Fungi Research

Primordia Mushrooms will strive to be Australia’s primary fungal innovator and producer of edible gourmet mushrooms and fungal products, whilst bringing visibility fungi’s incredible but overlooked role in our terrestrial ecosystems.

Now that the fancy speak is out of the way, let me tell you the idea…I’ve been fascinated by fungi for a long time now. Their ability to break down difficult and exotic compounds is incredible. I started researching fungi and their ability to break down herbicides and pesticides in soils and ended up growing mushrooms as a hobby on coffee grounds, shredded exam papers and other organic waste products.

Now Primordia Mushrooms produces exotic and native edible mushrooms for markets and restaurants on a range of otherwise overlooked waste streams. I hope to not only grow something delicious that doesn’t need to be imported from overseas, as most gourmet mushrooms are currently, but to investigate what our Australian native fungi are capable of too.

Currently the majority of gourmet mushrooms sold in South Australia are imported from Korea, Vietnam and China. This presents not only a potential loss of revenue for the state by relying on international producers, but also a large carbon footprint as these goods have often travelled up 7,000 km before sale.

Unlike conventionally farmed mushrooms, many gourmet species are able to use a wide range of organic waste materials as a source of nutrition. This presents an opportunity to incorporate low value high volume waste streams such as spent coffee grounds, paper waste, cardboard and agricultural crop residues into the production of high value food products. This process also further reduces greenhouse gas emissions, as microbially-digestible organic materials disposed of to landfill can produce methane which if not captured is 30 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

With support from the Willunga Farmers Market, Adelaide and Mt Lofty Natural Resources Management Board and City of Onkapringa Council I started Primordia Mushrooms which will work with local businesses to reuse waste materials whilst producing locally grown gourmet mushrooms.