Bearded hedgehog mushroom, cloud ear fungus, and enokitake: Sophie Stroheker and Vivanne Dubach are planning to cultivate mushrooms and fungi in an urban environment.
Increasingly, urban wasteland is put to good use for the cultivation of vegetables. Organic methods of agriculture guarantee impeccable quality, while short transportation routes ensure ecological sustainability. If it works with tomatoes and cucumbers, it should also work with edible mushrooms and fungi, Sophie Stoheker and Vivanne Dubach, two environmental scientists at the Chair of Forest Pathology and Dendrology, ETH Zurich, told themselves. Every year, Switzerland imports close to 500 tons of exotic mushrooms, mainly from China. “Mushrooms are fairly easy to cultivate; they grow on dead wood and in sawdust and other organic waste products,” Sophie Stroheker explained. Currently, the FungiForest initiators are hunting for suitable premises in the Zurich metropolitan area. Once these have been found, production will start immediately: bearded hedgehog mushrooms, cloud ear fungi, and enokitake for delis and gourmet restaurants.