Around The Home

Mella aims to bring mushroom-growing tech to users' kitchens

Mella aims to bring mushroom-g...
The Mella Smart Mushroom Fruiting Chamber is currently on Indiegogo
The Mella Smart Mushroom Fruiting Chamber is currently on Indiegogo
View 2 Images
The Mella Smart Mushroom Fruiting Chamber is currently on Indiegogo
1/2
The Mella Smart Mushroom Fruiting Chamber is currently on Indiegogo
The Mella setup should ultimately sell for $479
2/2
The Mella setup should ultimately sell for $479

Although there's nothing quite like freshly picked mushrooms, growing the things yourself can be quite challenging. That's where the Mella Smart Mushroom Fruiting Chamber comes in, as it's designed to make doing so much easier.

Developed through Kentucky-based co-creation community FirstBuild, Mella consists of a stainless steel main chamber which is joined to a removable/refillable water reservoir. The chamber incorporates a transparent plexiglass door and side panels, a humidity sensor, dimmable LED grow lights, and an air exchange fan.

Users start by placing up to four commercially available "fruiting blocks" inside the chamber – such blocks typically come pre-seeded with mushroom spores. After the reservoir has been filled and attached, the system proceeds to automatically keep the humidity and lighting at the optimum levels for mushroom growth.

The Mella setup should ultimately sell for $479
The Mella setup should ultimately sell for $479

From that point on, users refill the reservoir about once a week, and harvest mushrooms off the block as they need them. Once every few "grows," they also have to clean spores out of the air exchange by rinsing out the removable fan and its reusable foam air filter.

Should you be interested, Mella is presently the subject of an Indiegogo campaign. Assuming it reaches production, a pledge of US$349 will get you one – the planned retail price is $479. Shipping is estimated to take place next May. Backers can also opt for a fruiting block subscription service, in which they'll receive three blocks (of various mushroom types) per month for six months.

There's more information in the video below.

Meet Mella, the easiest way to grow gourmet mushrooms at home

Sources: Indiegogo, FirstBuild

4 comments
4 comments
Tristan P
Looks very cool. Pity they don't ship to Australia otherwise I'd jump on it.
Trylon
I'd love to grow my own shiitake, but it's not worth $350 to me. I'll just do it the old-fashioned way, on a hardwood log in a dark closet.
Aross
A few things confuse me. I thought mushrooms grew in the dark so why all the glass and lights. Another is will the mushrooms offered be of the local indigenous type or are we going to start importing mushrooms that might impact local flora? Finally is it really cost effective, you can buy a lot of mushrooms for the close to US$500 it will cost.
ljaques
Interesting idea. I see that they are trying to get their entire investment back in the first month, though. That will kill it quickly. At $100 a pop, I bet they'd sell a million. At $349-479, I'm surprised they've found 1k buyers. (insert P.T. Barnum quote here) And that price will certainly get other budding entrepreneurs to build their own Arduino clone.
@Aross, the light is probably part for growing and part for harvesting. Yes, $500 would be 2-3 years of normal mushroom purchase.