It’s beginning to look a lot like…a mushroom cluster. If you haven’t been hiding under a mossy rock deep in a faraway forest, you will have noticed that indeed, mushrooms are having a moment. Blame it on Paul Stamets. Point fingers at Stella McCartney. But the fungi are here to stay. From high fashion to getting hands dirty, here are 10 gift ideas for on-trend fans of the once-lowly ‘shroom.
Herbal Academy – The Mushroom Course
For the fungi neophyte. The Herbal Academy’s online course introduces students to the fundamentals of foraging, from the comfort of home. It’s basically a boot camp for mycology: students learn to identify up to 20 types of mushrooms; get a crash-course in mushroom biology; and how, when and what to forage in the field. Academy founder Marlene Adelmann launched the school in 2011 with an aim to make herbal education accessible, affordable and authentic. The mushroom course carries that ethos with a flexible, online and written curriculum, made for the myco-curious.
Gourmet Mushrooms – Backyard Morel Mushroom Growing Kit
The Gourmet Mushrooms company has been in the mushroom biz for decades before fungi entered the zeitgeist. The kit comes with enough mushroom spores for several pounds of morels, plus a detailed guide to walk the uninitiated through the process. While the company’s website may not speak to Gen Z, their at-home morel mushroom growing kit should inspire joy (and home-chef creations of all kinds) in even the trendiest of mycophiles.
A Fine Company Shop – Wicker Forage Basket-Backpack
Meet the Tesla of foraging packs. A water-repellant, polyester outer shell, a mesh-bottom basket, and an insulated side pocket (for snacks, of course) are just a few of this pack’s bonafides. It’s not just that wearing a basket instantly transforms a woodsy walk into a Lord-of-the-Rings-worthy jaunt; it’s that this mushroom-specific gear is the ultimate must-have for any fungi-lover on your list. Show them you care. And truffle pasta might just be on the menu soon.
Forest Floor Studios – Mushroom Foraging Knife with Brush
A token of affection for the mycophile in your life. This must-have for foraging features a curved blade for hard-to-reach stems and boar-bristle brush to clean fungi before taking them home. Plus, it has a handy keychain-style attachment to keep it close, wherever their foraging leads.
How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us about Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence – by Michael Pollan
From the man who started a national conversation about how we eat comes a book on how LSD and psilocybin affect the mind. How to Change Your Mind began as a research project into psychedelic treatment. But it quickly became a personal journey of exploration into the human psyche, consciousness, suffering, joy and presence. The ideal gift for the mycophile whose curiosity extends beyond just a cool trip.
MUD\WTR – Morning ritual starter kit
For that special someone who’s too cool for coffee, but not yet ready to give up on a cup of hot brown water first thing in the morning. With mycophile-approved ingredients like lion’s mane, cordyceps, reishi and chaga, MUD\WTR is a daily dose of mushrooms in a cup. It purports to be healthier than regular ‘ol joe and has the packaging to prove it. Gift a healthier morning drink with the morning ritual starter kit, which includes 30 servings of the so-called mud, samples of the brand’s own creamer and sweetener, a rechargeable USB frother, guidebook to the mud, and stickers to spread the word.
Alexander McQueen Women’s Mushroom Intarsia Sweater
Before his death in 2010, Alexander McQueen was one of the fashion world’s brightest stars and inventive designers. Today, other designers carry on his legacy with the same eye for wit, edge and cool. One of the McQueen label’s latest pieces has all of that in spades (or, caps): this red and orange intarsia sweater was just one of the mushroom-inspired pieces that made things more fun(gi) on the runway.
Sage & Sill – Enchanted mushroom lamp DIY kit
Not all things mushroom must come from the earth. Exhibit A: Sage & Sill’s glass-encased mushroom lamp brings a modern aesthetic to the whimsy of fungi with a clean, bright look sure to fit any style. Giftees will still find a forager’s satisfaction in the do-it-yourself process, while those clumsy crafters shouldn’t fret. Sage & Sill insist the lamp “does not require artistic knowledge to complete.” In other words, a crowd-pleaser in a box.
SnoValley Mushrooms – Lion’s Mane Mushroom Growing Kit
If morels aren’t their thing, lion’s mane just might be. Recognizable by its textured, mane-like shape (which, incidentally, also resembles cauliflower), lion’s mane is a much-beloved mushroom species among the cognoscenti. In addition to their seafood-like taste, they’re said to have a myriad of health benefits, from relieving mild depression and anxiety to protecting against dementia.
Stella McCartney – Frayme Mylo Mycelium Bag
This self-described first-ever luxury bag made of mycelium (that’s the root-like structures of fungi, for you myco-Philistines) made headlines when it hit the runway in summer 2022. Adding some signature rock-star cool to the equation are an aluminum chain and medallion—described as recyclable on the product website. McCartney also came up with a fashion-forward outfit made of Mylo, the fungi-based material, but so far only the bag (and a range of other Frayme bag styles) is available for purchase.