As an avid amateur mycophile, discovering mushrooms in and around our forests near or far has always offered the satisfaction of a real-life Pokemon game. While we aspire to “collect them all,” the pursuit is driven more by the possibility of discovery and opportunity to photograph our fungal friends rather than any desires motivated by edibility (some of the weirdest mushrooms are unsurprisingly inedible, or at best, not choice in flavor or texture). We’ve mostly left edible mushrooms to the expertise of professional foragers and growers. But the UK-designed Shrooly mushroom growing system presents a convincing option that has piqued our interest in growing some our favorite varieties from the convenience of our own home.
By now you’ve probably seen numerous similar smart home hydroponic produce systems utilizing programmed lighting, water, and temperature control systems to coax seeds into greens and fruits such as lettuce or strawberries. Shrooly takes a similar approach, with an app-controlled capsule system that turns spore-inoculated pods into a variety of easy to grow shrooms ($12 each), including enoki, maitake, turkey tail, lion’s mane, king oyster, shiitake, chestnut, cordyceps, yellow oysters, and the very photogenic pink oyster.
The process is simplified down to just adding water, programming the variety of mushroom pod added using a compatible app before Shrooly takes care of maintaining the ideal humidity, ventilation, and lighting levels on a daily basis. The aforementioned app and integrated e-paper display located on the side of the Shrooly unit also provides info about your shroom harvest progress during its one-week growth phase.
Weighing in at about the same as an oversized toaster, Shrooly is fairly compact and countertop friendly. It helps the system is paired with a neutral-organic mushroom palette design and cork feet/knob detailing, offering a handsome modern organic presence to keep out on display, undoubtedly inviting curious inquiries about your mushroom growing efforts in plain view. Unfortunately we can’t yet vet all the claims of the simplicity and convenience Shrooly promises, but those willing to make a $287 plunge can back their crowdsourced efforts over at Indiegogo.