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Grown Here at Home: Local farm in Montvale growing mushrooms, having success

Published: Oct. 5, 2020 at 9:30 AM EDT
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MONTVALE, Va. (WDBJ) - At Wingstem Farm in Montvale, they’re growing various kinds of mushrooms.

“We moved here in 2012 with the idea that we wanted to grow something sustainably,” said Lexi Rojahn of Wingstem Farm.

Log-grown shiitake mushrooms are their main crop.

“We soak probably about 30 logs a week and that gives us about 20 pounds of fresh shiitake. The logs have been inoculated with a certified organic spawn, which is mycelium that is colonized on a sawdust substrate. We drill the holes and fill them with the spawn. And then cover them with a food grade wax. In a few months, for us, it’s usually five or six months, they have colonized and reproduced, and you see white areas,” Lexi explained.

Eventually the mushrooms will begin to fruit all over the log and produce until they have consumed all the nutrients of the log. The log will then fall apart and it becomes a good mulch or compost.

They also grow oyster mushrooms indoors using pasteurized straw placed in buckets. But straw isn’t the only thing this type of mushroom will grow on.

“It can be grown on agricultural waste. It can be grown on coffee grounds, use tea leaves, old jeans, cardboard,” Lexi explained.

The mushroom market is a billion-dollar industry that is only projected to keep growing in the coming years. Wingstem Farm sells mushrooms at the Grandin Village Farmers Market. Lexi says there are some people who are curious about the mushrooms they sell, but overall, there are many who are excited to have this local option available.

Click here to learn more about Wingstem Farm and what they have to offer.

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