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A Magazine for Sheffield

Meet Sheffield’s fungus farmers

Seven Mushrooms is a unique urban mushroom farm in Neepsend. Co-owner Kez fills us in on the new venture, which we're told is "a bit like Pokemon: gotta grow 'em all!"

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Oyster mushrooms grown by Seven Mushrooms.

Seven Mushrooms

Seven Mushrooms is an urban gourmet mushroom farm located in Neepsend, just outside the city centre. They launched their first two products – Umami Salt and Mushroom Coffee – at the end of 2021 and they have been supplying fresh mushrooms to local chefs for over a year now.

We spoke to co-owner Kez about their passion for mushrooms and the exciting fungus-inspired produce they are cultivating near Kelham Island.

How did Seven Mushrooms get started?

Our origin story is a bit of a strange one, but to cut a long story short, we started as a three and originally planned to build our premises in a shipping container at Green Estate, just down from Manor Castle. We soon became two and began the operation we now run today in the much cosier setting of a, erm… how do I say this… “retired sauna”.

I originally came into the business due to my background as a chef, to aid in reaching out to local chefs. What started as a pretty cool job to get me out of full-time cheffing soon became an obsession.

Being a chef and knowing so many others, having the chance to grow such beautiful produce, harvest it and then cook with it on the same day is very inspiring.

What’s the reaction been to your mushroom products?

The feedback’s been great across the board! Our fresh produce has been enjoyed by chefs and home cooks alike, allowing us to get a wide array of opinions and reviews.

We also supply coffee blended with lion's mane mushroom, using ground-to-order coffee from renowned Sheffield coffee roasters Pollard’s.

Our first mushroom based seasoning, umami salt, is available too and we have a few more up our sleeves for early next year.

The interest we’ve had so far has been incredibly heartwarming. I didn’t know so many people were interested in mushrooms! A surprise source of enjoyment has definitely been engaging with all the lovely people who stumble across our humble operation.

It’s because of this reaction that I really want to create a platform to share the knowledge I’ve amassed on my journey in mycology, whether that’s hands-on farm tours or instructional videos on our YouTube channel.

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Seven Mushrooms' first two products: Lion's Mane Mushroom Coffee and Umami Salt.

Seven Mushrooms

What mushroom-inspired ingredients can people look forward to trying?

As we expand our setup and I continue to learn more about mycology, our range of fresh produce will expand too.

Until now, our offerings of fresh mushrooms have been a variety of oyster mushrooms. But now that I'm a lot more comfortable with the processes involved and the characteristics of mycelial development, I'm about to crack on with some lion's mane strains, a shiitake strain and hopefully some chicken of the woods and pioppino too.

For me, it’s very much a case of “I really want to cook with *insert mushroom name*, so I better grow some!”. The wide range of uses for mushrooms, especially as protein rich vegan meat analogues, inspires me. Although I’m definitely more influenced by my obsessive interest. It’s a bit like Pokemon: gotta grow 'em all!

What have been your favourite mushroom dishes?

I’m obviously quite biassed but king oyster pulled down, grilled and smothered in our sister-brand Wet Willy’s Ferments The Void barbecue sauce is always a winner. If i’m cooking for a crowd, that's definitely on the menu.

If I’m just cooking for myself on a rainy day, it’s always gonna be Risotto alla Milanese topped with whatever mushrooms I’ve taken home that day, sautéed in brown butter, lemon and capers. I feel close to slipping into a food coma just thinking about it.

We don’t currently share recipes but that’ll hopefully all change soon. Our Wet Willy’s dark kitchen is currently in the works, which will also double as our filming space. This will be for us to share our recipes and also for local chefs who use our produce to come and share some of their ideas.

How can people follow the Seven Mushrooms action?

You can take a look at our online store and we share regular updates about what we are working on via our Instagram. So far this has ranged from general tips to our involvement in a living sculpture for this year's Festival of the Mind.

Look out for information about our upcoming crowdfunder to help take our mushroom operation to the next level!

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