Michael Crowe has been growing mushrooms as a business since 2017. He fills his bags with coffee grounds and other organic matter to help keep his product fresh for his customers, who have now expressed interest in growing their own mushrooms from home thanks to a new internet trend that involves people creating their own personal mushroom gardens at home.
Crowe claims that a lot of his customers have been sending him live updates of their process, which he loves. “It’s just so cool because it can bring together people of all ages, from all walks of life and people all over the place can grow food and have a really good time learning about it.”
Crowe claims that the pandemic gave people the perfect opportunity to explore the multitude of mushroom growing kits online. “It just blew up, it seemed like one day everybody was looking to grow mushrooms.”
This new trend makes sense considering that crafty hobbies in general have grown in popularity throughout the pandemic, especially hobbies that involve growing your own food. Many people have taken their newfound free time at home to better their skills as a chef and begin growing their own ingredients for healthier meal options and a more natural alternative to eating out.
Growing mushrooms at home is also one of the easiest projects one could do, which is also why it’s become so popular among parents and guardians at home with their children who need constant entertainment. The process gives them something engaging and fun to do, while also providing an educational aspect of how plants grow from seed to table.
Grocycle is a mushroom company that claims its home-grown kits saw a 320% increase in popularity during the last 12 months compared to the year prior. North Spore is another company based in the US that claims their mushroom growing supplies have been selling out at a rate 400% more when compared to the year prior.
Barclay Bram is a London resident who spoke with the media recently about the rise in this trends popularity and his own experience growing mushrooms at home to pass the time. “I picked up a grow kit at my local market last November. Oyster mushrooms are a popular beginner’s shroom, being hardy and low-maintenance. Plus, it turns out eating the fruits of your own labor is tastier, too so that’s what I went with initially. I love cooking, and they were honestly some of the best mushrooms I’ve ever eaten,” says Bram.
Mushrooms are also extremely easy to cook and work with a multitude of meals, which is also likely why they specifically have become so popular. Bram also says there’s a greater sense of community that comes with growing your own food because you begin to communicate with other gardeners and home-growers of all kinds.
“Sharing them is such a nice thing, and I’ve been swapping the mushrooms with people for backyard eggs or sourdough bread. They’re like an alternative currency, which is pretty cool.”
Jenn Xu is another London resident who claims to have bought three different growing kits since the start of the pandemic. “People want something new to do, we’re stuck at home, and if we can’t move, we want to see something move. I buy them for the novelty and for observing the growth patterns because they’re so diverse and interesting – it piques this childlike wonder … If you look away for two hours and look back, it’s doubled in size.”
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.