Ireland: Lockdown project spawns mushroom farm with big ideas

A project which began in lockdown in 2020 has spawned a small business with big ideas of becoming a model sustainable food system in Dublin. 'Revolution Farm & Kitchen,' set up by urban farmers Paddy Arnold and James Egan, operates out of a retrofitted 45ft container at University College Dublin (UCD).

The pair collect spent coffee grounds from the cafés around campus and use them to grow fresh oyster mushrooms. Once harvested, the mushrooms are used to make a range of sauces that are on sale in cafés and other retailers around Dublin and Kildare.

Co-founder and chef Paddy Arnold said: "We collect about 150 kilos of coffee grounds a week. But there is a lot more. We don't even collect from every café here in UCD. Coffee grounds work for mushroom production because you need a neutral base so the mushrooms can take over quite quickly. But they're also a form of nitrogen.

"We are producing about 20 to 30 kilos of oyster mushrooms a week. So, it can produce a lot of sauces, but it can also produce a lot of food for the small scale of it".

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