Spore Downpour – Forage :: SRQ Magazine Article by Britt Mattie


There’s a “Mushroom Spaceship” filled with awesome mushrooms arriving at Bradenton Riverwalk, and Petrichor Mushrooms is the captain.

Best friends duo and mushroom growers, Micheal Shea and Howard Schmidt of Petrichor Mushrooms, are ready to take off. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

Hop in the saddle and prepare to step into Petrichor Mushroom’s reimagined shipping container and grow facility, where they’ll grow and sell a mix of exotic and funk mushroom species you’ll be hard-pressed to find on local. grocery store shelves. Urban Farm / Supplier Petrichor — named to coincide with the ethereal word meaning “the pleasant, rich, earthy smell that comes after a rain on dry ground” —is run by best friend duo Micheal Shea and Howard Schmidt. Friendly foragers say the fungi grow from damp earth like tulips all the way across the forest floor, or bark from damp logs after a good soaking – themselves making spores that act like rain seeds to spread. the mycelium. The name certainly holds vernacular value in their pursuit.


Pet ri chor (name)

– a pleasant smell which frequently accompanies the first rains after a long period of hot and dry weather.

As Suncoast’s new go-to source of organic and gourmet mushrooms, launched in March 2021, Petrichor is growing in popularity at Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch Farmers’ Markets. And the city’s revered local chefs want a piece of their superfood specimens too, full of endless culinary potential and adding an alternative vegan “wow” factor to their menus. That doesn’t even include the almost cult community of mycofiles (mushroom lovers), foragers, hipsters, vegans, vegetarians, health freaks and oriental medicine fanatics who sniff out Petrichor’s magical tricks. And to be clear, we’re not actually talking about Psilocybin, the psychedelic mushroom meant to bring a wandering, hallucinogenic journey into nature. But, the things they carry certainly have their own magical nature in their chemical makeup, reaping a long list of positive health benefits to nourish our bodies and brains. For starters, they’re low in calories but high in protein and fiber, explain Shea and Schmidt before going into some more cheesy speech and details. With over 10,000 varieties of fungi in the wild, and over 600 of them edible for humans, their multicellular composition varies among varieties, containing an abundance of trace elements and micronutrients such as potassium, copper and selenium, as well as antioxidants. which help fight free radicals in the body and folate which helps with prenatal health. Recent studies even explore how fungi protect our brain cells and even fight and cure cancer.

Photo courtesy of @petrichormushrooms


These trending conversations, plus the popular new documentary Fantastic mushrooms on Netflix, has surely helped generate a high supply and demand for exotic mushrooms. Shortly after launch, Shea and Schmidt were selling their fruiting mushroom bodies as they grew them, quickly realizing that they had already passed their small converted room, measuring just 45 square feet. They needed a more spacious habitat to continue their augmented mycological journey. With the authorization and financing of urban agriculture, Petrichor will transport its laboratory imitating nature to a new space with controlled humidity, temperature and carbon dioxide. A filtration system will continue to monitor the intake and exhaust so that delicate mushrooms receive just the right amount of fresh air. Although compact in its previous space, Petrichor was able to produce 500-600 pounds of fresh produce each month. Soon they want to see that number proliferate to 1,000 pounds. Currently offering around 12 types of mushrooms, that number will likely also increase once they can move into the “spaceship,” which will reside at their friend’s dual lot property where their newly opened food truck, Spare Kitchen, is. parked near the extension of the Bradenton Riverwalk. Shea and Schmidt say they’ll often team up with their friend to whip up fresh mushroom dishes for those who may be intimidated or don’t know how to use them in their own kitchens. Shea shares a fantastic alternative to the bacon the duo is frying with their pearl black oyster mushrooms – a variety designed, cultivated to mimic the popular but difficult-to-grow royal trumpet – or, by baking Lion’s Mane crab cakes, giving you flavor and the mouth feel of a real crab cake. The difference lies in its brain-stimulating and wholesome powers.

Photo courtesy of @petrichormushrooms


Occasionally find Petrichor’s baby mushrooms on the menus of local restaurants such as Indigenous, Decks Plate, Ka Papa, Jennings Downtown Provisions, and Meliora, which will be opening soon. And you don’t have to wait for it to rain to get their robust medicinal powders and teas from Chaga, Turkey Tail and Reishi, aka the “Mushroom of Mortality,” by catching them every weekend at the Farmers Market. from Bradenton on Saturday. or the Sunday Farmer’s Market at Lakewood Ranch. There, funky Petrichor loot is up for grabs, as well as fresh and dried varieties from all over the United States including: wild-harvested black trumpet, premium porcini, wild-harvested matsutake, European shitake. , wild-harvested lobster, and morel (the labels describe each mushroom’s unique tasting notes, texture, and best type of dish to use). In the meantime, watch for the spacecraft’s planned landing in mid-November, where they will open its doors to other Earthlings daily.

Keep up to date with the launch of the “Mushroom Spaceship” on Petrichor’s social media. You can also svarieties of dried hops, teas and booty here.


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