08 Jan The Old Mushroom Farm: KZN Midlands Latest Artisanal Hub
At an isolating time for most people, one thing becomes increasingly apparent: we’re all still searching for that sense of community — whether online or in person. For those of us with creative interests, having access to inspirational spaces, where like-minded people are producing, is a saving grace.
More specifically, those of us interested in architecture, art, food, design… An exceptional new artisanal hub has sprung to our attention: think Victoria Yards meets Babylonstoren. About an hour’s drive from Durban, this new blooming artisanal space is nestled in the KZN Midlands, on an old mushroom farm.
The 20h property has evolved with over thirty years of attention, by ex-farmer, architect and artist Nic Crooks. The rapid development seen today has however been a result of the past 4 years of intensive architectural adjustments and adaptation from tenants, breathing life into the space. Nic speaks about “parasitic” architectural techniques, which is essentially adapting an already existing structure and morphing it into new entity.
The growing tunnels have been converted to people-oriented spaces, transformed by letting in beams of natural light. The space is connected through a pedestrian arcade down the centre, linking to a contemporary boutique, luxury accommodation, coffee roastery, workshop space, bakery, bistro, restaurant, gallery and allotment gardens.
Forming part of The Old Mushroom Farm (TOMF) is the self-catering accommodation 11 Karkloof, which welcomes urban-escapees and outdoor-enthusiasts. Allotment gardens optimize the fertility of the Midlands through a food garden and in collaboration with the gardening and farming community. They also provide an educational platform through workshops.
TOMF has been about community, bringing people together and creating a platform for so many talented individuals locally and across SA to showcase their projects and passions. The establishment seems to be growing at a rapid rate, and what is most encouraging is that the community around and within it is expanding too. It’s encouraging to know that spaces like this exist and that it’s possible to find pockets of unique creative energy all over the country.
Browse through the links below for more info on the current tenants at TOMF:
- BLUEBIRD COFFEE ROASTERY
- ROCK PAPER SCISSORS
- HOME SLICE CAFE
- THE SPOT BISTRO
- SCEW SPACE
- SALLYS MIDLANDS MIXES
- ACCOMODATION 11 KARKLOOF