Capital city food and agriculture enthusiasts, take heed. We’ve talked about how local foods are produced and used in Abu Dhabi, and even evaluated eateries that include them as key ingredients. But now is the time to delve a little more.
In the midst of a harsh summer, a start-up in Abu Dhabi has started growing mushrooms in the heart of the desert, right here in the city. A pioneer in the area, Below Farm’s indoor facility is located about 45 minutes from the city center. Their ready-to-use produce falls under the category of “specialty mushrooms,” with species like the king oyster and lion’s mane leading their collection. They grow and sell farm-fresh mushrooms to restaurants, merchants, and direct-to-customers.
edients. But it’s time to dig a little deeper now.
In addition to ready-to-sell merchandise and boxed mushrooms, the business, which is only a little over two years old, also sells DIY farming kits and seasoning powders. They employ controlled environment systems to promote the growth of mushrooms in the tough circumstances of the Abu Dhabi desert and produce close to a tonne of product each month. They have noticed an increase in demand.
Businesses have started using locally grown and sourced products, in typical Abu Dhabi fashion. A number of neighborhood restaurants incorporate Liwa figs, local dates, Abu Dhabi-grown mushrooms, and other essential ingredients in some of their most popular dishes to give their newest menu items an unmistakably local feel. The Al Samha greenhouse, another notable agricultural endeavor in the capital recently.
“We are thrilled to be launching Below Farm at Gulfood in the UAE,” said Bronte Weir, co-founder of Below Farm. Our mission is to provide the region with high-quality, hard-to-find goods that are reasonably priced. A variety of sustainably farmed mushrooms, such as king oyster, shitake, and lion mane, which are an excellent substitute for fish, will be available from us. Retailers have responded incredibly well, and we anticipate seeing our products on supermarket shelves in the UAE very soon.