Grow your own (legal) mushrooms at home
Sick of closed cups and chesnuts? Tired of shiitake, oyster and Portobello being your only “exotic choices”? This means two things: one, you are a mushroom fan and two, you don’t trust yourself to go and pick wild mushrooms, same as me.
Well, here’s something you might be interested in. Growing your own mushrooms in your kitchen.
That’s what Woodfruit want people to do with a new product they launched at last weekend’s Dartmouth Food Festival. Woodfruit, who are based at Dartington in South Devon, launched Grow-Your-Own Gourmet Mushroom Kits at the event.
I got chatting with the company founder, Adam Sayner, on the stall and he explained the kits to me. Essentially they are large mushroom primer bags. Hang them or sit them somewhere warmish, even a windowsill, then prick a couple of holes in the sides. Water them with a fine mist of water from a spray twice a day and pretty soon, lovely pearl mushrooms will sprout forth from the hole. He said that you should, over the course of a couple of months, be able to get around five harvests from one bag.
Frankly, subject to me getting hold of a bag and seeing if it works, I think the concept is pretty brilliant – allowing people to grow something usually left to specialists. It takes home growing on a step for people like me who are fairly horticulturally hopeless.
There are plans afoot, if sales are a success, to branch out into other varieties of mushroom other than pearls later in the year. I hope they are successful and I’m planning to pick one up the next time I am passing to see if I can grow my own!