2017 Young Farmers Scholarship

Michael Taylor of Primordia Mushrooms is the successful applicant for the 4th Willunga Farmers Market scholarship and will start a gourmet mushroom farm from Aberfoyle Park. Michael will grow a mixture of shiitake, blue oyster mushrooms and king oyster mushrooms and will commence trading at the Willunga Farmers Market in early Spring 2017.

South Australia currently imports almost all of its gourmet mushrooms, leaving both consumers and chefs unable to source locally grown speciality mushrooms. Michael would like to be able to provide a high quality, local product which not only further showcases SA’s reputation as a premium food destination, but has a lower carbon footprint as it has not been shipped from overseas or interstate.

Why does Michael want to farm?

‘I would like to satisfy this gap in the market using as many reclaimed and recycled materials as possible (shredded paper, coffee grounds, agricultural waste) in order to provide a sustainably grown, delicious and exciting product whilst raising awareness about fungi in the Australian landscape’ Says scholarship winner Michael. ‘Many modern industrial and farming practises produce a range of waste products that currently are not well utilized in other processes. I believe that the conversion of underutilised waste streams by fungi into foods and medicines to be a key to many of our future farming systems.

Michael has been growing gourmet and medicinal mushrooms for consumption and research projects since 2010. Working in both a research and consultancy capacity has given him extensive experience in food safety, quality control and good laboratory practise.

Primordia Mushrooms will provide consumers with the best locally produced, sustainably grown gourmet mushrooms and fungal innovations whilst protecting global fungal resources through sustainable cultivation practise that reduce a reliance on wild harvesting of mushrooms.

`The Scholarship continues to grow and support the young, aspiring farmers of the region’ Says Pip Forrester, Willunga Farmers’ Market chairperson.
‘We have yet again received a wide variety of quality applicants offering innovative agricultural projects, all of which would see the Fleurieu Peninsula reap great benefits’
The bi-annual scholarship is a partnership between the Willunga Farmers Market and the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resource Management board.