We were recently approached by the makers of The Food Programme on BBC Radio 4 to ask if we could provide them with a Kitchen Garden kit so they could grow their own mushrooms at home, while researching and making a radio programme about the world of mushrooms. I wasn’t sure how effective this would be as our mushrooms are a lot more visual than audio!
Dan Saladino’s programme offered some amazing insights to how the mushroom industry is evolving in the UK and included a whole range of experts – from Europe’s largest mushroom producer, a spawn supplier, mushroom wholesaler and a mushroom street-food chef – and alongside all this, to bring the theory to life, he was growing a Pearl Oyster Kitchen Garden at home and updating us on its progress!
We were happy for Dan that he managed a nice mushroom sauté with our oyster mushrooms at the end of the show – but the most amazing thing for us was to feature in the same programme as the legendary Paul Stamets!
Paul Stamets is the authority on mushrooms in the world! If you’re not one of the 2.6 million people who have watched his TED talk then definitely check it out. Stamets has also written a couple of the ‘go to’ books in the world of mushroom cultivation – Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms was our first purchase from the company account about 3 years ago and Robbie has memorised every page.
Towards the end of The Food Programme show – around 26 mins (but listen to the whole thing!) Paul is asked about why people should grow their own mushrooms – and this is what he said:
“Its fun, its fabulous science experiment, is mesmerising, magical, kids are incredibly excited and the mushrooms are so tasty!
You can eat them at different stages of the lifecycle – the range of flavours changes as the mushrooms mature, and then because you’re getting them so fresh, many many many people when they grow mushrooms for the first time say – “I never knew they looked like this!” – because they’re so fresh compared to the mushrooms you buy from stores which can be 4 days old.
Mushrooms in their most pristine conditions gives you the best culinary experience – and indeed it’s a cultural experience too.”
We certainly couldn’t have put it better – and the sound of Dan frying up our home grown mushrooms in the background made us very happy! You can listen to the mushroom edition of BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme here
Buoyed by this inspiring programme, I was lucky enough to be invited to the Share Radio studios to talk with presenter Georgie Frost about our experiences as a fledgling business and journey to get to where we are now.
I brought a 7-day-old Hot Pink Kitchen Garden with me which that challenged Georgie and Anna’s descriptive vocabularly, but am pleased to report Georgie looked after their “mascot” and ate it within 2 days!
You can listen to the interviews in two parts below.
And if you’re still interested – there’s Part 2 here…
Hopefully you’ll find our journey interesting – although Alex certainly isn’t as eloquent as Paul Stamets!
If this has made you want to try growing your own mushrooms – make your way to our Shop page where we have a limited number of hand made Kitchen Gardens for sale!