skip to Main Content

Indoor Mushroom Gardening Trend Sprouts Home Growing Chamber

FirstBuild, an engineer-led company dedicated to innovative new ideas, believes it should be easy for people to grow healthy, sustainable food at home. During the COVID-19 lockdown, Louisville, KY-based FirstBuild realized that #mushroomgrowing was a trendy social media hashtag. That triggered the idea for the Mella Smart Mushroom Fruiting Chamber, a product that makes it simple, easy — and sustainable — to grow healthy mushrooms anywhere.

“Following the massive trend of sourdough bread making at home, we saw that #mushroomgrowing was also exploding with millions of views,” said André Zdanow, executive director of FirstBuild and Small Appliances at GE Appliances. “While breadmakers are readily available, our team found no current way for those interested in mushroom growing to garner consistent results and immediately wanted to invent a solution. We’re excited to introduce Mella and bring the fascination of growing mushrooms into even more homes.” 

Photo Courtesy firstbuild

The Mella Smart chamber is crafted by hand and grows gourmet mushrooms so “you don’t have to,” according to the popular Indiegogo campaign that helped fund the product. It was so well received that it hit its funding goal in less than 90 minutes, raising more than a half million dollars. 

The chamber, made of stainless steel, controls humidity, fresh air, and light to create the perfect fungi-growing environment.

After harvesting the mushrooms, one can clean the remaining spores easily and start again. The glass front panel means you can watch the mushrooms sprout. The goal was to make mushroom growing practical for hobbyists.

For FirstBuild, it was critical to consult with mushroom experts to ensure Mella Smart grew the healthiest, best mushrooms. To do so, Zdanow and company partnered with some of the top geniuses in the fungi field, including FreshCap CEO Tony Shiels, North Spore CEO Eliah Thanhauser, and “Bon Appetit” magazine’s Brad Leone.

Video Courtesy FirstBuild

“… Mella makes mushroom growing practical for hobbyists and small-scale growers by giving them a low-maintenance way to enjoy our grow kits — and the mushroom growing experience — with minimal effort and maximum reward,” Thanhauser said.

Growing fresh food like mushrooms at home is one way to reduce food waste, shrink your carbon footprint, and lessen the number of polluting fertilizers and pesticides released into the atmosphere. It also boosts nutrition and helps reduce food waste and truck emissions from transportation.

Photo Courtesy Sébastien Marchand

“Indoor gardening is critical to food sustainability, and products like Mella that make this process easy allow anyone to access nutritious food in their own home,” Zdanow said. “Mella is fairly limitless in terms of what it can grow … from microgreen growing to meat curing, and can absolutely see the potential for growing rare varietals in the future.”

Share on Social

Back To Top