When the doors reopen at the street food market next to By The River Brew Co. on Gateshead quayside, visitors can get to know a new vegan addition to the food attractions. Organic mushrooms will be growing on the upper level of the HWKRMRKT.
The 'Meats Out' initiative is the work of Jeff Cooper and his business partner Mike Botha of Re Grow Ltd. They are out to share the health and environmental benefits of mushrooms.
Using vertical farming methods, the mushroom-growing facility being installed on-site at the container village will produce oyster and shitake varieties which will be cooked in dishes on the menu at Trakol when it reopens from lockdown.
The collaboration with HWKRMRKT also involves Ken Holland, who has a business in Northumberland growing micro-greens vertically, and whose salad and vegetables are to take up an adjacent unit, offering more direct 'field to fork' possibilities.
This a first step in raising awareness for Jeff and Mike's company, near Darlington, as the pair plan to explore a host of possibilities for their product, from extending their food range to looking at replacements for plastic packaging.