April 29, 2021
Since the start of the pandemic, interest in growing mushrooms has … well, mushroomed, The Boston Globe reports.
And part of the reason for the toadstool trend is mushroom advocate and agriculturist Elizabeth Almeida, who cultivates organic mushrooms indoors on blocks of sawdust at her Westford, Massachusetts-based company, Fat Moon Farm.
The blocks are inoculated with mycelium, (or the white, hairlike tendrils of fungus that we often see on old bread).Then, they incubate for anywhere from seven days to three months, depending on the strain. The setting mimics the natural environment in whichre mushrooms thrive.
Almeida grows several varieties—lion’s main, oyster, chestnut, pioppino, and shitake—and she sells largely to chefs, but also to selected grocers and farmstands.
Since she grew up on a farm and foraged for mushrooms as a child, Almeida’s work resonates with her life experience. But surprisingly, and even without a green thumb, you can also grow mushrooms with a grow kit—and Almeida offers these too.
The kits are inoculated with the mycelium and already incubated. Spraying frequently with water, you can watch the fungi quickly emerge—from a pinhead to fully formed clusters that can later top a pizza or give depth of flavor to a pasta dish.
Interest in her kits has surged this year as people seek the adventure of growing something to create delicious meals, she says. “Sourdough bread is 2020. Grow kits are 2021.”
Most of the grow kits sold on the Fat Moon Farm website range from $25 to $40—and come with detailed instructions. The next, three-part, weekly, online course starts on May 1—and a “standard package” includes a grow kit and an eight-ounce bag of mushroom to enjoy.
Research contact: @BostonGlobe