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There is a farm with no land in the middle of Ljubljana? Little fungi can bring about the creation of a proper field? All of this is true ...


How did it all begin?

At Gobnjak, a small mushroom farm in the middle of Rožna Dolina, new ideas emerge like mushrooms after the rain. In the premises of the old Cockta bar, which still shows vestiges of past times, Bojana Rudovič Žvanut, a communications specialist by profession, and Rok Zalar, a bionics engineer, are tackling urban mushroom farming with courage and dedication. This is a contemporary activity that has only recently begun to emerge despite Slovenia’s long-standing tradition of mushroom gathering.

Rok and Bojana prove that openness of spirit, multidisciplinary experience, and authentic enthusiasm form a fertile substrate for urban mushroom farming, which is growing and developing on a daily basis. They carefully watch over their treasure – shelves crammed with almost unreal mycelium-covered culture media. They ensure that proper humidity and light levels are kept, patiently monitoring progress and broadening their own horizons: everything from pursuing the elusive umami, using mushrooms as an exceptional source of proteins in meat-free food, fermenting them, their positive effects on health, and even the development of environmentally friendly biomaterials.

What should you know about Gobnjak?

Every day Rok and Bojana uncover more secrets of mycelia and the versatility of mushrooms and enthusiastically share their findings with whoever visits Gobnjak. After only one visit your interest will sprout forth like a little spore and you will soon want to cook large chunks of mushroom on your grill, try unusual mushroom excrescences that have a positive effect on energy levels, create your own little house for growing mushrooms in your bathroom, and regularly attend their workshops.

The mushroom world

Cordyceps militaris, lion's mane, turkey tails, Reishi mushrooms, Pleurotus eryngii, the oyster mushroom, Pleurotus ostreatus, Agrocybe aegerita, shiitake mushrooms, Enoki, Shimeji mushrooms, etc. A visit to Gobnjak is not only an opportunity to get your tongue around some tricky names, but an exceptional journey into a living world of colours, shapes, patterns, structures, tastes, and healing ingredients.

© Suzan Gabrijan