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Media Archives: St John's Village's 'The Old Mushroom Farm, Howick Highlight'

In November 2022, Lucy Blackman on behalf of St John's Village Estate interviewed Nick Crooks, local architect, artist, and owner of The Old Mushroom Farm, and Manager & events coordinator, Sandy Chowles, about the evolution of this relaxed and creative artisanal destination on the Karkloof Road in Howick, the KZN Midlands.

Lucy: Nick, tell us about the origins of The Old Mushroom Farm, and what we can expect to find here today?

Nick: So, thirty years ago, I got this farm. It was a redundant mushroom growing farm…

Nick never had the intention to farm mushrooms, but when the opportunity arose, he took it.

Nick: After growing mushrooms commercially for about seventeen years, through thick and thin, and ups and downs… I sold the business to the managers, and kept the farm. 

The Old Mushroom Farm project has been an exercise of rebuilding and repairing the dilapidated farm buildings. Nick started with renovating buildings for storage and accommodation, and later focused on the ex-mushroom growing tunnels.

Nick has had fun with the renovation of the tunnels. The intention for this section was to create an artisanal space, like the vision that was at the heart of the Midlands Meander in the old days- showcasing local creators in their studios and workshops. 

The Old Mushroom Farm has become a destination in the Midlands. Visitors can stay in the accommodation, or come for the day to eat and explore the shops.

The Old Mushroom Farm also hosts a number of events and workshops drawing in b Howick locals and visitors from afar. Venues can be hired out to host classes, talks, performances or meetings. Events we’ve hosted in the past include creative workshops, kids parties, theatre performances, live music and conferences.

Visit The Old Mushroom Farm on 11 Karkloof Road, just 6.5km from Howick in the KZN Midlands. Visit the website, follow on social media, and sign up to the newsletter


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