“There are so many reasons why I love mushrooms,” says Andrew Carter, co-founder and CEO of Smallhold farms in Brooklyn. “At its base level, they grow off of waste streams. It’s not very common to find a product that’s as ecologically sustainable that can also feed so many people,” says Carter. “Mushrooms, I think, are going to feed the world.”
This urban macro farm specializes in creating artificial environments for growing rare and unique mushrooms for local restaurants and grocers. Each environment gets strategic temperature, humidity, and lighting adjustments throughout the day. The team cultivates unique varieties like lion’s mane, pink oysters, and royal trumpets in their macrofarm, while also using mini farms in buildings all across the city.
With their unique growing methods, sustainable packaging, and supply chain to many of New York City’s best restaurants and grocers, Smallhold’s goal is to open people’s minds to using mushrooms in more cooking, while creating sustainable farms in multiple cities nationwide. “We want this to be the center of the plate,” says Carter as he packs a box with different varieties. “We believe by giving people more mushrooms, people will eat more mushrooms, and they might replace that hamburger or steak with a bunch of different mushrooms.”