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For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a profound interest in mushrooms.

Something about them caught my attention. Was it because they're the fifth kingdom, different from any other living organism? Was it because they have the potential to save the world? Was it because of the undeniable health benefits of medicinal mushrooms? Was it because different mushrooms have the power to either heal our bodies, send us on bewildering journeys, or end our lives altogether?

I’m still not sure.

But what I do know is that the more I learn about mushrooms- the more intrigued I become.

That’s why, in 2015, I finally decided to do something with mushrooms…

You see, FreshCap originally started as a humble mushroom farm in central Alberta. We grew everything from Pink Oysters to Reishi. I built the farm myself from the ground up; including building an environmentally controlled grow room, a sterile laboratory, and everything in between. I spent about a year completely immersed in growing mushrooms- learning everything I could about the art mushroom cultivation. Man, did I learn a lot!

In no time, our little farm was firing on all cylinders… and we grew a ton of mushrooms! More than we even knew what to do with.

It was awesome!

I quickly learned, however, that mushroom farming is…well… farming. It’s a ton of work.

Not only that, it’s a tough business.

The process of growing mushrooms at scale is labor intensive (even though I loved doing it), margins are thin, and trying to sell a quick-to-spoil fresh product is a challenge at the best of times.

That being said, I still think it’s definitely possible to succeed as a mushroom farming business – in fact, there are many fine folks doing it right now… but being a full time mushroom farmer… well, it wasn’t for me.

I wanted more.

Back when I was building the farm, I also started, as a way to have an online presence for the farm. I started writing an article here and there about mushroom cultivation, mushroom foraging, and just basically sharing everything that I have learned. I didn’t really expect anybody to find it. I was just having fun.

But over the next number of months, more and more people kept coming to the site… people interested in learning about how to grow mushrooms.

Before I knew it, I was sharing knowledge about mushroom cultivation with people from all over the world!

As I was teaching others, I continued to learn more and more about the amazing world of mushrooms myself.

This inspired a new vision… teaching the world how to grow mushrooms at home!

Why don’t more people grow mushrooms? I couldn’t quite figure it out… for some reason growing mushrooms is a mystery to most.

Sure it’s a little bit more complicated than having a vegetable garden… but why is that so? Does it need to be that way?

What if I could help make growing mushrooms at home more accessible?

What if I could demystify mushrooms?

Even though the farm wasn’t “in business”, I still grew lots of mushrooms. I still walked trails every day, with my head awkwardly scanning the ground and the trees looking for wild mushrooms. I still kept testing, exploring and playing with the art of cultivation.

In fact, you could say that I was a little bit obsessed. (…I still am)

But I couldn’t keep it all to myself.

So, I set out to write as many helpful articles as I could. I even started a YouTube channel, and eventually plan on making a completely free online course to teach people how to grow mushrooms from scratch.

But why stop there?

Like I said, the more I learn about the fungus among us, the more intrigued I became.

I have also learned about the AMAZING health potential of medicinal mushrooms. You really can change your life with the magic of mushrooms!

I learned that a huge percentage of the world’s top pharmaceuticals are derived from fungi. I learned that we share 50% of our DNA with mushrooms. I learned that mushrooms have been used for thousands of years by ancient cultures to heal, invigorate and revitalize.

I also learned that I also want to share that with the world.

What am I talking about? Here are some examples:

Reishi mushrooms have been dubbed the “mushroom of immortality”, known to modulate the immune system and promote longevity and vitality.

Lions Mane mushrooms are one of the only natural sources known to be able to regenerate nerve growth in the brain, enhancing cognitive ability, increasing mental clarity and reducing anxiety and stress.

Chaga Mushrooms are extremely high in antioxidants, helping to slow down the effects of aging and detoxify our livers.

Turkey Tail mushrooms have shown promise in reducing the side effects of cancer treatments and may even be able to stave off the common cold and flu.

Maitake mushrooms contain compounds that may lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels, while fighting tumors and bolstering the immune system.

Cordyceps mushrooms have been used by athletes to increase endurance and stamina by helping to increase the uptake of oxygen in our blood, while fighting respiratory infections.

Trust me… it doesn’t stop there.

In fact, more is being discovered all the time- and I really hope that the mushroom revolution is just getting underway. We are so excited about the mushroom revolution, we have even introduced our very own mushroom supplement products and want to share them with the world.

We can live better and feel amazing with the help of mushrooms!

So there it is. That’s what FreshCap is all about.

If I had to sum it up, I would say that FreshCap wants to teach the world to grow mushrooms and to know mushrooms, because there might just be a lot more to the fungi under our feet… just waiting to be discovered.

Thanks for stopping by!


Tony Shields

Co-Founder, FreshCap Mushrooms