We grow our mushrooms on a substrate of untreated oak sawdust pellets – no synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides or other additives are ever used. The pellets are manufactured by the Amish from the sawdust waste generated in the production of solid oak furniture. We are converting this waste material into food at the rate of one pound of sawdust to grow one pound of fresh mushrooms!
We supplement our oak substrate with certified-organic wheat bran or soy hull pellets to add nutrients and optimize growth. Gypsum is also often added to our substrates to increase calcium content, as well as to add sulfur, both of which are necessary for proper fruit development.
The substrate blend is mixed with water from our well and filled into special fiilter patch bags which allow for gases to vent but prevent air molicules from entering. The bags of substrate are then loaded into our autoclave and sterilized to kill any potential sources of contamination in the substrate. After sterilization, the bags are removed from the sterilizer directly into our lab and inoculated with grain spawn. We produce the grain spawn in our lab by expanding spawn masters or cultures created by a certified-organic commercial lab. After inoculation, the bags are heat sealed and moved to one of our colonization rooms (pictured right).
Depending on the variety of mushroom, it takes 6-10 weeks for the grain spawn to consume all of the substrate and develop into a solid block of mycelium. At this point, the bags are ready to be moved to fruiting racks (pictured left), where the mushrooms will begin to develope within a few days .Mushrroms grow quickly and usually require harvesting twice a day so they are harvested at their peak. Harvested mushrooms are stored in our cooler room to preserve freshness until ready for delivery. All of our mushrooms are grown year-round in our climate-controlled grow rooms to ensure consistency, high quality, purity of strains, and protect the mushrooms from pests and other contaminates