The Detroit Mushroom Factory is a collaboration born from Chris Carrier’s and Deana Wojcik’s loves of food, experiments, and all things weird. The idea for our urban farm —which grows mushrooms on spent materials produced in the city, like sawdust from Ganas MFG and grain from local breweries — was hatched during our semester in Build Institute’s Social Entrepreneurship class. We signed up for the class with a completely different business idea in mind, but shifted our focus to urban agriculture, drawing on previous experiences growing mushrooms and working on organic farms.
Currently the Detroit Mushroom Factory operates out of our home in North End Detroit. Our goal is to develop into a teaching farm that produces food for area residents and restaurants, hosts students and citizen scientists in the lab, and collaborates with local environmental agencies on bioremediation efforts.
What's a Mushroom Factory?
The Detroit Mushroom Factory is a mushroom farm and biohackerspace operating in the city of Detroit. Currently our home in Detroit's North End neighborhood functions as our lab, grow room, and packaging facility. As we grow, we'll be on the hunt for a larger factory space.
We reuse materials generated within the city to grow edible and medicinal mushrooms year-round. We also tinker with technology to assist and document our mushroom production and distribution.
Serving the environment and fellow Detroit residents are our top priorities. We grow mushrooms on spent brewery grain, sawdust, and cardboard packaging material, turning would-be waste into fresh, nourishing produce. By sourcing our inputs and selling locally, we are able to maintain a low energy footprint and low costs, which means higher value and more eco-friendly products for our customers.
How Does it Work?
Mushrooms grow differently than most plants one might find on a farm. In fact, they're not plants at all. Mushrooms are members of the kingdom Fungi. As fungi, mushrooms can digest their substrate, which is why we can grow them on a wide variety of materials and why they're so ideal for urban agriculture.
The Detroit Mushroom Factory opened in 2014.