Casey Oliver: Mushroom Man


Casey Oliver, 28, from Dawsonville, Georgia started growing gourmet mushrooms about two years ago. His business, Fractal Fungus, was created in order to pursue his interest in growing gourmet and medicinal mushrooms. 

“I had always been interested in growing things and doing things outside,” says Oliver. Oliver’s friend, Austin Otis had grown a variety of plants and mushrooms before and was able to help him with creating his company and understanding cultivation in practice.

After the initial investment of supplies, he got started right away with establishing a workspace in his home and beginning cultivation. Building the fruiting tent and the shelves inside was the first big step in creating a space where they could fruit mushrooms in larger quantities for sale.

“The most challenging thing right now is finding a steady clientele. It’s hard to get a business off the ground while also working other jobs,” says Oliver.

“I really like doing gourmets, but what I’ve always wanted to do is get into the medicinal side of mushrooms and make tinctures” or experimenting with them more to create plastic packaging alternatives and discovering the realm of possibilities that mushrooms are capable of.

Photo by Casey Oliver

“I think my favorite part of it is how unknown [mycology] is,” says Oliver. Many people are uneasy about trying different mushrooms that are not commonly found in the supermarket due to a lack of education about them. Oliver hopes to help break the stigma by educating and  providing mushrooms for his local community through farmers markets and local grocery stores. 

“They don’t really teach you about [fungus] when you’re young. It’s just kind of thrown out there with what’s in nature but really there’s so much more inside of them. So much modern medicine and everyday things come from mushrooms and mycelium and the way that they network with each other and plants,” says Oliver.

Photo by Casey Oliver

As of right now, Oliver is taking a hiatus through the winter months in order to prepare for the spring season by getting the mycelium cultures together and making sure all the equipment is ready for the more active season. With spring approaching and farmers markets starting up again, Oliver is busy getting the growing started up again and preparing for a busy season. 

For more information, visit their website Fractal Fungus.