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‘We’re right next to the CBD’: Mushroom crops in shipping containers allow growers to supply local

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‘We’re right next to the CBD’: Mushroom crops in shipping containers allow growers to supply local

A fascination with fungi is helping Queenslanders manufacture an income after losing work to COVID-19 and the drought. 

Key points:

  • Interest in mushroom farming is growing, as recent growing programs emege
  • Little-scale growers are supplying them to local markets and restaurants 
  • There’s increasing particular person inquire of for locally grown imprint

Tucked away about 13 kilometres from the Mackay CBD, Samara Galloway and Bret Garrity grow mushrooms in a shipping container, housing stacks of white buckets flooded in blue gentle. 

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It’s a a ways notify from what most vegetable farms survey like — but everything has been space up for a reason. 

“Or no longer it’s humidity-managed with a humidifier that is pumping a total lot of water into the air,” Ms Galloway stated. 

“In a natural ambiance, when they’re growing on the woodland floor, the bushes would be pulling all of the red gentle out of the daylight and it’s the blue gentle that is getting to the woodland floor.”

“So, all the circumstances are trying to replicate their circumstances in the natural ambiance.”

A close up view of an oyster mushroom. It's cream coloured and wavy, growing on a bucket. Illuminated with purple lights

Samara Galloway and Bret Garrity grow oyster mushrooms together with other kinds.(

ABC Rural: Melanie Groves

)

They had been working in tourism when the coronavirus pandemic struck and decided to use recent-came upon time to pursue their ardour of growing mushrooms. 

“I’ve continually been interested in fungi, from hiking and travelling around the world,” Mr Garrity stated. 

“We in truth journey it and find fungi fascinating and how valuable it’s miles for the ambiance.”

Drought-hardy slit 

Further south on the Queensland wing at Tinana advance Maryborough, Kim and David Hunt started growing mushrooms final yr in its set slit that uses less water. 

Two older people smile while holding a cardboard tray of mushrooms.

Kim and Dave Hunt started growing mushrooms as the drought used to be impacting their lime orchard. (

ABC Rural: Megan Hughes

)

The couple built six coldrooms next to their lime orchard and harvested their first slit in October. 

Like Mr Garrity and Ms Galloway,  the Hunts’ heart of attention is to supply locally. 

“Our business map right from the beginning used to be to supply locally to the Fraser Flee,” Ms Hunt stated. 

“We attain three markets per week — Nikenbah, Urangan Pier and Maryborough markets and moreover recount to some restaurants.

“Our map is to bear very recent, very local and to retain it local — with everything that is came about with COVID-19, I think reasonably a few of us bear considered more imprint in buying stuff that is local.” 

Four shelves of mushrooms planted in plastic covered soil stand in a foggy room. The image appears ominous

Mushrooms are grown in very particular environments which would possibly possibly possibly well be temperature and humidity managed.(

ABC Rural: Megan Hughes

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Trialling entertaining kinds

The Hunts mainly grow Swiss brown and white button mushrooms, but they bear experimented with varied kinds. 

“We attain need to breeze into other kinds — entertaining or gourmet kinds — shiitake, oyster mushrooms, lion’s mane,” Mr Hunt stated. 

A large white mushrooms shaped like a cloud grows from a plastic soil filled bag. It's made up of tiny white filaments

Kim and Dave Hunt are experimenting with varied mushroom kinds including the lion’s mane.(

ABC Rural: Megan Hughes

)

“You would possibly possibly nick that [lion’s mane] and cook dinner it like steak otherwise it’s seemingly you’ll possibly break it apart and it’s a puny bit like cauliflower and in the event you combine it in with pasta the texture is stringy like crab or lobster.

“It’s a ways going to be a vegetarian or vegan probability in a pasta dish that can bear a seafood form flavouring but no longer bear any of the crab or meat in it.” 

In Mackay during the moist season, Mr Garrity and Ms Galloway grew white and pink oyster mushrooms as they can arise to the larger temperatures. 

Ms Galloway stated there used to be increasing inquire of for sustainable and locally grown imprint. 

“They is also grown in such excessive-density, low-house urban environments.

“We’re right next to the CBD. We can bear a transport out in half an hour. We’re off-grid with our space-up, our buckets are reusable, we attain are attempting to restrict our impacts.”

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‘We’re right next to the CBD’: Mushroom crops in shipping containers allow growers to supply local

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