Last fall, members of the Portland Farmers Market team were able to meet with Riley Sevigny of Mindful Mushrooms at his farm outside of Portland. For over 10 years, Riley has been growing mushrooms, and 4 years ago he started selling them directly to restaurants and to shoppers at farmers’ markets in the Portland area. Read on to learn more about what it takes to grow mushrooms and where you can find their products!
Riley and the team at Mindful Mushrooms grow their mushrooms in alder sawdust and soybean hulls which allows for the greatest biological efficiency, or yield, for the substrate. After mixing and sterilizing the substrate in the bags, Riley waits for the spores to take over, before cutting a slit in each bag so that the fruiting bodies will emerge from the hole created. Similar to vegetable farming where it is important to keep crops from competing with weeds in the fields, mushrooms are sometimes out-competed by other spores. Maintaining a sterile environment is incredibly important here so that the desired mushrooms don’t have to compete with these other spores for resources such as nutrients, oxygen and water. The growing room is kept dark, cold and moist. Perfect conditions for fungi to grow!
Earlier this year, Mindful Mushrooms became Certified Naturally Grown (CNG). Farmers that are CNG certified don’t use any synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers or genetically modified organisms. This certification is an alternative to the National Organic Program because it is tailored for direct-market farmers producing food for their local communities. While the NOP is an important certification for large-scale agricultural operations, the CNG has less paperwork requirements and less costly fees for the certification. The Certified Naturally Grown certification process is transparent and accessible to the public. Check out the CNG website to see if any of the farms you support are Certified Naturally Grown here.
Where to Buy Mindful Mushrooms’ Products
Have ‘mushroom’ in your heart for fungi? Come see the variety of mushrooms that Mindful Mushrooms grows at our PSU Farmers Market each Saturday and see the other products they sell. Their products include over 7 types of mushrooms (depending on the season), tinctures, mushroom powders, and take-home grow kits. Starting in July, they will also be at the King Farmers Market through September!