Southwest Mushrooms is an urban mushroom farm owned and operated by Michael Crowe aka Mushroom Mike. He grows some of the most incredible gourmet mushrooms available and loves sharing his passion for mycology with others - all from inside a standard warehouse.
This isn't your typical farm and these arent typical farmers. You won't find tractors or livestock but you will find farmers. Mushroom farmers. Cultivating gourmet mushrooms from ingredients as simple as sawdust and wheat bran.
On August 24th, 2021, we celebrated Arizona's top culinary experts and their exciting restaurant concepts and products at PeddlerCon. This event was for industry professionals who forged new partnerships and tried some of the best food Arizona and California have to offer.
A lot of mushroom farming takes place in the lab. Inoculating sterile substrate and sterile grain with mushroom mycelium. Working with liquid culture and grain spawn to expand the mycelium for large-scale mushroom production.
These gourmet mushrooms are wood-loving species, meaning they don't grow in dirt or soil. Normally these mushrooms would be found in nature growing off of trees. To simulate that environment, sawdust is used as a nutritious substrate for mushroom cultivation.
Mycelium is the vegetative part of mushrooms. It's the biomass that feeds on waste and creates a network of fibrous matter. Growing and expanding this mycelium is one of the first steps in mushroom cultivation but instead of dirty soil, you need an extremely clean sterile environment for success.
In this episode "Mushroom Mike" shows the last steps of mushroom cultivation by loading and harvesting mushroom production blocks. While this is the end of the mushroom lifecycle, it's just the beginning of their culinary journey in soups, stews, sautees, and more!