Mushroom Cultivation Project: Our Journey into the World of Fungi

Mushroom Cultivation Project: Our Journey into the World of Fungi

We aim to grow mushrooms on a commercial scale for sale to restaurateurs, vegetable retailers, and our farm shop, thereby expanding product sales.

Bridge Wellness Gardens has embarked on an exciting new venture, the Mushroom Cultivation Project.

This initiative aims to grow mushrooms on a commercial scale, expanding product sales to restaurateurs, vegetable retailers, and our own farm shop. Two dedicated volunteers, Simon Pope and Jeremy Lloyd, have been instrumental in driving this project forward.

Simon got involved with the project when Clair, General Manager at Bridge Wellness Gardens, introduced the idea of mushroom cultivation. Simon undertook an online training course, leading to a successful mushroom-growing trial. Jeremy, motivated by the need for Bridge Wellness Gardens to improve income streams, has been pivotal in the conversion of an existing on-site unit into the initial growing facility.

Together, Simon and Jeremy took on a multitude of responsibilities. They set up the initial trial in a second-hand growing tent within a large former shipping container just inside the farm gates. They stripped out the interior, refloored, added insulation, created a lightproof germination room, and set up controlled environments for propagation and growing.

Despite encountering several practical challenges associated with the conversion process, both Simon and Jeremy tackled them head-on, demonstrating resilience and innovation. For instance, Simon found that converting the unit into a commercial growing facility would prove costly and limited by the structure's size.

A local pig breeder generously offered his food-safe shipping container, which would make an ideal fruiting room. Unfortunately, the delivery of the container has been delayed, but Simon and Jeremy have been making the best of the situation, continuing their work in a second existing unit. Their combined efforts led to the creation of three distinct areas: a utility area for preparing and inoculating the growing substrate, an incubation area for the inoculated blocks, and a fruiting room for completing the growing process. They maintained ideal conditions for mushroom growth by setting up a ventilation system to maintain oxygen levels and expel carbon dioxide and used electric heaters to keep the temperature at about 20°C.

As the project advances to the growing stages, both volunteers are eager to learn more about mushrooms. Simon has already discovered their versatility as a food source and their numerous health benefits, including reducing cancer risk, providing a source of Vitamin D and promoting lower cholesterol levels. Simon comments,

"This is more than just a project, it's an opportunity to make Bridge Wellness Gardens self-reliant, and I'm proud to be associated with it."

Both Simon and Jeremy believe that what makes Bridge Wellness Gardens special is the unwavering commitment to improving lives. Simon, having stumbled upon the gardens in 2019 and since then contributing as a volunteer on various projects, is deeply impressed by the meaningful work carried out by Clair and her team. He values the atmosphere of care and support extended to all individuals, irrespective of their backgrounds or the challenges they face. Not just an association; for Simon, being a part of Bridge Wellness Gardens is a matter of pride.

Similarly, Jeremy recognises the uniqueness of Bridge Wellness Gardens in its sincere intention to create a nurturing environment. He commends the efforts towards improving the lives of people across all age groups who are currently facing or have previously encountered difficulties. The garden's focus on social interaction, learning, physical and mental health, and providing opportunities to learn new experiences of wellbeing through yoga, relaxation, and meditation, according to Jeremy, is what sets Bridge Wellness Gardens apart.

Looking ahead, the team is excited about the prospects of the Mushroom Cultivation Project.

With the collective efforts of dedicated volunteers like Simon and Jeremy, they look forward to the journey ahead in the fascinating world of fungi and the potential it holds for the community.

This project aligns with the global trend towards sustainable and local food production, with mushroom cultivation being recognised as a promising avenue for individuals and communities to address food security. As such, the Mushroom Cultivation Project at Bridge Wellness Gardens represents a significant step towards a sustainable and healthier future.

Our mushrooms will be available for purchase soon! For enquiries please email