It’s a crisp late summer evening in August, 2018. My wife and I are headed to the CSU Opera House in Downtown Denver to hear an inspiring talk about fungi and mycology. The man giving the talk (one of the most renowned speakers of today) appeared months earlier on one of the most influential podcasts of today, “The Joe Rogan Experience”… Paul Stamets, would be the man who would spark the Shroom Boom and our journey towards Mycotopia.
The theatre was crowded, and we were lucky enough to have gotten balcony seating as there was a giant overhead projector displaying an array of fantastic fungi. Sold out crowd murmuring to dead silence was the prelude to the lecture and a strong aroma of Cannabis lingered in the air. The man, the myth and the legend, walked out onto the stage and started with a warning to the masses in the audience that they were in for a cerebral rollercoaster. The talk was intellectual, comical and very provocative – “paradigm-shifting” as it was called by the great Mr. Stamets. There was a meet and greet in the lobby afterword. My wife and I had the pleasure of thanking Paul, shaking his hand and getting an autograph or two. This moment in time marks the beginning of the “Shroom Boom” here in Denver, Colorado.
In the following weeks, Fresh from the Farm Fungi began to breathe! The brand new company had been getting some hits for baskets of oysters on craigslist here and there, but for the first time some markets began to reach out to us. Luckily, we had been preparing hard for this day, and had been growing an abundance of oyster mushrooms. Oysters are beautiful mushrooms and very fun to grow. They take on a rigor like no other saprophyte and can withstand the swings of temperature and humidity which is important when learning to grow fungi. Our oysters were a big hit in a local co-op and thus began the start of a deep relationship with our first customers and our first fungi. We also had a lot of inquiries about Lion’s Mane and after taking a trip up to Niagara Falls, NY to meet up with an old friend and tenured mushroom farmer, we had acquired our first Herecium erinaceusaka Lions Mane mushroom. This is now one of the most popular varieties because of its health benefits and flavor profile.
From spring time oysters, to late spring lions mane, our journey has reached a new height in mid-summer. So many people, one year after the great Shroom Boom began with Paul Stamets’ lecture, are now becoming myco enthusiests. This is the health boost that people have been craving for. Not only are mushrooms delicious, but they offer a huge array of health benefits and that will be a focal point of our next step along the journey to Mycotopia.