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Episode 15 - The Mysterious World of Mushrooms

Today we are on the road to Monbulk in the Yarra Valley in Victoria. That’s where you’ll find Australia’s largest range of exotic and gourmet mushrooms. Mushrooms for food and mushrooms for medicine. If this food hasn’t been for you in the past – these may go down a little differently. Some taste like macadamia nuts - others taste like lobster. And they come in all shapes and sizes – resembling coral and even lettuce. There is so much more to mushrooms than most of us realise. The founder and chief grower of Unearthed Co Mushrooms have been fascinated by this small mysterious food since he was a boy. John Ford joins me now.

  • John’s favourite place on the farm is the foggy mushroom grow-room.

  • The art of growing mushrooms and the requirements for mushroom growth.

  • Native mushrooms in Australia and the indigenous knowledge that was lost after colonisation.

  • John’s passion for Mushrooms began with scouring local forest floors as a teenager.

  • The impact of seasons, weather and the elements on growth cycles.

  • John started his career as a Marine Scientist but made the switch to the land.

  • Interesting varieties - from the more well-known ones like shiitake and king oyster to small orange, slimy button mushrooms.

  • The abalone mushroom is highly prized - winning John the ultimate trophy in the “From the Earth” in the 2021 Delicious Produce Awards.

  • John’s favourite variety and best way to eat them.

  • We explore the benefits of medicinal mushrooms and the health properties associated.

  • John is working on permission to grow a wider range to be used for medicinal purposes here in Australia.

  • Mushrooms and their fundamental role in the ecosystem.

  • The most unexpected thing to happen in the grow rooms.

  • Being independent, building teams and growing mushrooms all bring joy for John.

  • The most common misconception of Mushrooms.

  • The ultimate dream for the future of Unearthed Co. Mushrooms.

We hope to see you back on the road soon, to learn more about how Australia grows on the next episode of Australian Farmers with Angie Asimus.



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