Mushroom Matt, known outside his inner circle as Matt Solano, stands at the helm of Mycenae, a local mushroom business rooted right within the walls of his house, where he cultivates an array of gourmet and medicinal mushrooms.

All are destined to grace local plates and tinctures with freshness, flavor, and fervor. Yet, beyond mere cultivation, Solano’s mission also extends to education, passionately advocating for the understanding, utilization, and healthful properties of various mushroom species.

“For the last 20 years, I’ve been studying how to grow mushrooms. I’ve been foraging, and I’ve always been fascinated with doing it,” Solano said. “That’s the life form that gives birth to mushrooms. It’s everywhere. Everywhere you walk. It’s under the ground.”

With his 18-month-old daughter attached to his hip like a mushroom on a tree, Solano unzipped an eight-foot-high indoor grow tent dominating the dining room adjacent to his kitchen. With a flick of a switch, light-flooded his personal grow lab, revealing mason jars filled with cultures, small science puck petri dishes nurturing spores, and bags of packed grain signaling the start of another mushroom-growing cycle of mycelium.