Mushrooms are one of the most sustainable foods on the planet! In the wild they are the worlds best decomposers; breaking down and digesting wood and other detritus that animals and insects can’t. This serves a vital role in the ecosystem but they serve a role in modern agriculture too!
Our mushrooms grow off a combination of hard wood saw dust and organic soy hulls. Soy hulls are the outside of the soy bean and can’t be digested by animals like the soy beans inside of it. Both products are considered waste products, but our mushrooms love them. Unlike other animals proteins that need grain to grow and plant protein that needs space in a field, our mushrooms grow entirely from these waste products. You can’t get more sustainable than that!
At Myco Mushroom, we value our contribution to the local food movement. Because we are located in near South Bend, Elkhart, Mishawaka, and a few hours from Indianapolis, our carbon footprint to distribute our product throughout the area is minimal compared to mushrooms driven in from Pennsylvania, Washington, and Canada. It also lets us connect with our customers and grow our relationships with local chefs and supermarkets.
After our mushroom bags “fruit” two batches of mushrooms the remaining mycelium doesn’t have enough energy to produce more mushrooms. However, this leftover is great for composting as it will continue to break down the hardwood and soy, releasing valuable nutrients. We then give this compost to other urban farmers for use as topsoil and returning those nutrients back to earth. Our way of giving back to the local sustainable farming movement and completing the circle by returning what was once trees, soy and mushrooms, back to the soil.
Growing any type of crop requires a lot of water. But unlike other crops mushrooms don't need direct watering. They only require a room with very high levels of humidity. So we use a misting system that operates using only .3 gallons of water per hour. However, we only run the misting system for about 4.5 hours in total throughout a 24 hour period. That's thousands of pounds of mushrooms being grown with only 9.5 gallons of water used in a single week for watering our crops.