We’re getting through the dog days of summer and its been very busy here at Fruiting Mushrooms! Since our last post at the beginning of summer we have some great updates about what’s going on in the Back of the Yards!
First of all, Farmer Bel had a great time showing off our mushrooms on Chicago Tonight. Check out the link below to watch the great story! You can also find the video on our Facebook!
Some more big news comes in the form of fundraising. In the coming days look out for our Kickstarter campaign to raise money for infrastructure improvements at the farm. We hope our Kickstarter page will give insight into the challenges of operating a farm in the basement of a busy building.
We will keep you up to date on the kickstarter! Keep your eyes peeled.
~Fungi are the Future~
We’ve got a couple pieces of exciting news to start off the summer! First, we’re happy to announce that ABC 7’s Hungry Hound will be featuring our mushroom farm on Saturday April 25th. Be on the lookout for Farmer Bel as he gives a tour of our farm at The Plant, and watch to see our mushrooms cooked up to perfection by The Duck Inn of Bridgeport.
Next, we’ve got some cool news from NYC. We are very happy to say that our farm will be featured in a piece by The Wall Street Journal about urban mushroom farms! Expect to see the article some time in July to read more about mushroom farms around the country and how Fruiting Mushrooms fits into the urban agriculture movement.
And finally, some developments from the farm. We are adding Reishi mushrooms to our current selection of Pohu Oyster and Lion’s Mane mushrooms. To give a little background, Reishi are Chinese herbal mushrooms. Reishi’s medicinal benefits are vast and they are traditionally used as immune system regulators. Reishi also are used to treat the cold and flu, prevent fatigue, and reduce stress.
Another great thing about Reishi mushrooms is that they are a very well-rounded product. Reishi can be used as an ingredient in kombucha and as teabags. Given the many different ways people can use Reishi, we are very happy to add them to our selection. Give us a couple weeks for the first Reishi to be ready!
Thanks for reading, and remember; Fungi are the Future
The world of food is changing…
According to a recent Nat Geo feature, 45% of all fruits and vegetables go to waste. That comes at a time when 1 in 7 people in the US faces daily hunger..
There’s a flight to quality away from fast, pre-packaged cuisine. People want to slow down and connect with their food.
Consumers are becoming more aware of their environmental impact and carbon footprint. We have to improve the way we do things to save the earth for future generations.
The internet and the rise of local farming has allowed customers to have a direct connection to where their food comes from.
People want to spend their money in a way that makes a positive impact on the world.
All of these trends are taking place right at the time we have the technology and the resources to embrace these changes. Where there are great problems, there are great opportunities…
That’s why we started Fruiting Mushrooms. After just a few months, here are some of the ways we’re creating a positive impact:
- Hyper-local food production
- Scientifically controlled growing. No pesticides, agro-chemicals, or GMO’s.
- Triple bottom line – Turning the waste from our growing process into useful products.
- A direct connection to YOU.
- Our long term vision and mission.
Hyper Local, Grown On-Demand All Year Long
Starting our farm in Chicago means that we can supply fresh, rare, and delicious mushrooms from farm to table within hours. By harvesting our shrooms at peak freshness we make sure they contain the most flavor and nutrient content possible. The flavor is so much more rich and complex when you are dealing with fresh food.
Growing indoors gives us the ability to avoid pesticides, GMO’s, and other agrochemicals. Our mushrooms are fresh AND clean.
Plus, we are able to eliminate the fossil fuel costs associated with shipping, refrigerating, and storage over long distances for our customers in Chicago. Point of production supply means that we can grow on demand, which cuts down on food waste.
Closing The Loop and Eliminating Waste
Mushrooms can be grown in a number of different media including straw, coffee grounds, spent grain (from beer brewing), and more.
In the very near future, we’ll be working with breweries and coffee roasters to use their spent grains and coffee chaff as our input with a thorough pasteurization process to ensure food safety.
What happens after we’re done using that substrate to grow mushrooms? We bundle the straw with compost and sell it as a high quality compost for urban farming. The mycelium network that produces mushrooms creates useful microbes for building good soil.
Soon we’ll be able to use resident waste from other tenants at The Plant as a useful input for growing, and then in turn sell the used grow media as compost.
Fruiting Mushrooms Goes Direct To You
What’s the best part about having a direct relationship to you?
It’s hearing your story and helping to serve you better. If you’re a chef, hobby cook, or food enthusiast, we can work with you to create exciting new varieties tailored to your needs.
We become better and smarter after every email, phone conversation, and chef’s tour.
Regularly interacting with customers means that Fruiting Mushrooms can push the envelope on quality and service.
Contact us. We are here to serve you!
Our Long-Term Mission and Vision
Right now we are raising the bar on high-end mushrooms sold in Chicago. We want to give our city’s restaurants the best and freshest mushrooms possible. But that’s just the beginning…
It might sound strange — but we’re excited about applications for mushroom technology outside of food. Mycelium has been used to:
- Remediate harmful chemicals from soil
- Create building materials
- Develop new eco-friendly packaging materials
- And more…
…As we expand our team and our capabilities, we’ll be exploring more ways to grow unique mushrooms, sell our waste products, and develop new mushroom derived products.
George Washington Carver was able to improve the lives of local farmers through crop rotation and developing over 300 products derived from peanuts.
That was before the internet and decades of human progress.
Our vision might be bold, but we live in an age where we have to be bold to solve big problems.
Indoor farming is a fast moving industry. You’re going to see so many changes to the way that food is made and delivered to you. We’re excited to be a part of the movement and we are looking forward to creating a positive impact on our communities for years to come.
Now it’s your turn to get involved. If you liked our project, sign up below to stay up to date on our progress.