A Guelph, Ont. duo has brought agriculture to the city’s downtown core by starting a farm inside the Old Quebec Street mall. Co-owners Nykole Crevits and Karl Fellbaum have science backgrounds but didn’t expect to find themselves in this unique field.

“I never pictured myself growing up to be a mushroom farmer, let alone a mushroom farmer in a mall,” Crevits said. The store specializes in mushrooms and microgreens. “We have about 8 different varieties of greens and about 11 different mushrooms on our current roster,” said Crevits.

For greens, they have speckled peas, broccoli, and red cabbage, to name a few. As for the mushrooms, they have oyster, lion’s mane, wild enoki, chestnut and more. “Not only are farming practices contributing to a lot of the carbon dioxide release, but also the amount of transportation and packaging with the amount of food, it is part of the problem as well,” Fellbaum explained. Everything grown at their farm uses hydroponics and aquaponics.

Mall farming can be tricky too. “One of the issues that we run into is all the mushrooms and all the microgreens have to be friends. So they all have to grow in the same place and same environment,” said Fellbaum.

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