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Chido Govera: The Magic of Mushrooms
Courtesy of Chido Govera9/25

Chido Govera: The Magic of Mushrooms

After Chido Govera was orphaned at age seven in rural Marange, Zimbabwe, she attended a program to train young girls in mushroom cultivation, a process that provides food and income while turning agricultural waste into rich compost. Today, at 31, she runs the Future of Hope, which has taught more than 2,500 students (from Berkeley to Mongolia) a remarkably adaptable model that requires only "a bit of water, a bit of free space and some material," she says. Gallon-size plastic bags are filled with mushroom seed, then placed on shelves. About three weeks later, mature oyster mushrooms are ready to eat or sell – the spent substrate can be recycled as compost. "There's no one solution to solve all the issues that affect our society," she says. "I wanted to simplify the art of cultivating mushrooms so it can be accessible to all the people who need it." GB

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