You can start making your mycelium-based composites by using the ingredients and protocol below, in a quick and efficient way. The indicated species, Reishi, works like a charm. But ecologically, it is best to try and find a local fungus, by isolating it from a local forest for instance. A quick guide to that will be made available soon.


- Millet spawn of species Ganoderma lucidum, also called Reishi.
In EU, it can be sourced here for instance ("Spawn 5L"). Please support your local businesses.
- Wood sawdust (deciduous work best), and/or broad-leaf plants (hemp,...), straws, cardboard, plant-based organic byproducts (wastes), papers, bark,... Preferably locally sourced and in season.
To start with, beech and birch woods work nicely.
- Tap water.

To work in the best conditions, you can use a laminar flow hood or a DIY laminar flow. This is to lower the chances of contamination. But, even if you do not sterilise your substrate, working in a clean space with alcohol-clean surfaces and gloved hands should be good enough with the following ratio of inoculant of the G. lucidum species. 
Start by preparing the substrate at 70% moisture content, such that the particles are completely moisturised but no water pellicle is present on their boundaries. This is calculated as:

(Mass of dry wood) x 0.7 = (Mass of water to add)

NB: substrates of a different nature will have different water absorption capacities. 70% MC is based on wood, aim to 90% MC for hemp for instance and adjust based on your observation.

Optionally, the wet substrate can be sterilised at 121ºC for 15min in a laboratory autoclave. Adjust the duration to the volume of substrate based on your experience. HEPA-filtered bags or glass containers can be used for sterilising. You can use a jam glass jar for instance: drill a small hole in the steel lid (few millimetres diameter), and cover the hole with masking tape or fill it with a cotton ball to act as a filter.
You can use a pressure cooker; the sterilisation time is of 30min in this case.
This sterilisation step is not mandatory if you have a relatively high spawn weight ratio. 

If you have been sterilising the substrate, wait for it to cool down to ambient temperature (below 30ºC). 
After having cleaned your hands and tools (spoon,...) with 90º alcohol, add in 16% of G. lucidum spawn in weight ratio to the wood substrate, and mix it to be homogeneously spread. The ratio is calculated as:

(Mass of wet substrate) x 0.2 = (Mass of spawn to add)

This is a high weight ratio, which will help prevent microbial competition and contamination. You can decrease it if necessary, down to 3% for instance. This mix can be done directly in the container used for the sterilisation. If you have not sterilised, alcohol clean a container and mix in. 

First incubation
Use an aerated container for incubation to allow for air exchange. A glass jar as described above can function. Clean the container with 90º alcohol and let it evaporate before using it for the cultivation.
Close the lid when done, set it in a dark place at ambient temperature (somewhere between 20–30ºC is best), for 7 days. Within the first 4 days, the substrate should be completely colonised by a white mycelium.

Second incubation
Clean a spoon or other stainless-steel tool with alcohol, and break the block apart in the container.
Prepare a mould (get creative! PETG, clay, hessian, ... just remember the previous needs: it should allow for some air exchange, all the while retaining moisture from evaporating too much, and is best clean with alcohol to lead to the best results) and pour in the broken substrate. Verify that the moisture content is not too low or too high from your experience.  Spray some water if you feel it is necessary and close the mould. 

Leave to incubate for another 7 to 21 days.

Remove the artifact from the mould and dry it in an oven at 60–80ºC. The duration depends on the volume and geometry of the artifact, it is usually of 6 to 48h.

🤠🌱Freedom of craft

The US company Ec*vative has control over the whole market of mycelium-based composites, which they defend by an aggressive patent strategy. They own 13 patents on various and very vague areas (Cerimi 2019), which has mostly not been exploited in many countries it targets. Each country has an "exploitation obligation period", sometimes of 2 or 3 years for example. In those countries, you can challenge Ec*vative's patent rights. Furthermore, not all patents that are filed are legitimate with regards to local IP laws I was told by a lawyer. It seems that it’s often when a conflict occurs that the patent is actually studied in detail (see discussions on prior art) and can frequently be voided or else. For instance, this exploitation obligation can be one of many reasons of voiding. And there are other flaws to their strategy (more here). The main of which being their attempt at pulling off the handbrake on sustainable innovation to the detriment of industrial products that may have important negative effects on the biodiversity and communities given its design.
We’ve probably been paralysed long enough as a field by the ungrounded fear tactic of Ec*vative. And I’d say that by promoting and acting locally with such sustainable material system, the community can hold the moral ground in the public eye. Go local, go small, go financially uninteresting to them. They will realise, that, eventually, it's like wanting to control speech on the web.

NB: customers agree to binding rules upon use of their GYI kit. Don't buy this expensive serialised copy, follow the tuto to make your own  (҂◡_◡) ᕤ

Growing Gourmet & Medicinal Mushrooms, Paul Stamets.
Mycelium Running, Paul Stamets.
Compressive behaviour of anisotropic mycelium-based composites (Rigobello & Ayres 2022). Link.
Effect of composition strategies on mycelium-based composites flexural behaviour (Rigobello et al. 2022). Link.
Design strategies for mycelium-based composites (Rigobello & Ayres 2023). Link..