Medina Mushrooms
The Mushroom People

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I buy your mushrooms?

Check out our “find us” page to see all dates and locations you can buy our mushrooms.

Mushrooms are available at the following Farmers Markets:

  • Kennett Square (PA) Farmers Market* - Fridays

  • Havre de Grace (MD) Farmers Market - Saturdays (every other or so)

  • Newark Natural Foods Co-op (DE) Farmers Market - Sundays (every other or so)

*Our good friends at Flying Plow Farm have a limited selection of our mushrooms available at the Kennett Square Farmers Market.


Can I visit the farm?

Unfortunately, due to the food safety regulations of our wholesaler, we are unable to allow visits to the farm. We hope to be able to do so in the future!

If you are looking for a day trip to learn about mushrooms, we highly recommend checking out Kennett Square, PA! You can learn more about the area on the Historic Kennett Square website. There’s plenty to do in Southern Chester County - shopping, eating, and touring!


How do mushrooms grow?

The simple answer is that they grow kinda like plants, but not anything like plants.

There are different spores for different types of mushrooms, just like there are different seeds for different plants - you wouldn’t plant a strawberry seed and expect to get a head of lettuce, just like you wouldn’t expect a shiitake mushroom to grow from maitake mushroom spores! These spores are introduced to an initial growing medium like sawdust or grain. When the spores have taken over this growing medium with their mycelium (kinda like a plant’s roots), it is called spawn, which works like the starter needed to make sourdough bread. The spawn is then added to a growing substrate that is selected based on the type of mushroom. For instance, mushrooms like white buttons or portobellos use a rich compost as their growing substrate (and topped with a few inches of peat moss), but oyster mushrooms use a mixture of cotton seed hulls and straw. From there, the spawn colonizes (inoculates) the substrate, and by manipulating the environment in which they’re growing (CO2/O2 levels, temperature, humidity, etc.) we are able to get the mushrooms to pin (the fungi equivalent of sprouting), and grow to the size that we need to harvest.

Each type of mushroom takes a different amount of time to go from spore to spawn to mushroom house to harvest, and each requires different growing conditions to ensure we grow the best quality mushrooms for your kitchen table. Learn more about how mushrooms grow from this video.


Where do you grow your mushrooms?

We grow our mushrooms in traditional mushroom houses, re-purposed refrigerated tractor trailers, and in purpose-built pole barns.

Traditional mushroom houses are large block buildings built into a hill. The lower side is called the breezeway side, and the upper side is called the wharf. We fill our houses from the wharf side, and move our harvested crops and clean our houses out from the breezeway side. The growing rooms themselves are two stories tall, and have stacks of mushroom beds from floor to ceiling. You can see into

We have heard of (and seen) mushroom farms in caves and mines, but we’d like to stick with growing above ground! You can check out the video linked above (link here, too!) to see the inside of some mushroom houses. We hope to make a video of our farm for you soon!


Are mushroom houses always dark and stinky?

Contrary to popular belief, the answer to both is no!

It’s true that mushrooms don’t need sunlight to grow, but they do use sunlight for an important thing - they convert sunlight to Vitamin D. Because of the importance of this nutrient to us as humans, we use lights in our growing rooms to give our mushrooms that boost of Vitamin D they would normally get when growing outside. Did you know that mushrooms are the only food in the produce aisle that are a source of Vitamin D?

Usually we get the statement “oh it must stink there!” a few times a market. You’ll be surprised to know that stinky mushroom houses are not the case here or in any mushroom house! The smell that people normally associate with mushroom houses is the smell of compost - decomposing and rotting organic (carbon based) matter. It’s true that we use a lot of compost in growing mushrooms, but by the time we get it to fill our beds, it has been well rotted and completely pasteurized. This means that there’s no nasty smells, and more importantly for us growing mushrooms, it means that there aren’t any other mushrooms, molds, or diseases in the compost to affect our crop. Normally when people smell those nasty smells in the Southern Chester County area, it’s from the compost yards that are making our compost.