Celebrating a New Landmark
It's not every day you get to unveil a new landmark. But that's just what we did with our sister company MyForest Foods, and the brand new Swersey Silos. These big, beautiful green towers will provide feedstock for the vast new vertical AirMycelium farm right next door, the largest of its kind. Every year, Swersey Silos will produce 3 million pounds of mycelium.
Ecovative is proud to have designed and built the farm and silos, which represents a massive scaling up of mycelium production. MyForest Foods spun out into its own company in 2020, and has been delivering MyBacon to the Honest Weight Food Co-op in Albany, NY for a couple of years. They regularly report selling out. Now, those shelves will be stocked, along with two new stores that signed up as customers: Berkshire Food Co-op, and Cornucopia Natural Wellness Market, respectively in Great Barrington and Northampton, Massachusetts.
Swersey Silos uses our AirMycelium technology to grow pure, meat-like mushroom tissues on agricultural leftovers like woodchips. These are then compressed, sliced and seasoned to taste just like bacon, and the feedstock that's left behind is converted into compost. It's a system that can feed many people sustainably, and involve far fewer of the environmental or ethical concerns with factory farming. We're excited that our mycelium technology can help to shift the food system to be better for people and planet.
We've seen mycelium technology come a long way since 2007. Consumers are starting to show real interest in mycelium as a material and as food, and the time was right to scale up by an order of magnitude. Swersey Silos is part of 120,000 square feet of new infrastructure we've built in just a year. Another processing facility is soon to open in Saratoga Springs, NY, and by 2024, they will be producing enough MyBacon to feed a million people every year.
That kind of scaling is a serious technical challenge, and is only possible thanks to a dedicated team of Ecovative scientists and Foundry engineers. “The incredible progress we've made on Swersey Silos in just one year since breaking ground is a testament to the engineering and technological expertise on our team,” says Peter Mueller, our Chief Technology Officer.
Earlier this year, MyForest Foods also partnered with Whitecrest Mushrooms in Putnam, Ontario. The gourmet mushroom farm normally grows typical edible mushrooms, but we demonstrated that existing mushroom farming facilities could be easily made to grow AirMycelium, too. That unlocks some 3 million pounds of annual MyBacon (or even Forager Hides and Foams) mycelium on less than one acre of land. We intend to replicate this model in other areas, part of our vision for distributed mycelium production.
So what's in a name? The Swersey Silos are named after Burt Swersey, the influential professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute who inspired our co-founders Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre. It was in Swersey's class that Eben presented the first MycoComposite prototype; Swersey encouraged the pair to launch a company and was the first investor in Ecovative. His vision is still a leading light for the company, and a call to develop meaningful solutions to real problems. By scaling mycelium to displace plastic, factory farming, and other unsustainable practices, we're proud to think that we're on track to helping make a difference. We think Burt would be proud.