Happy New Year to our mushroom loving friends & family!
We are officially past the 6 month mark! We have been growing and building and our mycelia are starting to form primordia! Our full complement of myceliating mushrooms is just waiting to be opened in our grow rooms. We will have Grow Room 2 online as of Wednesday the 13th of January! All the components for the 3 full scale humidifiers have been procured and we have tested the prototype. We are ready to scale up!
During the month of December we successfully fruited both shiitake and pioppino mushrooms! During the beginning of January our white oysters and maitake have started popping as well!
The new plumbing and electrical updates are nearly complete throughout the entire building and a representative from Steris corporation has finally come and taken a look at our full size autoclave.
We are encountering a few logistical challenges in getting off the ground, entirely financial in nature. The cost of securing the building was far greater than we had planned, delays in getting our construction finished has increased the length of time it has taken to start earning significant income, and paying full time salaries without grossing our expected sales has really shortened our runway. We have made the decision to seek some financing in order to extend our operability without income time. Another hurdle we’ll have to leap, but one that is not impossible!
At the end of December we were interviewed by the Albany Business Review! This first major PR independent of our direct action has garnered quite a few solicitations by various other industries offering support, as well as an increase in followers on our social media platforms.
As we near the end of our construction phase we have begun to bring in volunteers to help clean, build shelves, and assist with painting. So many people have offered their hands and time and we have scheduled them in small groups in order to maintain Covid safe practices.
Collar City Mushrooms is looking forward to big things in 2021. With our first three grow rooms fully operational we will be able to fulfill regular restaurant deliveries, actually make a push to advertise, and open our storefront for guests!
There was no competition in December and starting today through February 11th we are running a raffle! Tickets can be purchased in person at our shop (please arrange for a time to come in until we are fully opened) or virtually (by messaging Collar City Mushrooms through Facebook, Instagram, or email email@example.com).
The prizes are: a beautiful birch-craft bag by Mark Catman, a custom painted cork mushroom decoration, a jar of porcini salt made by our very own Ed Braley III, and a half pound of whatever oyster mushrooms happen to be in stock when the winner arranges to pick up their items! Valued at over $300, tickets are only $10 each, or 3 for $25.
Mushroom of the month:
King Oyster (Pleurotus eryngii)
The King Oyster, or King Trumpet Mushroom is in the pleurotus family, meaning they are high in protein and unsaturated fats, Iron, Potassium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin D2 and D4, plus a host of other nutritive minerals. This Functional Fungi is purported to promote good blood health, assist in regulating cholesterol, and acts to relax joints and muscles!
It’s also incredibly tasty! It is a dense mushroom. It can be sauteed, roasted, fried, or marinated. We made a mushroom bacon by slicing it thin and soaking it in a marinade for an hour then frying it in a dry pan. We also made an incredibly delicious recipe out of Becky Selengut’s cookbook, Shroom: Mind-bendingly Good Recipes for Cultivated and Wild Mushrooms. We made the King Trumpet Scallops with Carrot Purée, Leek, and Parsley Vinaigrette and had a side of roasted golden potatoes with onion. Wowza, was it good!
We are planning a ribbon cutting and virtual tour in early February! So stay tuned!
Avery has been asked to participate in a TEDx Talk coming up on February 27th through the Berne Town Library. The talk, entitled “Helderberg Fungi and the Way Mycelium Spreads” will discuss how Avery developed his love of fungi and the science of growing mushrooms!