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About us

From Corporate to country

Learn about our journey from international corporate executives to humble mushroom farmers.
Learn more
Corporate mushroom farmers
We are a ‘low-tech’ business, growing Oyster and Shiitake mushrooms that we sell online and at farmer's markets on the lower half of the North Island (NZ).
Founded in 2018 by Brent and Jude, after returning to NZ from 30 years overseas, we were looking for a business idea that would help us transition away from the madness of the corporate world. To build something sustainable and in sync with our values and those of the planet.
Our previous business was as management consultants teaching business agility to executive teams of large corporations. We applied the concepts of agile and lean in building our business. 2018 was a busy year focused on developing our MVP (minimum viable product), to be selling mushrooms at a local market within 3 months. Having achieved that we then aimed to be growing 50kg a week by the end of the year.

2019 was the year to find a property, and we ticked that off the to-do list by the end of January. We now have a dream farm (and lifestyle) with many new additions to our family. These include "little pig" (our Kune Kune), Mr Peacock, a growing collection of ducks and hens, and our Arawapa Sheep (giving us the joy of lambs in spring).

What we do

Jude harvesting Pink Oyster Mushrooms

What we Grow 

Our current products include fresh:

  • Oyster mushrooms, both Pink and Phoenix (Grey)
  • Shiitake
  • Turkey Tail (to a limited extent)

We soon hope to add Hericium aka Coral Tooth to our offering or Pekepeke Kiore. This is similar to Lions Mane, for those who know about this important fungus. Unfortunately, due to bio security law, we are unable to grow Lions Mane in NZ.

We use permaculture and regenerative farming techniques, we don't use pesticides, herbicides, or any nasty stuff on our property, we try to use nature wherever possible, which involves developing balanced and natural systems.

How we do it

Unlike field mushrooms, which grow on composted chicken poop, the mushrooms we grow would naturally grow on decaying trees like Oak, Hickory, and Poplar - plus some conifers like spruce and fir. No dirt, manure, or darkness is used in the making of our mushrooms!

At Ohau Gourmet Mushrooms, we try to grow as naturally as possible. Our method uses a hanging 18kg bag filled with organic Pine sawdust plus some Soy for nutrition. As far as our mushrooms are concerned, they are living happily in an old tree and just hanging around for the right conditions to fruit.

Our grow rooms are constructed from reused insulated shipping containers, lined with stainless steel. This allows us to maintain high humidity, using a high-pressure misting system. Due to the temperate climate of where we live, we do not need to control the temperature much. Just some additional heating in the depths of winter.

Where to buy

We sell our fresh products exclusively at local Farmer's Markets:

  • Paraparaumu Beach Saturday Market - Saturdays
  • Wellington: Harbourside Market - Sundays
  • Palmerston North: Hokowhitu village farmers market  - 3rd Sunday each month
  • Fielding Market  - Friday (but check first as we are a casual there)
Jude and Brent of Ohau Gourmet Mushrooms (Mycobio Ltd)

Our Vision

Our goal is to grow food that tastes fantastic, is highly nutritious, and has amazing health properties. But more importantly, to make this food available to everyone at a reasonable price. 

Our values are also very focused on community and local, so we operate exclusively at local farmer's markets.

There are many reasons why we choose mushrooms to grow, one of them is that in addition to being a nutritional wonder food, they are also highly sustainable (low impact) to grow:
Environmental impact: Uses minimal water and energy
Organic: Require no pesticides or chemicals
Small footprint: Require little land use and grow close to our primary markets
Recycle Use of growing mediums that would be considered waste products: we use untreated (food grade) pine sawdust and hull from soybeans. Others might use coffee grounds, straw or cardboard.

Our Farm and Practice

We don't look at ourselves as selling mushrooms, we sell joy. We’re passionate about the quality of your experience with us, and running a sustainable business.

Our Mission

Providing the freshest, highest quality and the most wildly nutritious PLANT-BASED options to EVERYONE: not just vegetarians and vegans

Our Ethos

We do not see ourselves as mushroom sellers: instead, we deliver joy. Our only focus is that people have an awesome experience with us and in growing mushrooms. 

Sustainability

Our business is centred on a lifestyle choice of being: self-sustainable, low energy and low waste. We use permaculture principles to help guide us.
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