January 5×5 Night
Voting Closes:

January 18, 2022 11:59 pm

About this idea
Founded in 2014, our small business has grown from hobby, to fledgling farm, to community resource for all things mushroom. In addition to teaching a variety of classes related to mushroom identification, cultivation, and nutrition, we also grow around a dozen species of edible mushrooms and distribute hundreds of pounds weekly to farmers markets, stores, restaurants, and grocery services. In recent years we have begun producing vegan mushroom jerky and dried mushrooms in small quantities under the Michigan cottage foods law, but we would love to share these products, and more, with a greater segment of our community. We're hoping to build a small commercial kitchen in the charming old former furniture factory we rent space in on Grand Rapids Southwest side.A kitchen in our space would allow us to experiment with new products, and develop an economically viable means of production for dried mushroom products, medicinal mushroom teas, tinctures, and supplements, tempeh and mushroom tempeh, soup mixes, spice blends, and more. As well as allowing us to easily produce delicious dishes and samplings for the various classes we host.
Impact
One of our goals as a company is to make locally produced fresh mushrooms more accessible to everyone in West Michigan and beyond. A uniquely delicious, and beautiful food group that's high in protein and loaded with novel and uncommon nutritional compounds, mushrooms serve to benefit all who consume them in terms of personal nutrition and new gastronomic experiences.An extremely resource efficient protein requiring no synthetic chemicals or fertilizers, locally produced mushrooms require very little space, water, or raw materials to be produced. Unlike conventional crops that can deplete and destroy soils, our primary byproduct is healthy, nutritious, plant-based compost that's' great for creating and amending soils.The benefits of mushrooms are many fold, as are the benefits of Mycophile's Garden extending our products and reach. In addition to our small crew here at Mycophiles Garden, and our community of thousands of customers across West Michigan, we would hope this addition would help us further expand and support the farmers and gardeners who buy our mushroom compost and small companies that compost it further for use in soil production and amendment.As well as the local stores and companies we provide mushroom products for and all the people who can more easily incorporate natural, healthy, locally produced mushrooms and mushroom products into their diets. Low in fats, sugars, and cholesterol with high fiber, protein, and unique nutritional compounds, there's a reason mushrooms are having their moment as a trend in food, foraging, and health and we’d love to share them with even more people!
What I'll do with $5,000
Our small kitchen would be pretty simple and $5,000 would cover most, or all of the materials for flooring, wall and ceiling panels, and some of the cost for labor, inspections, and equipment like prep tables and utensils.We already have plumbing, a commercial sink, commercial dehydrators, and other equipment but the award would help us make a certified kitchen a reality this Winter, enabling us to start our 2022 busy season with new products ready to go. Working 18 farmers markets per week means our little company doesn't have the time, or space for these types of improvements during our busy season, and our rapid expansion in recent years has been incredible but still leaves us cash strapped as we are continually improving our equipment and expanding as well as and adding labor hour for wok on new projects. We would be so grateful to make this long-term dream of expansion a reality this year! Thank you for considering and supporting us!
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About Chris Swinson

I'm a nature enthusiast and the owner of Mycophile's Garden Mushroom Farm in Grand Rapids.

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