Magic Mushrooms: Pioneer Square Sprouts a Mushroom Farm

I know it’s still chilly outside (hopefully you took advantage of the incredible snow at Steven’s Pass this weekend with some skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing or tubing), but spring is definitely in the air. There is actual blue in the sky, I just agreed to pass out flyers for Seattle Tilth’s Edible Plant Sale and the city is making plans to plant a public orchard. Spring is coming. And if you want to check out something that just screams “Seattlle Springtime!” then make plans to have lunch in Pioneer Square in the next couple of weeks, where a local architecture firm has transformed a boring old storefront into a fully functioning mushroom farm.

(image taken from New York Times Magazing)

[storefront] Mushroom Farm is the result of a collaboration between Citylab7, Cascadia Mushrooms, Olson Kundig Architects and local coffee shops (Starbucks, Caffe Umbria, Zeitgeist and Makeda Coffee). Together they’ve transformed a storefront (located at 406 Occidental Ave. S) into a fully functioning, well, mushroom farm. Called a “fertile grounds pop-up”, it uses reclaimed coffee grounds (something we definitely have more than enough of in this city) to power the growth of oyster mushrooms in a truly beautiful growhouse.

The mushrooms aren’t for sale, but the Mushroom Farm is open Tuesday-Friday, 11:30am to 1:30pm through March 9 for community lunches. Bring your brown bag (or pick up something delicious from any of the awesome nearby eateries) and hunker down at the gorgeous handmade table to eat with fellow fungi fans. In addition to the new friends you’ll make, you can also go on FREE tours of the mushroom farm to learn more about the project and the importance of sustainability and farming.

You can also come join the two planned harvests! On Thursday, March 1 and Thursday, March 8, the Mushroom Farm is open for harvesting. The crop will be donated to local food banks, but you can go watch mushroom harvesting in action and talk to the farmers from 5:00-9:00pm. In addition, you can leverage your caffeine addiction for a chance to win two Golden Tickets to the Harvest Dinner event and salon with MacArthur Genius Gary Nabhan and Viva Farms Director Sarita Schaffer (Saturday March 3rd).  Just buy coffee at a participating shop, tweet #shroomfarm and @citylab7 with the shop’s name and how many shots you’ve purchased. Anybody who buys at least 10 coffees before March 3rd is entered to win.

This is one of those things that makes me feel totally warm and fuzzy about Seattle. Ironically, I found out about it from my sister-in-law in Brooklyn, who read this piece in The New York Times Magazine last week. (Thanks Amy!) If you ever hear about something totally rad that Yay-Today should be writing about, let us know on Facebook, Twitter or the comments section below.

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