The Local newsletter is your free, daily guide to life in Colorado. For locals, by locals. Sign up today!
When Michael and Liz Nail launched Mile High Fungi in 2014, they had to educate their clients about the mushrooms they grew and sold. “We’d provide recipes or even just explain mushrooms’ nutritional value,” Michael says. (They’re a good source of vitamin D, for example.) Since then, gourmet mushrooms have taken root in Colorado, first appearing at farmer’s markets and on upscale restaurant menus, then—as popular documentaries like Fantastic Fungi increased awareness of their potential medicinal benefits—finding a place on grocery store shelves and in the gardens of at-home cultivators. To serve these new mycophiles, the Nails have just launched $25 growing kits that don’t require much more than a north-facing window and a few daily spritzes of water. At first blush, the plastic bags filled with 10 pounds of sawdust-and-soil growth substrate don’t scream decor, but as the fungi’s luscious layers develop, hobbyists fall for their complex beauty, Michael says. “It’s just like having a Chia Pet that provides you with something nutritious and delicious on your countertop.” And because beginner-friendly mushroom varieties like lion’s mane and brown oyster grow in mere days, you won’t have to wait long to add them to meals. What could be better than beautiful and edible decor?