Mushrooms are great; they can do everything. They clean up the environment, they help introduce nutrients into soil, and they taste great too. But a recent discovery by biologists and mushroom farmers could have dramatic implications for you and your mushroom kit: mushrooms are now being used to build. We’re not talking about one gigantic mushroom that can be hollowed out and made into a house like in some fantasy movies. People are actually making bricks out of mushrooms and building structures out of them. And the amazing thing is, they’re stronger than concrete.
The Process of Mushroom Building
These bricks aren’t made out of the fleshy part of a mushroom, like the cap or the stem. They’re actually made out of the ‘roots’ of the mushrooms, also known as the mycelium. When the mycelium is still alive, it fuses with itself and creates a bond that is hard as rock. If two ‘living’ bricks are placed next to each other, they will fuse together and create bonds that act like mortar, making the structure even harder.
The Future of Mushroom Building
In 2013, a mushroom company in Green, New York decided that they would get in on the mushroom building business, too. They found a way to fuse mycelium to farm waste, such as spent seeds and stalk fibers, and create a sort of plastic sheet. But, of course, it’s not plastic. It’s a biodegradable material that will last as long as you need it, but wont last for thousands of years in a landfill. They’re creating things like bags with this ‘mushroom plastic’ to keep the environment clean while using green materials to create everyday products. Another company named Ecovative created a prototype mycelium growing kit that grows into a lamp and a pot for plants. Some companies in California are also creating surfboards out of mycelium, which is much more environmentally friendly than using fiberglass or styrofoam.
Mushrooms provide a wonderful service to the world that they inhabit. They clean up the environment in more ways than one: they can sop up oil by-products and break down food and natural waste. But now, mushrooms are being used to build everything from lamps to small buildings. What will the future hold for these magical fungi and their mystical powers? Only time, and technology, will tell.
Want to jump on board the mushroom train but aren’t sure how to start? Click the button below to purchase one of our awesome grow at home mushroom kits. They’ll produce two (or maybe more) crops of delicious oyster mushrooms, and you’ll get the sense of self-satisfaction that comes with helping grow a sustainable resource.
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