Grow Your Own Organic Oyster Mushrooms With 'Grow The Funguy'

Grow The Fun Guy
Grow The Fun GuyGrow The Fun Guy

From reports of Chinese soldiers infiltrating the Indian border for cordyceps fungus to lifestyle experts predicting 2023 to be the year of the ‘shroom boom’ and there is a renewed interest in the benefits of fungi. Supplements, extracts, and even mushroom-derived drinks are gaining in popularity on a global scale, going so far that it is being called the new ‘CBD’. The demand for mushrooms as a medicine, when combined with adaptogens as well as a nutrient-rich source of protein is furthering this popularity. According to research, the Indian mushroom market is expected to show a compound annual growth rate of 7.6% over the next 5 years. 

Having discovered their many benefits, Adam Shamsudheen is a software developer from Thrissur who started cultivating oyster mushrooms. In 2021, he started his formal venture into the shroom industry with his wife Raeesa. He started Grow The Fun Guy which sells easy-to-grow organic oyster mushroom kits that can be harvested within 10 days. 

While many love the rich umami flavour of mushrooms, acquiring high-quality organic mushrooms is not all that easy. For those who are looking to grow high-quality mushrooms at home, Grow The Fun Guy takes care of the hard parts of setting up the right environment to grow mushrooms and makes it easier. 

The brand’s focus is essentially on highlighting the benefits of mushrooms as a crop and promoting its usage to interested people but in a simple way. For Adam, "The most interesting part of doing this work is seeing people growing mushrooms at home. We’ve sent our kits to places like Kashmir, Himachal, Mumbai, and more. It’s really interesting to hear the excitement from people about how their mushrooms are doing. A lot of people are also using the kits to get their children excited about growing things on their own. We even see people who start with our grow kits go on to growing bigger mushrooms at a bigger scale.” 

Filled with a block of sawdust and soybean that is colonized with mycelium, the brand creates the perfect substrate for growing mushrooms. All one has to do is fill up the spray bottle and keep the substrate humid. All one has to do is open the package and follow the instructions to keep the kit hydrated throughout the day. Currently, the brand offers two variants of grow kit for organic oyster mushrooms — Pink (Pleurotus Djamor) and White (Hypsigus Ulmarius). While the kit is sure to provide a definite flush of mushrooms the first time, with continued care one should be able to get two or three flushes of mushrooms from the same kit. Each of their grow kit is also accompanied by a detailed instruction booklet, journal, activity card, and even recipe and nutrition cards and stickers. 

Through his work with Grow The Fun Guy, Adam is hoping to help the benefits of mushrooms reach more people. In addition to the grow kits, they also have their own grow medium — mush pellets, that are being increasingly used by other mushroom farmers. They are also hoping to provide more educational content on the benefits of mushrooms and the ease of growing them, especially with space or resource limitations. Adam went on to say, "Our plan for the future is to add more grow kits and to educate more people on mushrooms. Even if they don’t have the space, or they want to grow their farms, we are hoping to help them in the process. We are also seeking to make mushrooms more accessible to people as well. While there are many variants available in a developed nation, we still only have one or two variants of mushrooms that are available in our grocery stores. We also hope to educate more people about medicinal benefits and how they can truly improve their lives. Through our Youtube channel, we are working towards this."

This venture has received preliminary approval from under the Centre’s Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana which funds startups that are innovative in the agri-entrepreneurship category. With the growing demand for their DIY kits, the brand hopes to introduce more variants of mushrooms into the mix. Reishi, Lions Mane, and Turkey Tail are nutrient-rich mushrooms that they hope to start selling soon. Some of these mushroom variants can be used to create teas that provide nutritional benefits such as improving stress response and gut health. 

If you are someone who loves shroom supplements, is a fan of the savoury flavour of good quality mushrooms, or simply wants to try your hand at growing mushrooms at home, GrowTheFunGuy is a great way to get started. 

You can stay tuned to their content via their Instagram. 

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