When you tell someone that you are starting a business growing and selling mushrooms you are going to get some interesting looks. When you tell your grandparents they are going to ask, “Is this legal?” The point I’m getting at is that mushrooms and fungi as a whole have been over looked for so long that the average person knows little about them. This brings me to the beginning of the story.
The question I’m so often asked is, “So what made you want to start growing mushrooms?” My interest started last August when I attended the Telluride Mushroom Festival in Colorado. For those of you know have never heard of it, I would highly suggest going at some point in your life. I showed up to the Festival looking forward to hiking, mountain-biking, and enjoying the “Swiss Alps of North America.” As time went on though I started to listen in and realize that this little town up in the middle of the mountains was really on to something. On the 27 hour car ride back to Florida, I started brainstorming and doing as much research as I could on the subject of Mycology. Eventually I found myself in El Paso, Texas a few months later studying under the brilliant Eric Myers of Myers Mushrooms and this is really where my knowledge took off.
In December of 2017 I started building my first grow operation in my parents 3 car garage. After a lot of painting, cleaning, and constructing I finished the operation in early January and immediately started growing my first ever mushrooms. Every day since then has been a learning experience in every aspect of the business and it’ll continue to be a learning experience for the rest of my life. We have a long way to go on learning what all fungi can do for us and the world.
Next time you eat out at restaurant in the Emerald Coast area, keep your eyes out for Vale of Paradise Mushrooms. I will also be in most of the local farmers markets by the end of May 2018. Mushrooms are a great way to get so many of the essential vitamins and protein we need on a daily basis, and luckily there is now a mushroom farm in your area. Support your local farmers! Support Vale of Paradise Mushrooms!