History

Established in 2008, the Mushroom Initiative (TMI) is a non-profit-making organization in Hong Kong, practicing soil-friendly farming approach to promote soil regeneration. We advocate for actions that proactively reverse climate change by enhancing soil carbon storage and restoring soil biodiversity.

TMI’s work responds to climate crisis with actions. We see soil under management as a huge potential for carbon sequestration. In recent years, we have initiated reforestation projects in Southeast Asia, to restore abandoned mining fields and other degraded land; a local plantation enrichment project to enhance plant diversity in Country Park, and public education projects on soil health to promote the concept that soil health is the foundation of our life. 

The importance of soil health and SOM in safeguarding our future and reversing climate crisis is now well recognized internationally. Numerous initiatives and organizations emerge in recent years to put soil science into actions, including the ones TMI has joined as member: “4 per 1000” Initiative started by French government in 2015 to encourage an annual increase of 0.4% SOC in global soil, and Regeneration International with strong global networks in implementing regenerative agriculture across continents.

We have gathered the knowledge and skill sets for soil assessments to share with farmers on management strategies towards healthier soils.  This does not only benefit farmers in terms of yields and quality of produce while reducing dependence on fertilizers and pesticides, but also consumers for fresh food with high nutritional integrity, wildlife for habitats free from pollutions and environment for more carbon in the soil. We envision farming as a cooperation between nature and farmers where life thrives and prospers, and it all starts from getting to know soil with appropriate tools and observations.

TMI Milestones

Year Major development
2009
  • Registered as a not-for-profit organization
  • Set up a farm in Tai Po in Hong Kong
  • Certified as an organic farm by Hong Kong Organic Resource Center
  • Conducted researches of fungi cultivation with food wastes from local community
2010
  • Developed the first eco-friendly and organic-certified mushroom products in Hong Kong
  • Started a reforestation project using mycorrhizae in Mau Water Catchment, Kenya
2011
  • Collaborated with university research teams in Kenya for eco-friendly mushroom production for food, nutrition security and environmental protection in Nakuru and Western Kenya
2012
  • Started a 4-year collaboration with Huazhong Agricultural University to research organic mushroom cultivation with food waste
2013
  • Awarded for outstanding management by Hong Kong Organic Resource Center
2014
  • Held the first open day of TMI farm
2015
  • Endorsed as a charitable organization (Search here for tax-exempt charities. Please enter “the Mushroom Initiative” for verification).
2016
  • Collaborated with Food Research Center, the Chinese University of Hong Kong to research mushroom cultivation skills and applications
2017
  • Started mycorrhiza reforestation projects in Thailand
2018
  • Started mycorrhiza reforestation projects in in peat swamp forests in Indonesia
2019
  • Started mycorrhiza reforestation projects in Pine Forest in Dalet, Vietnam
  • Launched a 5-year plantation enrichment project with AFCD
  • Launched a 2-year environmental education project, “ECF Finding Hope in Climate Change: Steps to Store Carbon in Soil”
  • Joined “4 per 1000” Initiative as a forum partner
2020
  • Collaborated with Patagonia (HK) for “Road to Regenerative Organic Cotton—Donation Scheme”
  • Launched a 3-year development of a portable, low-cost fluorescence spectrometer as a plant health indicator, sponsored by the HK government’s Innovation and Technology Fund for Better Living

  1. “4 per 1000” Initiative official website:https://www.4p1000.org;
    List of partners and members of the Initiative:https://www.4p1000.org/sites/default/files/francais/original_partenaires_membres.pdf