Fungusloci is Gloucestershire’s first urban micro-farm where oyster mushrooms are cultivated on waste coffee grounds in the heart of Stroud’s town centre. The micro-farm was opened in the spring of 2015 and has been designed, built and managed by artist and educator and CSCIC director Dominic Thomas.
As well as supplying fresh and healthy locally grown produce to cafés, restaurants and the general public, the Fungusloci project operates as a model for small-scale sustainable business and “closed loop” production methods. We currently collect and reprocess up to a 150kg of used coffee grounds a week which was previously being sent to landfill, with all it’s inherent environmental problems. That’s up to one ton of what was waste diverted from the waste stream every six weeks being converted into a health local food product. But that’s not all at the end of the process a top quality compost and soil improver is produced that can go back into gardens and allotments to help produce other local food crops.
The Fungusloci farm shop is also the venue for talks, workshops and tours for people of all ages. We have worked with primary and secondary schools, run workshops for adults and families, as well as running sessions for Permaculture Design courses in Stroud and Bristol. The farm has also hosted workshops and talks relating the wider topic of micro-biology in food production, such as fermenting and culturing food.
The farm is also running an inclusive volunteer programme and mentoring scheme, helping young adults with disabilities or mental health challenges to get involved in and learn about the production process. By working closely with our volunteers we aim to help them gain confidence, knowledge and skills through being part of an exciting sustainable community project.
The Fungusloci project has been working in partnership with SVA (Stroud Valleys Artspace), Stroud Brewery, Down to Earth and has received funding though the Stroud District Local Food Grants scheme and the Barnwood Trust