Why your children may not need to grow taugeh in schools in the future
Mushroom Garden grow kits allows 4-6 harvests and is more fun to grow than taugeh!
Every Singaporean millennial parent would be able to relate to this – we all had that one term in school where we had to grow taugeh out of a plastic container and cotton wool. We would “plant” our green beans and wait patiently for the sprouts to appear after a week and watch them quickly wither away soon after.
Sometimes our parents would “harvest” them and maybe add it into the cooking. But most of the time these plants eventually went to waste. What could you possibly cook with 10 sprouts anyway?
This is one reason why the team behind Mushroom Kingdom have come up with a totally fun new way kids can learn about the cycle of life in plants using their mushrooms!
Mushrooms can grow at home or at school (and yes, the edible kind)
Jay Neo, the chief marketing officer for Mushroom Kingdom sits down with theAsianparent to explain the reason why they have come up with this genius idea of replacing taugeh with mushrooms.
Firstly, farming land in Singapore is becoming far more scarce. Many of our mushroom farms have uprooted. In fact, a lot of mushrooms from Singapore are just being imported in by other countries.
But dependence on imported food is not always good, Jay says. In fact, why import mushrooms when we can grow it right here in sunny Singapore?
Enter Mushroom Garden – the compact, portable and foolproof way of growing mushrooms at home. What Mushroom Garden is, is essentially a packet full of spores, sealed away from oxygen and light so it cannot reproduce. Only once a user opens the plastic packaging and exposes it to oxygen, light and water, will the mushrooms start to grow.
Mushrooms, unlike taugeh, are more durable and have a shorter reproduction cycle. And unlike taugeh, which will only give you one harvest, the Mushroom Garden gives you up to 4-6 harvests until the spores finish.
In Singapore, over 50 primary schools have already adopted the Mushroom Garden into their system rather than getting the kids to grow taugeh.
“Our goal is to bring urban farming to families for the sake of showing them where food comes from and how things grow,” Jay, who is also a parent himself, adds.
The reaction from school kids thus far is that they are extremely excited about this. “They are excited that they can grow something more than just beansprouts,” Jay says.
How to grow your own mushrooms at home
The Mushroom Garden is available for sale on their website for only S$17.90, so anyone can acquire a grow kit and start growing their mushrooms at home.
The product is a “live” product. It is packed in a sterilised room and contains millions of spores. The spores continue to multiply from the day it is packed. Once you open the packaging and expose it to oxygen, it will give the spores the conditions to grow into mushrooms.
However, exposure to direct sunlight may make your mushrooms look dry, so it’s best to keep it away from direct sunlight. Jay also advises that the package is best done in small sections rather than exposing the whole block at the same time.
After 7-10 days, the mushrooms will start to reproduce and then you can start your harvest. This process can then be repeated 4-6 times.
Apart from online, Mushroom Garden grow kit is also available at pop up booths at farmers market around Singapore. It is recommended for kids ranging from primary school and below.
Once you purchase the Mushroom Garden grow kit, you can leave it dormant for up to 2 months, but it is best used within that time frame.
What can you do with the homegrown mushrooms afterwards?
The great part about this product is that it produces a beautiful harvest of grey oyster mushrooms that you can use to cook in your daily meals or to turn into chips.
In fact, this is something Mushroom Kingdom have done with their mushrooms. Besides selling Mushroom Garden grow kits, they also own a mushroom farm and supply their fresh mushrooms to restaurants like Hai Di Lao as well as sell snacks like their Shrooms Bites which are mushroom chips, a healthier alternative to potato chips.
Would you consider growing these mushrooms at home for your family?