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We’ve been growing mushrooms and helping you grow your own. With your help let's build a community hub for mushroom cultivation!
We’ve been growing mushrooms and helping you grow your own. With your help let's build a community hub for mushroom cultivation!
130 backers pledged $25,130 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$25,130

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We love mushrooms and want you to love them too. 

That's why North Spore has dedicated the past two years to increasing access to locally cultivated and foraged mushrooms in Maine, participating in six different farmer's markets and supplying restaurants and natural food stores all over the state. We've been blown away by the increasing interest in foraging and mushroom cultivation within our community. 

The North Spore Crew
The North Spore Crew

We wanted to take things a step further, and in the past six months have started to develop our ability to help home gardeners, small farmers, and even other mushroom farms, grow their own mushrooms from high-quality and locally produced mushroom spawn. Moving forward we will be hosting a range of mushroom related workshops, talks, and seminars aimed at educating and increasing the capacity of our community to grow healthy edible mushrooms.

North Spore Mushroom Spawn
North Spore Mushroom Spawn

The first step in the process is to increase our output of mushroom spawn for home growers and small farmers.

Mushroom spawn is the equivalent of seeds in the mushroom growing world. Much like you would plant a tomato seed to grow a tomato plant, you use shiitake spawn to produce shiitake mushrooms on sawdust blocks or logs.

We've been working hard to keep up with demand for our mushroom spawn and want to continue helping New Englanders cultivate their own edible fungi. North Spore has been striving to build local capacity with the goal of providing small farmers a valuable crop to sell at market, and helping home gardeners grow food in the shady spots in their gardens where they never could before.

We honestly and full-heartedly feel that mushroom cultivation will continue to increase in New England in the coming years and that a local source of knowledge and spawn will help facilitate that growth. Mushroom farming is a valuable addition to the longterm viability of sustainable food cultivation in New England. We've learned a ton in these first two years and want to make sure that knowledge gets passed on to the people who have supported us. We think everybody should grow mushrooms.

But we need your help...

We want to make sure we can provide a space for people to learn about mushroom cultivation. Our facility needs some big improvements before its capable of hosting groups for mushroom cultivation workshops and seminars. We envision having classes on log cultivation, managing cultures and spawn production in the laboratory, indoor mushroom cultivation, and foraging. 

We've also reached a bottle-neck in our production of mushroom spawn. Our inadequate laboratory infrastructure is keeping us from producing enough mushroom spawn. We have some very expensive infrastructure improvements that are necessary for us to continue our production. The solution to these issues is clear but requires resources that are hard for a small mushroom farm to come up with.

With $25,000 we will be able to make necessary fixes:

We will get our electrical system fixed up. Though it isn't the most exciting thing to spend money on, our facility needs some major electrical improvements to allow us to continue producing mushroom spawn and produce edible mushrooms. In order to host people at our space and be compliant for insurance we will need to alter how our systems are powered. This is estimated to cost us $7,000.

A ventilation, heating, and cooling system. This is the big one. Our production of fresh mushrooms is at the whim of the seasons. In the summer it's too hot and we deal with contaminations that cause us to lose much of our production, in the winter things are so cold that our production falters due to inadequate heat. As a bonus, spawn production will become easier and more reliable with better climate controls. We really need help funding this upgrade. $18,000

(Stretch Goal 1) If we make it to $30,000 in funding we will designate $5,000 to build a sterile substrate hopper, letting us quickly prepare our substrate for inoculation- the process of turning sawdust, plugs, or millet, into mushroom spawn. This will help keep our costs of production down, making mushroom spawn more affordable and cost effective for our customers.

(Stretch Goal 2)  If we can make it to $35,000, we will use $5,000 of the Kickstarter funds to improve our sterile laboratory by installing it with positive air pressure and HEPA-filteration. This will help keep spawn costs down by limiting the loss of spawn to preventable contamination, which is a hinderance effecting nearly all small mushroom farms. 

We are sincerely grateful for our community's continued support, and look forward to many more years of mushroom forays, feasts, and friendships. Anything you are willing to donate will help us out tremendously.

A sincere thank you to everybody who continues to support us!

Risks and challenges

The largest challenge for us will be allocating the time and space to complete the project while maintaining our current level of production. That said, we've had to complete projects in the past and definitely always find a way to prioritize them.

There are always unforeseen challenges in buildout, but we will be sure to allocate part of our current weekly revenue for covering any additional costs accrued by the project.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Thank you for your donation!

    Sending amazing thoughts your way in thanks!
    We appreciate your support!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    'Spread the Spore' Bumper Sticker

    Swag for your vehicle!

    Includes:
    • 'Spread the Spore' Bumper Sticker
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Plug Spawn + Bumper Sticker

    Now you can really 'Spread the Spore'... into 2-4 logs. Look cool while you do it with a bonus bumper sticker.

    Includes:
    • 'Spread the Spore' Bumper Sticker
    • 100 Count Plug Spawn Packet
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Small Chaga Tea

    Maine grown chaga! Really tasty with a bit of cream and maple syrup...

    Includes:
    • Small Chaga Tea
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    Holiday Fruit at Home Kit!

    WILL SHIP OUT BEFORE THE HOLIDAYS!

    Available species are: Pioppino, Oyster, Lion's Mane, Chestnut, Shiitake.

    Grow Your Own Kits are meant for growing on your kitchen counter or tabletop in your home. Kits are a great for children and adults alike and are a wonderful introduction to the joys of mushroom growing.

    Simply place the bag on its side, slice a long slit in the bag with a razor or box cutter, and keep in a humid environment. Mushrooms should start to produce 'pins' within two weeks and will grow quickly. Harvest when they resemble the photograph on the front.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Log Inoculation Starter Kit

    All the tools you need to inoculate a few logs in your backyard with Shiitake spawn! A great introduction to mushroom cultivation.

    Includes:
    • Log Inoculation Starter Kit
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    North Spore Logo T-Shirt

    Our classic logo t-shirt. We'll sign it if you ask...

    Includes:
    • Logo T-Shirt
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    2 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    North Spore 'Mushroom Gang' T-Shirt

    This is a t-shirt we only give to interns and employees. Limited edition. American Apparel black. The most badass mushroom farmer shirt around. Period.

    Includes:
    • Mushroom Gang T-Shirt
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Forager's Pantry Kit

    Have a hankering for risotto? Comes with 4 varieties of dried mushroom: Chanterelle, Lobster, Morel, and Porcini.

    Includes:
    • Forager's Pantry Kit
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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Trio of Holiday Fruit at Home Kits!

    WILL SHIP OUT BEFORE THE HOLIDAYS!

    Available species are: Pioppino, Oyster, Lion's Mane, Chestnut, Shiitake.

    Grow Your Own Kits are meant for growing on your kitchen counter or tabletop in your home. Kits are a great for children and adults alike and are a wonderful introduction to the joys of mushroom growing.

    Simply place the bag on its side, slice a long slit in the bag with a razor or box cutter, and keep in a humid environment. Mushrooms should start to produce 'pins' within two weeks and will grow quickly. Harvest when they resemble the photograph on the front.

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    Ships to Only United States
    12 backers
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Logo-T and Forager's Pantry Kit

    The ONLY way to impress your dinner guests.

    Includes:
    • Forager's Pantry Kit
    • Logo T-Shirt
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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    Every Type of Spawn

    One of each type of our edible mushroom plug spawn varieties!

    Includes:
    • 100 Count Plug Spawn Packet
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Group North Spore Facility Tour

    Join other $100+ donors on a tour of our facility! See what it's like to be a mushroom in one of our fruiting rooms, get to see the mushroom mycelium colonizing substrate, experience the true North Spore!

    Date will be announced in November!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Group Mushroom Cultivation Workshop

    Psst... don't tell the folks who chose to take the tour.. This is the chance to experience the REAL North Spore... Come learn how to grow mushrooms the North Spore way!

    Date will be announced in November, Workshop will take place at our facility in Westbrook.

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    All the Swag

    All of our North Spore gear. A t-shirt, chaga tea, forager's pantry, plug spawn, log inoculation kit... you get the idea.

    Includes:
    • Forager's Pantry Kit
    • 'Spread the Spore' Bumper Sticker
    • Log Inoculation Starter Kit
    • 100 Count Plug Spawn Packet
    • Logo T-Shirt
    • Small Chaga Tea
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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Backyard Cultivator Package

    The dowel spawn you need to make 20 mushroom logs + an in-person or phone consultation to figure out the correct set-up for your home mushroom grow!

    Includes:
    • Backyard Cultivator Package
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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Small Mushroom Farm Package

    An upgrade from our Backyard Cultivator Package. This is the real deal. Tools and spawn for a 50 log mushroom grow + an in-person or phone consultation to figure out the correct set-up for your particular situation.

    Includes:
    • Small Mushroom Farm Package
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Mushroom Walk / Cultivation Workshop

    Private Mushroom Cultivation Workshop or Wild Mushroom Survey on your land. Let us teach you how to grow, or see what's growing naturally!

    We will travel up to 60 miles from Westbrook, or further afield for an added charge, and spend an afternoon with you!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    VIP Mushroom Pass

    1 Quart of mushrooms, from any of our farmer's markets, every week, for 1 year. You get a shiny pretty looking card to boot!

    Includes:
    • VIP Mushroom Pass
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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Fungi Landscaping Project

    We will come to your property for a consultation and afternoon of mushroom landscaping. We will make a wine-cap (Stropharia) bed and make 10 shiitake logs and incorporate them into your land or garden as you see fit!

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Mushroom Dinner for Two

    Dinner for two with the North Spore boys at one of Portland's esteemed culinary establishments! We're not terribly awkward dinner companions..

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    Mushroom Farmer Escort Service

    One of us will arrive at your door with a mushroom bouquet and take you out for a mushroom crawl, hitting a few of our favorite local establishments for appetizers and dinner. Your choice who gets to take you out!

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    Our Utmost Gratitude

    We will name our laboratory after you complete with a plaque to be placed above it's entrance. You will also get one of our limited T-Shirts and a mushroom pass for 1 year of edible mushrooms from our farmer's markets.

    Includes:
    • Mushroom Gang T-Shirt
    • VIP Mushroom Pass
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Funding period

- (30 days)