August was such a great month for Collar City Mushrooms. We have been constantly expanding our mushroom cultures and honing our processes. We attempted to grow two different kinds of oysters and some lion’s mane (however, we were using an inefficient humidifier and they got dried out! We changed our tent up a bit, added a regular fresh air exchange system, and a different kind of humidifier. We now have two bags of King Oysters opened and we hope to see fruit any day now.
Starting a brand new company involves so many different operational facets. We hired 2 different legal teams in order to help with integrating our finances and secure our growing facility. We continue to get closer to occupying our farm building. We have coordinated with 4 different contractor teams, an architect, and the Troy Building department so that once we sign our lease and move in we can start installation of our growing infrastructure as soon as possible.
We received our finely crafted hand bound Collar City Mushrooms Mushroom Coloring Collection books put together by Michael Valiquette, and our durable tote bags printed by Troy Cloth and Paper. We have also started ordering other sample products like shirts, socks, and night lights that we will have for sale in our shop.
We have been experimenting with decoctions of Reishi and Chaga fungi in order to create some functionally medicinal teas.
Mike Lake of Lake Graphics, who provided an ink drawing of a samurai character for our coloring book, has been hired to create images for the Dao de Mogu Warriors. A comic book-like presentation of the nutritive and medicinal values of the mushrooms we’ll be growing. We will have poster sized versions on display in our building and for sale in our shop as well.
The Helderberg Mountain Brewing Company event on August 22nd featuring a performance by Mr Days was a great success. We gave 2 brief set break presentations about what we are working on, had tables set up with mushroom books and products and raised $150 in donations.
The GoFundMe fundraiser has been closed and we collected a whopping $6550! We are so grateful for your generosity and support! Digital copies of the coloring book collection are on the way to everyone who provided an email address, and the distribution of tote bags and actual edible mushrooms will proceed once we get growing and open up shop.
During August, Ed worked with the Chef’s consortium at a dinner for the Agricultural Stewardship Association which fed nearly 300 guests and we were able to get postcards with our information inserted into every gift bag. Other chefs who participated also brought postcards back with them to distribute to friends and family.
On September 1st, Avery gave a talk on Mushrooms, Collar City Mushrooms, and the interconnectedness of everything during a physically distanced tiny house tea talk following a yoga class at Stable Gate Farms. This intimate gathering resulted in a possible mushroom farm volunteer, a potential 70 acre wooded plot to explore and forage, and another invitation to give a talk in the near future!
Our August Competition Winner:
Pam Donahue received a digital copy of our coloring book for participating in the where are we now competition.
Mushroom of the month:
Giant Puffball (Calvatia gigantea)
This mushroom can grow so huge. It can be found from August through October in the northeast. If you find one that is solid white all throughout it is fair game to consume! Just make sure you peel the outer rubbery skin off first. We made several different recipes with them this year so far.
- Giant Puffball Parm (just follow your favorite Chicken / Eggplant Parm recipe)
- Sauteed with cremini, shiitake, and onions
- Fried as cutlets in olive oil and butter with a sprig of thyme and a garlic clove.
During September, while we prepare to move into the building at 333 Second Ave, we will continue to work with our architect and the Troy Building Department so that we can begin building as soon as we sign the lease. Meanwhile, we are setting up a second grow tent to experiment with environmental controls and refine our transfer and myceliation processes. Once we get keys, we will begin fruiting madly!