This article details Myco Planet one of the largest providers of vertically farmed mushrooms in the Midwest US, located in Kansas City.
What is the origin story of MyCo Planet?
I’ve always had a love for nature and the amazing diversity and self-sustaining ecosystems that exist in this planet.
I decided to start growing mushrooms as a way of creating food, providing education for the children, and be closer to nature at a time when we were all spending too much online.
I have always enjoyed growing my own food and believe it is important for my children to know how to grow their own food as well. We also enjoy cooking with mushrooms.
When we could not find the varieties, we wanted to use at the store, I decided to start growing them myself. It was just an extension of gardening for me. My background is all science and I have worked in labs and knew how to do sterile techniques.
What started out as a hobby turned into a full-time business. I was able to build a larger farm within a warehouse space where I can control all the environmental conditions for mushroom cultivation.
We are now the largest fresh mushroom provider in the Kansas City area. We use vertical farming and controlled environment agriculture.
What are some of the biggest challenges facing MyCo Planet in the future?
I think one of the biggest challenges for any mushroom cultivator is the need for consistent and controlled environments for mushrooms to grow. It can be a delicate balance of temperature, humidity, and fresh air that requires the right equipment and technology to achieve and be efficient.
We are always on the lookout for new technology that can help improve our processes at the farm. The second challenge for cultivation is the need for sustainable growth. The business must reach a certain level to be sustainable long term and it must be achieved within a small-time frame.
The product shelf life is short and therefore the demand for it must be high to be successful.
What is unique about MyCo Planet compared to competitors?
At MyCo Planet, we are doing all the cultivation processes on the farm. We do everything from block production, incubation, and fruiting. We have also designed and built most of our equipment.
We use a very modular system that allows us to keep production moving and have very little down time. We are committed to organic and sustainable practices, using the least amount of resources possible and using organic certified media to ensure we leave a positive impact on the environment. We are also woman owned and operated.
How do you measure the impact of your company so far? (Revenue, Employees, Customer Quantity,
Production Volume) etc?
We measure by community, the community we serve and the community we built. There are so many like minded people that share the same values we have for sustainability and urban farming. We have gotten to partner with many great businesses and groups to further education on mycology.
We believe in the power of collaboration and want to build strong relationships with our community and support local initiatives that will hopefully foster a love of fungi!
What have you learned that you wish you knew when you joined or started the company?
I wish I knew how time-consuming mushroom cultivation truly is. It is a 7 day a week commitment.
There is always something to harvest or equipment to repair. Even if I knew this going into it I would have still chosen to build the farm.
Mushroom cultivation is something I truly enjoy; it uses science and technology to grow food for my community. I can not think of anything else I would rather be doing.
How can people connect with you or learn more about MyCo Planet?
Our website, www.mycoplanetkc.com, is a fantastic place to learn more and connect with us. We have educational articles posted weekly to help people along with their mycological journey.
Or connect with us on social media, @mycoplanet, where we also post informative tidbits about mushrooms and cultivation.
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