Hello February! Wow. I really can’t believe it. From making the decision to fully dedicate myself to mushrooms in May, to actually opening a storefront… this has been such an incredible ride so far, and I know it will only get better as we grow and evolve!
January was a month with many ups and downs. As construction was winding down and growing was ramping up, the team was exposed to COVID-19 and had to quarantine. 2 weeks of downtime at home, getting some back-end financial work and organizing in and we are all fully back at it!
Our Amsco sterilizer is in place, wired up, plumbed, and ready to be turned on! The Steris Tech will be coming Thursday the 11th to fire it up for the first time. This larger scale autoclave will allow each run of substrate bags to increase from 11 at a time to 30! Nearly tripling our production capacity!
We harvested our first crop of Maitake (Hen-of-the-woods / Grifola Frondosa).
Our lab space is fully operational! Here is Amy and Nick, one of our dedicated volunteers, doing the first few transfers.
All electrical work is done. All plumbing is done. All painting is done. Basically everything that we needed to do has been completed and we officially received our Certificate of Occupancy. In fact, we had our first day of being open to the public!
Grow room 2 is fully online. Grow room 3 just needs 4 more pieces of Vinyl on the walls. Our Show Room Grow Room (Grow Room 1) still needs the floor to be finished and we can’t afford the tile just yet, but that is on the horizon once we secure some additional funding!
Otherwise, construction is just down to details and trim. What a fast and furious few months that was… as much as I enjoy building, I am very glad it is finally over and I can get back to growing mushrooms!
Mushroom of the month:
Pioppino (Cyclocybe aegerita)
This crisp little mushroom is a delightful addition to any dish. Simmered in a bit of water, then adding some olive oil and garlic really makes these tiny gems pop! A little lighter on the nutraceutical scale, they have a bit of protein, a smidge of fiber, and very few calories. We added them to risotto, linguine alfredo, and just ate them as a side dish! They were a new mushroom for me and I love to watch them grow in dense carpets of mostly uniform little clusters!
There was no competition in January while we advertised for our ongoing raffle. Tickets are available through February 11th and can be purchased in person at our shop during regular business hours 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.
Stay tuned for our ribbon cutting event! With the COVID-19 encounter we had to push it back, but it is being scheduled and should happen before the end of the month.
The TEDx Talk is 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!
We are now fully open and our hours of operation are being settled, so keep an eye on facebook and our website as we determine what hours are best to staff the front end for sales. For certain we will be open Saturday 10am to 2pm and Sunday 12pm to 3pm. Most likely we will also be open Wednesday through Friday. We hope to see you soon!