I went to Far West Fungi’s mushroom farm, and it was really strange, interesting, and beautiful in a bizarre way experience. Mushrooms are one of those mysterious foods barely understood by botanists, that are nutrient dense and are frequently considered to have a wealth of healing properties. Not plants, mushrooms are the flowering portion of fungi.
I never really thought about where commercial mushrooms were grown, always thinking more of little domes sprouting off of wood in the forest. So I really didn’t know what to expect and was very surprised by the whole process, it was both more and less controlled than I would have thought.
The fungal cultures are introduced to bricks made of pressed sawdust as they naturally grow on wood, and are then sealed in special bags that keep them sterile. The bricks sit on shelves in the sheds pictured below that are humidified and temperature controlled. Once the mushrooms sprout and come to full size they are hand harvested and packaged.