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Exploring the Mushroom Houses at Mother Earth Organic Mushrooms

A box of freshly picked mushrooms at the Kennett Square Farmers' Market (Photo by M. McClellan for GPTMC)

Last week, Philly Homegrown hosted a number of food writers who were visiting from cities around the country. We took them to restaurants, farmers’ markets, breweries and small, family-run grocery shops in order to show them just some of what Philadelphia’s food scene has to offer. The highlight of the trip for nearly everyone involved was a morning spent at Mother Earth Organic Mushrooms in West Grove, PA (very near to the mushroom capital, Kennett Square, PA).

This family-owned farm was the first organic mushroom grower in the country and currently sells to a variety of grocery stores and markets all across the country. While we were in one of the mushroom houses, our tour guide (Farmer Tim) pointed to a crate of mushrooms and said, “Those will be on the shelves in New York tomorrow.”

Farmer Tim walked us through the mushroom growing process, starting with the creation of the compost that is the necessary growing medium, straight through to seeding and harvest. Mushroom farming isn’t done in the open fields like so much of the food we eat. Instead, these ’shrooms are grown in specially built, climate-controlled houses that provide the right amount of light and moisture. The platforms they are grown in look like nothing so much as quadruple decker bunk beds.

For more of a peek into the mushroom houses at Mother Earth Organic Mushrooms, check out the slideshow below!