Growing our space and building out new equipment
First, we want to thank all our customers for their amazing support and for making our journey and growth possible. Without your support, we could not continue to build our dream of providing fresh local mushrooms to our community, sustainability, education, and healthy food options to our customers. Because of you, we are able to continue to grow our business, provide jobs to our community, and grow amazing mushrooms.
Much like the mycelia that MyCo Planet is named for, our business is growing. This month, we were able to sign a new lease and almost double our space in North Kansas City. We are grateful to John, our landlord, for being so supportive of what we do.
As part of our expansion plans, we will be adding a new storefront to our farm. This will be a place where we can have the public come and meet us and buy fresh mushrooms, mushroom powders, or mushroom grow kits directly from us. We will continue to sell mushrooms through our great partners at Local Pig, Green Acres, and URBAVORE Farm But now, our customers will have another location to pick up freshly harvested lion’s mane mushrooms, blue oyster mushrooms, Italian oyster mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, and of course maitake mushrooms.
The Storefront isn’t the only new space we are adding. Our beautiful building at 1534 Burlington St. North Kansas City also has a large open area right in front of our new store front and Pickwick and Co Candles. We will be installing a new grow room with a window to the lounge. Enjoy the amazon smells of Pickwick’s candles and watch our mushrooms grow in our comfy lounge.
New Mushroom Cultivation Equipment
The Fenrir Mushroom BaggerThe other major news this month, we are getting new mushroom cultivation equipment! We are currently trying out the new Fenrir bagging system by Cap n Stem Mushrooms. We installed this last week and we are currently playing with it to get the settings just right. The Fenrir bagger will allow us to have more flexibility in how we create our mushroom growing bags and mushroom grow kits. Currently we use one size for both. With the Fenrir, we can easily modify size as well as many other things such as substrate moisture content, bag moisture content, and ratios of material. We still have some bugs to work out but so far, it looks like its going to be a great addition to our farm.
New Mushroom Steam Sterilizer
Along with our new Fenrir system, we are looking at some different sterilization options. Working closely with Dave Ruckel at DR Fabrications, we have built a new steam generation system to help streamline our mushroom substrate sterilization. Dave is an amazing partner and a fellow North Kansas Citian who maintains a meat free diet. MyCo Planets fresh mushrooms have become a large part of his meals and we are grateful to have him for a customer and a partner.
The steam generator design we chose is based on the steam generator designed by Tom Brain at Oak & Spore. With Dave’s help, we have made a few changes to optimize materials and reduce waste in the metal cutting process. We are experimenting with a modular steam sterilization approach that will use upcycled food grade steel drums. We hope that it works well. It will provide us greater modularity, a more sustainable approach, and cost savings that we can pass on to our amazing customers.
Next steps (more than just fresh mushrooms)
While we continue to grow, we always try to take time to thank everyone, you have made this journey possible so far. That includes our families for their support, our friends for helping out when we need them, our community for embracing what we are doing, and most of all, our customers.
We will be working hard on the updates over the next few months and can’t wait to share our progress with you. Once the build out is finalized, we hope to provide tours of the farm weekly and provide classes where you can learn how to up your mushroom growing skills at home. We can’t wait to have you at our ever expanding urban mushroom farm right here in Kansas City. Thank you to everyone. Please support us by purchasing some of our great products at our store here.