This is our 12th blog post!
June 1st, 2020 our LLC was officially listed with the United States Federal Government. Collar City Mushrooms is now 1 year old on the books. What an incredible adventure it has been. From inception, through creation, to operation we are continuing to grow! We appreciate all of you for being on board with us during this wild ride!
May was such a fun month! We kicked off with our first live event featuring music from the Mr Days band, 27 paintings by Amara Issel, and incredible food by our friends: Dave and Corinne.
With the increasing heat we had a few mushroom losses until we figured out better cooling in the grow rooms… but as a result, one of our shriveled and contaminated King Oyster blocks produced a few amazing fruits once put outside… and hence: Johnny Fungo was born! We’ve been having so much fun with this guy!
Our first Bliss Arts Artist Workshop was a success. 6 people were led by Amara in creating pieces incorporating texture and multiple objects.
We finally got to a place where we needed larger scale refrigeration and ordered our full size commercial cooler! We are harvesting 5 – 10 pounds of mushrooms a day, and moving most of them directly into happy stomachs!
Those mushrooms that don’t get sold (or eaten by us) are being dehydrated and powdered. We have 2 companies that will be buying them in that form for making skin care products like lotions, face masks, and scrubs! We will also be launching our line of salts, seasonings, and dried whole mushrooms during the month of June!
We secured a larger grow tent and some additional environmental control equipment. We now have a grow space dedicated to Maitake and one dedicated to Reishi.
The 4th grade classes of Rensselaer Park Elementary School attended a virtual field trip and received grow kits for their classrooms. They were so excited to learn about mushrooms, especially Cordyceps militaris (the zombie mushroom) and grow oysters right at school!
Our mushrooms are now being carried in Schenectady at the Electric City Food Co-Op, a virtual only grocery store serving the downtown Schenectady area currently operating out of the Schenectady Trading Company.
Our test Cordyceps are fruiting beautifully! We will be harvesting them soon and trying them out! The incredibly amazing Nighthawks of Troy mixologist, Amanda, is interested in creating a custom cocktail with them!
After some struggles with production, our shiitake line is now fully back in action! We were trying to fruit too soon; patience is a virtue! We are now harvesting about 10 pounds a week and we are increasing as demand increases.
We did some mushroom trend search analysis and discovered that “mushroom” searches have continued to increase over the last few years, outpacing other trend food products like seaweed, kale, and quinoa!
Collar City Mushrooms has been listed on the New York State Boces site for curriculum enrichment. We will be available to do in class / in school demonstrations, virtual field trips, as well as host classes at the farm for hands-on mycology lessons.
We were approached by the Sand Lake Gardening Club, with ties to additional local garden groups, who have asked us to speak at their gatherings and provide them with spent grow blocks for composting.
July 11th: Collar City Mushrooms will be hosting Psychedelic Sundaze: a Mushrooms, Music and tie-dye event from 12p – 3p with groovy tunes by DJ Stark Raving MOD. $5 (additional cost if you don’t have your own material to tie dye).
July 17th 5p – 7p: Our next Bliss Arts NY curated artist, Armando Soto, will have his work up starting June 26th and our live kick off event with music by Jeanine Ouderkirk along with some Puerto Rican inspired mushroom based foods will be out back rain or shine. FREE (donations encouraged)
July 24th 2p – 4p will be our Bliss Arts curated Artist workshop led by Armando! Space will be limited, reservations required.
Volunteers: if you are looking to come learn about the process of growing mushrooms and lend a hand for an hour or so it would be very much appreciated! Reach out to Kaya, our volunteer coordinator, at: firstname.lastname@example.org