Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Welcome to my passion!
Fungus cultivation is something that I have done on and off for nearly 2 decades. In the last year several things have happened that have allowed me to begin to farm these little critters and build a business that turns shit into cash (literally and figuratively speaking!)
How does Carolyn feel about this? Well, she is a foodie and an organic foodie on top of that. Her folks? Well her brother refuses to eat anything that is labeled "organic." He feels that organic cultivators are "snooty, stuck up bitches who look down upon conventional farmers." Thomas is a conventional bean and corn farmer.
The last 6 months have been filled with discussing the techniques, establishing a protocol for growing, and proof of concept. The above photo is the initial proof of concept result.
I acquired a strain from a local grocery store and cultured it. I expanded the culture to the point where it became viable enough to inoculate some pasteurized straw and stuff it into a bag. Poke some holes in it and ignore it in a well ventilated area. Chill for a few days and you get mushrooms!
This fungus, along with all the others that I grew from this "stolen" strain have been given away or consumed by myself and my family.
Since then I have been building a culturing lab, establishing a culture strain or two that I received from Penn State and building a pasteurizing/inoculating/bagging station in the barn adjacent to the lab and some fruiting rooms!
We also came up with a name for the business.
Don't believe me? Check this out!
I wanted to name it after Thomas but then I would have to fist fight him every time we had a family gathering and I would lose because I would start laughing so hard that I would be unable to defend myself.
That's right! Incorporated and everything!
Now we are shooting for organic certification and we have a marketing plan in place to roll out.