The Imaginary Farmer produces innovative mushroom growing kits, spawn, and supplies. We make our kits using locally- and regionally-produced materials. Our mushrooms include our own strains of species native to our farm and neighborhood in the Chenango River Valley of Central New York. We began marketing our first locally-native oyster mushroom strain, Hantana Phoenix(TM), in early 2010.
Through our kits, educational materials, and events we promote mushroom growing using highly sustainable, locally-appropriate techniques. By promoting the growth and consumption of locally-native gourmet and medicinal mushrooms we hope to expand the range of food crops that can be sustainably and profitably grown in our region - and to share the pleasure of growing and consuming these little-known native mushrooms.
Our commitment to sustainability is fundamental to what we do. talk a little bit about some of the things we do here at TIF to reduce our negative impact on the natural environment, and what more we plan to do in the future.
We power all our lab, production, office and shipping work with renewably-sourced electricity from The Energy Cooperative of America. We use only organic materials and methods sourced as locally as possible. For packaging and shipping we only use reusable, recyclable, or compostable materials (we may reuse plastic packaging materials from shipments that we have received). Customers can reuse the bubble wrap we sometimes use to protect spawn from extreme temperatures. It is recyclable, although unfortunately not all recycling facilities accept it.
Our products consist primarily of organically-grown or recyclable/reusable/compostable materials, except for the filter bag in our GIY kits. We recently figured out how to make the kit work with only one bag instead of two, which we think is pretty nifty. Because you, the customer, add the water and mix up the GIY kits yourself, they weigh half as much as the typical pre-colonized bulk units, requiring less fuel to ship - for a smaller carbon footprint.
In the future we plan to offer spawn in fully-recyclable containers. We consider this an exciting new development and will report more about it as the project progresses. We will also produce more substrate materials from plants that grow right here on the farm, so we can exercise even greater quality control.
We welcome comments, questions, and suggestions, so don't hesitate to contact us. We'd love to hear from you!