About this project
Thank you for visiting North Shore Fungi Farm on Kickstarter. The farm is located in Two Harbors, Minnesota near the shores of Lake Superior about 20 minutes NE of Duluth. We grow gourmet mushrooms that we sell at the local farmer's market.
Our exposure at the Farmer's Market has allowed us to meet some of the area chefs and the produce manager for the local Food Co-op. They have expressed interest in purchasing mushrooms but they require quantities greater than what the operation can produce at one time while still maintaining freshness,
Our mushrooms are grown on straw, which has to be pasteurized before use. With our current setup only one-third of a bale of straw can be effectively sterilized at one time. Stymied as to how to increase production with the current setup, fortune smiled upon us and we were able to scavenge a stainless steel refrigeration unit from a local restaurant. Our plan is to install a gas fired boiler in the grow room and feed the converted refrigeration unit injections of steam so that entire bales of straw can be pasteurized 3 or 4 at a time. The boiler will do double duty in that it will also be used to heat the grow room during Minnesota's long winter months. With this setup 4 bales of straw can be pasteurized at one time giving us a potential 12 fold increase in production. Enough to supply our customers at the farmer's market and the businesses in Duluth.
We are not looking to get rich off of this endeavor but merely carry out our belief that food should be grown locally by folks committed to sustainable farming. While we will be doing most of the work ourselves, along with the help of some contractor friends who are donating their time and expertise to the project, the cost of the materials needed is more than we have.
Our first 3 years were self-funded, but now it's time to increase production and where Kickstarter.com comes in. Items such as the boiler purchase and installation, plumbing a water supply from an on-site well, installing a door where a window is now, retrofitting the refrigeration unit, and construction permits have given this project a grand total of $7225.
To entice you into contributing, Hell's Kitchen, one of the top restaurants in Minneapolis (my former employer), is generously offering their popular cookbook as a prize for donations. (Damn Good Food, which Jacques Pepin says makes Anthony Bourdain look like an altar boy, received astonishing reviews from the New York Times as well as the San Francisco Book Review and the London Examiner.) Your cookbook will be autographed, the mushrooms I send you will include amazing recipes, and your help will never be forgotten.
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