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Growing Mushrooms at Home is Everyone’s New Pandemic Hobby

Home grown mushroom kits are experiencing an explosion in demand, giving people something to do, watch, and cheer on while stuck at home.

Oyster mushrooms grown on coffee grounds, phạm Lộc

Lockdown and travel restrictions have sparked a resurgence in the popularity of crafts, gardening, baking, and other hobbies around the home. Surprisingly, half of Canadians grew their own food to some degree last year:17% of which did it for the first time.

For many of these beginning gardeners, mushrooms represented a super easy way to get started, especially if they didn’t have soil to use. The Guardian reports Some companies are seeing a 300% to 400% increase in sales of starter kits for genera like oyster mushrooms, a beautiful gilled mushroom that grows horizontally on logs, trees, and hills in nature.

People likes it Willoughby Arevalo, a Vancouver mycologist, has noticed the stratospheric increase in mushroom kit sales. Author of DIY mushroom cultivation, he credits its rapid daily growth, compared to the slow passage of the grasses on the windowsill, as one of its strongest draws.

PLUS: Stanford designer is making bricks with fast-growing fungi that are stronger than concrete

“It is a relatively low barrier. They are more expensive than doing yours once you have the system set up to do it, but they are not that expensive, ”Arévalo told the National mail (Starter kits typically range from $ 25- $ 35.) “And it can really bring a sense of wonder to be able to share space with these mushrooms as they bear fruit.”

Some have taken it further than just something to marvel at. The Guardian reports on an Australian man and his wife who used the time of the pandemic to transform their laundry room into an environment to grow nearly $ 500 worth of blue, tan, white and Queensland oyster mushrooms every few months.

“Sharing them is such a nice thing, and we’ve been trading them with people for backyard eggs or sourdough bread,” Melbourne’s George Clipp told The Guardian. “They’re like an alternate currency, which is great.”

RELATED: A Dutchman invents a coffin that turns bodies into mushrooms: ‘We are nutrients, not waste’

Fear of food shortages, as found in Canadian home growers, fueled product cultivation for some during the pandemic, so Clipp’s comment on the coin is not far off the mark. If the pandemic were worse and supply chains were impossible to maintain, having so many foods rich in various minerals and B vitamins becomes much more than just a hobby at home.

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