Deep in the woods outside Frankfurt, the organic farm “Druid Austernpilze” is located on a former military base. It specializies in oyster mushrooms – large, floppy fungi that were first grown in Germany to feed people during World War I.
Every year, organic farmer Georg Heinrich Rühl grows 400,000 kilos (880,000 pounds) of organic oyster mushrooms. And these days, business is booming.
Mushrooms are having a moment in Germany. The gourmet, sustainable foodie trend has seen more and more restaurants offering them in meals as fresh and healthy fare direct from nature. Mushrooms are full of protein, low in calories and an excellent option for vegetarians.
For organic farmers, it is an attractive market. There are over 100 varieties of mushroom that can be grown, and cultivated with manure, pulp, straw, wood or even waste.