Our Nature

EP 13: Mushrooms, Mycelium and More with Andrew Carter, Co-founder and CEO of Smallhold

Episode Notes

Mushrooms may be one of nature’s true mysteries, which is probably why we can’t get enough of them. In this episode, I talk to Andrew Carter, co-founder and CEO of Smallhold, the only mushroom farm and organic farm in New York City. His company installs mini farms, or space-like growing units – in grocery stores such as Whole Foods, restaurants like Mission Chinese, and hotels like The Standard Hotel – that grow mushrooms in controlled climates from bags of sawdust so they can be harvested at their freshest moment. Smallhold's mushrooms look like organisms from another world - some resembling pine cones, others flowers, some look like heads of cauliflower. And, not only do they appear extra terrestrial, they have names like deer butt (aka Lion’s mane), hairy nuts disco, and cinnamon jellybaby. Their spores can survive extreme temperatures, radiation, even outer space. And, scientists have yet to fully understand how to mimic nature enough to cultivate some varieties. While we may never fully understand mushrooms, in this episode we try to get to the bottom of what’s going on with these wild fungi.

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SHOW NOTES:


 

THE LAST 5 QUESTIONS:

  1. What is your favorite place in nature? Ocean.
  2. What is the animal, mineral or plant that resonates with you the most? Citrus Trees.
  3. What is one thing we can do right now to connect with the natural world and bring more harmony into our lives? Go outside. Turn off your phone. Try to disconnect. There’s so much more to look at.
  4. What’s the greatest lesson nature has taught you? There’s no real way to control it or understand it, and you don’t really have to.
  5. Nature brings me…Everything. It is everything.

QUOTES:

“I like to understand ecology enough to try to imitate it, but it doesn’t have to be for us. It’s not made for us. I don’t know if we need to figure it out.” - Andrew Carter

“I think that anyone farming anything that says: this type of production is the way that everyone’s going to be farming in the future, just doesn’t understand how it’s going to work.” - Andrew Carter

 

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