Tucked inside the Madison Enterprise Center on South Baldwin Street is a farm of sorts that produces nearly 200 pounds of mushrooms a week for local restaurants and farmers markets. MicroMyco Growers formed out of pandemic-induced boredom in November 2020, said owner, mushroom cultivator, and sole employee Andrew Griffin, who graduated from UW-Madison in 2018 with a degree in economics but has no background in mycology or agriculture.
But he’s been into mushroom foraging for about a decade. “Foraging has given me an appreciation for small discreet ecosystems — the biodiversity in that specific spot,” Griffin said.
That fueled his passion for starting a business that serves 10 local restaurants and two farmers markets: Madison’s Eastside Farmers’ Market and the Monroe Street Farmers’ Market.
One Thursday inside his urban mushroom farming space, Griffin showed just how he grows and produces the fungus in a 1,400-square-foot space. “Mushrooms offer a really nice way to be able to grow food in an urban environment using unconventional materials that might just be thrown away otherwise,” he said.
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