The first-ever smart garden for mushrooms is available for presale
Watch fancy, edible shrooms bloom in the new Mella fungus fruiting chamber.
David WatskySenior Editor / Home and Kitchen
David lives in Brooklyn where he's logged more than a decade writing about all things edible, including meal kits and meal delivery subscriptions, cooking, kitchen gear and commerce. Since earning a BA in English from Northeastern in Boston, he's toiled in nearly every aspect of the eats business from slicing and dicing as a sous-chef in Rhode Island to leading complex marketing campaigns for major food brands in Manhattan. These days, he's likely somewhere trying the latest this or tasting the latest that - and reporting back, of course. Anything with sesame is his all-time favorite food this week.
ExpertiseKitchen tech, cookware, small appliances, food innovation, meal delivery and meal kits.
Mushrooms are having a moment. The 2019 film Fantastic Fungi enjoyed a second (and well-deserved) buzz when Netflix picked up the short documentary in late July of this year, and medical mushrooms like reishi and lion's mane are taking over the wellness narrative. Perhaps this fungal fever was predicted or perhaps it's just dumb luck, but one of the innovation labs for GE Appliances' (no longer owned by GE) FirstBuild just launched an advanced home-grow chamber and cultivation system for edible mushrooms called Mella. It's available for presale starting today.
Mella is sort of like an AeroGarden for shrooms in that it automates the process by controlling humidity and airflow, creating an optimal environment for fungal fruiting -- no daily spritzing required. The system was developed by a group of mycologists, scientists, engineers and mushroom enthusiasts, and has been dubbed the first smart mushroom-fruiting chamber designed specifically for consumers at home. The Mella looks like a large terrarium with a water chamber attached to the side. It's fitted with a humidifier, air filter, dimmable LED lights and a digital control panel for simple use. Mella can grow fancy gourmet mushrooms for consumption in just a few weeks. A glass window lets you display all that gorgeous mushroom multiplication.
If you preorder a Mella unit now during the crowd-fund phase, you'll save 27% and get the fruiting chamber for $350. The actual product is expected to ship in the spring of 2022. Purchase of mushroom-fruiting blocks, including spores to grow shiitakes, lion's mane, king trumpets and chestnuts, will be made available through Mella as well, but pricing for the spore blocks has not yet been released.