1. Li Sun Exotic Mushrooms is a remarkable mushroom farm built inside an old railway tunnel.
You can actually take a tour through it and it’s pretty awesome.
2. As soon as you walk in it opens up to an incredible 650 metre long tunnel filled with mushrooms.
3. The tunnel is like a long, magical journey that’s only **slightly** creepy.
4. Dr. Noel Arrold is a microbiologist and took charge of the abandoned tunnel in 1987. You can tell he is a smart man because he irons his jeans.
He has no time for your crinkles.
5. Essentially, the mushrooms are grown in a variety of ways.
7. This is how the colourful varieties are grown. Noel said that although these look really cool they don’t taste as good as the more normal brown/grey mushrooms.
8. Others are grown in really cool things that kind of look like milk bottles. These are EVERYWHERE and look awesome.
9. The life cycle of these ones is quite intense.
11. These are all grown on old eucalyptus stumps. It makes the whole tunnel smell pretty nice (not like manure). This is a good thing.
13. Finally, there is this method. These are big wine jugs that are then filled with mushroom spores and a special mixture of compost before being wrapped in plastic.
14. The hardest (or at least, the mushrooms that took the most work) were the shiitake variety.
15. They are grown on eucalyptus stumps and then thrown in big tubs like this. Noel called this part of the procedure “bathing.” So mushrooms are really just like us :)
They stay in the tub overnight and are then bashed around a little bit. Like, really bashed around.
Then they are put back on the spikes and left to mature.
16. The shiitake is pretty sought after and used in medicine a lot.
Noel told us a story about ancient Chinese doctors rubbing shiitake on wounds. This was an early version of penicillin.
17. Here are some enoki mushrooms. These were my favourite because they look like a bunch of little people all huddled together in a blanket.
We should all try to be more like the enoki mushroom.
18. And this couple held hands the whole way. So cute.
19. Some people wore masks. Maybe because they were worried the mushrooms would let their spores out into the air and then they would have tiny mushrooms growing in their stomachs? idk.
21. When you get to the end of the tunnel there really isn’t much other than the old sandstone scaffolding (which is pretty cool if you’re into that sort of thing) and chemicals.
22. When the tour was over Noel handed us all a little pack of the mushrooms to take home. They all look pretty tasty.
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