April 2nd Program – Growing Mushrooms

Growing Gourmet Mushrooms at Home

This month, Lukasz Oldak will tell us about the various methods for cultivating mushrooms at home: making a culture; spawn and substrate preparation; and fruiting mushrooms. He will discuss how to prepare and pour agar plates, identify mycelial growth versus contamination, and then strain isolation and transfer to grain. We will have samples of agar cultures of mushrooms with and without contamination. Oyster mushrooms and other saprotrophic mushrooms eat dead organic material and some are suitable for home cultivation. Lukasz will outline techniques for growing these mushrooms and also recommend sources for information.

Lukasz Oldak had his interest sparked in mycology after watching Paul Stamets’ TED Talk on “Six Ways Mushrooms Can Save The World.” He started cultivating about five years ago by taking cultures from store bought oyster mushrooms and growing them on spent coffee grounds. The first couple years of cultivation were mostly trial and error with techniques that are prevalent on various forums and videos. After purchasing Paul Stamets’ books his cultivation techniques became more advanced. Currently, cultivation is simply a hobby but Lukasz hopes with time it can become a greater part of his life.

Niles Historical & Cultural Center is about a tenth of a mile Southeast from the Golf-Mill Shopping center. The former sheriff’s office has parking behind the building. The meeting room is on the third floor and is accessible by elevator as well as a large staircase. Restrooms are available on first and third floors. A museum volunteer will open the building for us this evening. For public transport from the city, take the Blue Line to the Jefferson Park CTA Station, from there it is 20 minutes on the PACE #270 bus to Milwaukee and Elizabeth. The museum is open to the public Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:30 AM to 3:00 PM.


Niles Historical Society
8970 Milwaukee Avenue
Niles, IL 60714

Contact Person

1) Events Chair
Catherine Lambrecht

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