While I’m not a mushroom eater – they’re slimy and weird-looking pieces of mold – I’m all for growing them at home because, well, mushrooms are slimy weird-looking pieces of mold.
And, from the looks of it, I (and the mycophiles among us) may soon have another option to become a small-scale mushroom farmer with a home mushroom fruiting chamber called the Shrooly. The new gadget is currently being offered up through a new Indiegogo campaign and is scheduled to start shipping to backers in December of this year.
The appliance, which is available starting at $299 on Indiegogo, is a countertop home growing chamber with light and humidity control. The appliance has on-device control knob and a small display screen that gives updates on the mushroom’s growth, temperature data, and how long until the mushroom is ready for harvest. The Shrooly will also have an app that allows the user to control humidity and monitor the growth of the mushroom.
Shrooly users will grow mushrooms from pods that feature a variety of different types of shrooms, ranging from Maitake to Shiitake to Cordyceps. Once a user puts a pod into the chamber, the mushroom takes about five or so days to grow big enough to be harvested. Each mushroom pod will cost $12. Shrooly owners will also be able to use third-party growing blocks.
Spoon readers may remember a similar concept from GE’s innovation arm and microfactory FirstBuild, the Mella. The two chambers are similar, but the Shrooly has a bit slicker-looking design and what looks like smaller countertop footprint. The two appliances are similarly priced, with the Mella going for $419 compared with the Shrooly’s standard price of $440.
While we haven’t quite seen the same level of proliferation of mushroom home grow chambers as we saw with countertop leafy-green grow systems a few years ago, two in the span of less than a year might be the start of a trend. For those who actually want to generate food for consumption with a small footprint countertop appliance, I actually think mushroom chambers make more sense. Mushrooms can be quite large and they have fairly quick grow cycles, which similar-sized countertop veggie-grow machines really only produce herbs or leafy greens like lettuce.
As always, we have to caution that crowdfunded appliances have a history of delays and sometimes never showing up at all. But, the mushroom heads out there, the Shrooly might be worth taking a shot on.