"What do I buy as a gift for somebody who loves mushrooms?"
For the updated Holiday 2019 version, click here.
As a mushroom cultivator and spawn producer, this is a question we get frequently, and just about anybody can commiserate with the anxiety of finding that perfect gift for your loved one. Mushroom enthusiasts are especially challenging with their niche interest in a relatively obscure topic that you, the gift shopper, may not know too much about. But fear not! North Spore is an expert in this arena and produces and sells a range of mushroom gifts. After five years of answering questions from farmer's market customers, concerned spouses, perplexed sons and daughters, mall-weary holiday shoppers, and many other poor lost souls, we've compiled this list that will get you through any gift-giving holiday or event with ideas specific to different interests and holidays!
1) Give the gift of growing mushrooms for the first time with an Oyster Mushroom Grow at Home Kit!
A great all-around gift for birthdays, Mother's Day, Christmas, Hanukkah, and any other gift-giving event throughout the year!
What is the best-selling mushroom gift you ask? What do I give to my gardening mom for mother's day? What scientific gift would spread the love of biology to my nephew or niece? Nothing compares to the universal joy one of these kits brings to its recipient. They are the perfect gift for just about anybody who loves to eat mushrooms or grow things. They also are downright easy. Two weeks after starting one of these puppies your loved one will be plucking the most beautiful cluster of mushrooms they've ever seen from their kit and will be awestruck with the genius of you for your prescience in understanding them and giving such a cool gift. You can thank us later.
2) Keep your loved ones healthy with Chaga Tea!
This superfood is a great gift. It can be made hot in the winter and iced in the summer making it a year-round treat for the foodie, wellness enthusiast, or morning beverage connoisseur in your life!
What is this, a mushroom you drink??! Trust us (and the many others who've replaced their daily coffee habit with chaga!) it's delicious, healthy, and hits all those toasty, tannic, and rich taste receptors that make a morning tea or coffee so darn satisfying. Chaga is the caffeine-free sclerotium of a birch tree loving fungus that grows in northern latitudes. Chaga has high levels of antioxidants and betulinic acid, an antiviral and anti-inflammatory compound being researched as a possible anti-cancer agent. Health properties aside, with a splash of cream and a drop of maple syrup, your loved one's freshly brewed tea will possess the ethereal essence of the northern woods.
Gifting a hopeless caffeine addict? Blended with coffee, chaga adds a lovely woodsy note and you still get the medicinal benefits. These tins make a great stocking stuffer for Christmas giftees.
3) Make sure they're prepared for the big haul with an Opinel Mushroom Harvesting Knife!
Whether they are an experienced mushroom gardener or farmer in need of a trusty blade for slicingshiitakes off logs or wine cap mushrooms off beds or they are a back country trekker with eyes for wild morels, chanterelles, or porcini, an Opinel Mushroom Harvesting Knife is an essential companion for any mushroom lover.
The French knife maker has been at it since 1890 and has perfected the art of simple functionality. They are truly a work of art. Heck, Pablo Picasso himself used an Opinel for his sculptures!
The Opinel Mushroom knife has a curved blade suitable for easy slicing, a ridged spine for scraping off stubborn dirt from stems, and a brush for clearing forrest duff from mushroom caps and gills. Nobody who loves mushrooms wouldn't love receiving this knife as a gift.
4) Let them make a shiitake log in their garden! A DIY project for home gardeners that gives the gift of healthy mushrooms year after year.
Growing shiitakes on logs is one of the easiest and most satisfying ways of growing edible mushrooms at home. Logs live outdoors in shady parts of the garden (eat your heart out you finicky tomato beds!) and will produce mushrooms in flushes after rainfall for multiple years.
North Spore's Outdoor Mushroom Log Kits have everything your loved one needs to produce one or two shiitake logs. Kits contain mushroom plug spawn (think seeds for mushroom growers), a drill bit, wax for sealing your log, and detailed instructions.
Kits come either with the spawn in the box (great for projects that will be started within a month or two) or with a voucher for the spawn (vouchers can be redeemed at any point for fresh spawn sent direct to your home). This allows the kit to be gifted during the winter and used in the spring!
5) What about a well respected and informative book on cultivation or foraging?
There is nothing as satisfying for a fungi fanatic as sitting down and geeking out with a book written by one of the pioneers of mushroom cultivation like Paul Stamets, or one of the new guard like Peter McCoy or Tradd Cotter. These books are wellsprings of knowledge that have influenced generations of mushroom farmers, foragers, and enthusiasts.
In this age of digital avatars, social media spats, and big brother digital spying, returning to the profound power of the written word can make a genuine and heartfelt impression. Books aren't quaint, they're a foundation, and shouldn't be overlooked as a gift!