By Ben Coxworth
Like most foods, mushrooms are best when fresh … but it can be difficult to grow them yourself. Shrooly is designed to help, by automatically providing the best conditions for pre-inoculated mushroom-growing pods.
Currently the subject of an Indiegogo campaign, the UK-designed Shrooly device itself features a physical switch and an e-paper display on one side, and can be controlled via a dedicated app. It works with pods supplied by the Shrooly company, which have been inoculated with the spores of different types of edible mushrooms.
Users start by placing one of the pods (also known as a fruiting block) inside the device, and adding some water. They then utilize the app to select the type of mushroom, after which they simply switch the machine on. It proceeds to maintain the proper humidity, full-spectrum light levels and ventilation, reportedly growing a harvestable crop of mushrooms in seven to 10 days.
During that period, the epaper display conveys information such as the temperature inside the device, and the estimated time left before harvesting can commence. Depending on the type of mushroom, each pod can grow between one and three batches.
Varieties of mushrooms currently being offered include maitake, lion’s mane, king oyster, turkey tail, shiitake, chestnut, yellow oyster, pink oyster and cordyceps. Users can also try growing other types from third-party fruiting blocks, utilizing the app to manually set the growing conditions.
Assuming Shrooly reaches production, a pledge of €279 (about US$298) will get you one – the planned retail price is €419 ($448) and the growing pods are $12 each. Potential backers might also want to check out the successfully crowdfunded Mella mushroom-growing system, which goes for $429.
“Boys, raise giant mushrooms in your cellar for fun and profit!”