients from sunlight. The other advantage of growing in darker environments is that moisture is preserved and, most importantly, mushroom spores need moisture to reproduce.
Mushrooms rely on nutrients to aid growth, not photosynthesis.
When two compatible mushroom-spores mate, mycelium is created and this is very much like the root system of the fungi.
Growing Mushrooms in Refrigerated Shipping Containers
Used refrigerated shipping containers are an ideal option for this very purpose. They come with excellent insulation as well as cooling/heating capability and humidity control already built in so, you don’t have to worry about converting a standard shipping container.
Most refrigerated shipping containers are equipped with systems to control the humidity within the range of 85 % to 60% and temperatures can be controlled too.
Used 40ft High Cube refrigerated containers offer the best value for money and a huge amount of growing space. They can be modified to have additional electrics including power points and lights. Plus, we can ensure the electrics we install wet-rated electrics which will allow you to jet clean the interior of the container as and when required.
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