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