All the fruit

Wonky Vegetables and our Most Unusually Shaped Mushrooms

During Zero Waste Week I read about the shocking statistics that world wide over 40% of fruit and vegetables will go to waste before the reach consumers – some of this is due to inefficient production methods and poor infrastructure, however according to the Soil Association between 20 – 40% of UK grown produce is discarded before it reaches the retailer purely and simply because it’s misshapen.

Ugly Carrot from Ugly Fruits' recent campaign

Ugly Carrot from Ugly Fruits’ recent campaign

This fantastic article in Guardian Sustainable Business goes into more detail, highlighting the environmental impacts of such cosmetic reasons for the food waste. They also highlight some excellent initiatives from Feeding the 5000 and the inspiring story of Ugly Fruit, a Berlin based catering business who are on a mission to save misshapen produce and turn the tables, presenting it as a more attractive, connoisseur’s choice – have look at their recent campaign here.

That got us thinking about some for the amazing shapes the our mushrooms can grow in.
As well as the more textbook ones used in our packshots, you’ll see from our Hall of Fame that our customers grow them in all shapes and sizes.

 

 

long fat mushroom slices

long fat mushroom slices in frying pan

So we’ve got creative with Instagram and dug out photos of some of the most unusually shaped mushrooms we’ve seen to date..

What’s amazing about the really fat mushrooms is that although here are only 5 or 6 in a bouquet, it’s quite often more grams than you’d get from an aesthetically perfect kit, and quite often the body of the mushrooms can become really juicy and rich, like a King Oyster mushroom. In fact I’ve previously sliced a juicy oyster mushroom lengthways and cooked it Korean style as you would be with the King Oyster before and it was pretty good!

some of our most wonky mushrooms!

some of our most wonky mushrooms!

“How can I get my Kitchen Garden to grow like this?” I hear you ask – well, that’s a bit of a mystery. Quite often, when oyster mushrooms are growing in an environment that’s too hot, or lacks sufficient fresh air, the cap can stop growing, while the body continues to. This can cause the top to fold over on itself and the body to become quite bulbous – but this isn’t always the cause. If you do manage to grow big fat oyster mushrooms, it’s not unusual for the second harvest to actually be quite “normal” looking so you could end up with the best of both worlds!

More of our favourite Monster Mushrooms are posted here from last Halloween.

Food for thought!

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