LifeCap Farms is a new sustainable urban mushroom farm based in Jersey City, NJ. LifeCap is passionate about providing local, organic, gourmet mushrooms and mushroom products to the community. Its mission is to spread the love of mushrooms, educate the community about the endless health benefits of mushrooms, and illustrate how to grow organic healthy foods in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. Keep reading to find out how this new Jersey City small business aims to bring farm-fresh mushrooms and produce straight to your table.
(Photo credit: Sara Munjack)
The story behind Life Cap Farms
LifeCap Farms was founded by Jersey native Baris Sonmez, who worked in corporate America for 12 years. In 2015, Baris decided to travel the world to pursue other passions. Six months later, Baris had to return home to take care of his family for personal reasons. Not having enough of his own resources at the time, he decided to start growing vegetables in his garden to save on groceries. This ignited Baris’ passion for seeing things grow – and he began volunteering for Green Acre Community Garden in his hometown of Paterson, NJ.
(Photo credit: Marinell Montales)
This volunteer work has led to a passion for helping build food systems in food deserts and a love for helping to provide organic produce to the community. Baris decided to broaden his passion and take courses at various universities to deepen his knowledge of agriculture. That’s when he found the hidden gem of “Fungi”. Baris shared with The hoboken girl“Mushrooms are something complex and beautiful at the same time. They can break down matter and bring any given environment to life. They are medicinal and ancient. As a result of this newly discovered passion for mushrooms, LifeCap Farms is born in 2018.
Read more: No-cost + vegan community fridge is coming to Jersey City
About LifeCap Farms
(Photo credit: Sivan Donenfeld)
LifeCap Farms was founded in 2018 to grow organic gourmet mushrooms with a mission to serve the community by providing free produce to non-profit organizations, providing compost to urban gardens, and providing education for youth. In 2021, LifeCap Farms expanded to its new location in Jersey City. The farm is housed in a 6,000 square foot warehouse and its goal is to supply New Jersey and New York with organic, fresh, local, gourmet seasonal mushrooms. The facility is currently equipped with a laboratory, incubation room and culture rooms.
Currently, LifeCap Farms has an amazing team of people who are passionate about the mission and offering mushrooms to the community. The team is currently partnering with a few restaurants such as Corto to provide gourmet organic mushrooms as well as free mushroom donations to Plant Base Market, which recently established itself as a non-profit organization and will offer meals based on donations to the community. .
LifeCap Farms currently offers a CSA program just started for the season (Community Supported Agriculture), which offers a box of mushroom varieties every two weeks that can be selected in sizes from one to three pounds (minimum 3 month commitment ). LiefCap conveniently offers four pickup points in Jersey City; Plant Base Market (370 Pacific Avenue), Busy Bee Organics (451 Palisade Avenue), Raine n River Apothecary (299 Grove Street) and Griot Café (398 Central Avenue). It also has a CSA pick-up point at the Village Green restaurant in RidgewoodNJ.
(Photo credit: Lisa Guillard)
The variety of mushrooms ranges from Blue Oyster to Black Pearl Oyster, King Oyster, Lion’s Mane, Chestnuts, Shiitake, Enoki, White/Brown Beech, Maitake, etc. In addition to fresh mushrooms, LifeCap also offers dried mushrooms, powders, tinctures, and grow bags.
See more: A Guide to Farmers Markets in Hoboken + Jersey City
The Future of LifeCap Farms
In addition to current offerings, LifeCap Farms hopes to expand its partnership with more local restaurants, grow its current CSA program, and collaborate with more nonprofits and urban gardens. As a musician, owner Baris would also like to use the warehouse space for the arts and is in the process of finding synergies with local artists, musicians and poets.
In the future, Lifecap hopes to expand into hydroponics and spirulina cultivation. The LifeCap Farms team also hopes to see its locally grown organic mushrooms in the hands of community members and provide access to high-quality mushrooms to people of all types of needs. LifeCap also believes in educating the community about mushrooms, their health benefits, their importance, finding new and innovative ways to cook them and offering them as an alternative to meat.