Visit to Gourmet Mushrooms Inc.
As we approach spring, members of the SFPFS received a private tour of Gourmet Mushrooms’ 43,000 square-foot production facility in Sebastapol. The company’s fresh mushroom division, Mycopia Mushrooms, has earned a reputation as a key producer of niche “forest” mushrooms, with tantalizing names like Trumpet Royale, Velvet Pioppini, Nebrodini Bianco, and Maitake Frondosa.
For those who missed it, here’s a short video that walks you through the cultivation process.
The facility is certified organic and kosher, and not surprising, everything there is recycled -- from the plastic bottles where the mushrooms are grown, to the custom-blended growing substrates made from byproducts like soybeans and wood pulp, which are then composted after the harvest.
Once the substrates have been steam sterilized, mushroom mycelium is introduced to each bottle by hand. Mushrooms are grown from spawn, not spores, for consistent quality. From there, the mushrooms are placed in just the right amount of heat and humidity to optimize growing. When they are fully grown, the mushrooms are carefully harvested by hand.
Mycopia was founded in 1977 and was the first to commercially cultivate shiitake in the U.S. Mushrooms can be purchased at their Sebastopol facility at wholesale prices during working hours. The company is constanting innovating in ways to grow new varieties -- including morels. Perfect for our springtime dishes.