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Wisconsin Mushrooms are popping!

Happy spring/summer! One month ago we still had snow lingering and cold weather. Now our yard is FULL of dandelions and blooming Creeping Charlie, and the daffodils are mostly finished. We’ve even planted our small veggie garden, though I’m protecting the basil every night as it’s still a bit chilly for those heat lovers!

As you'll recall from past updates, our new building has yet to get a floor. We’ve been having a lot of back and forth with various concrete contractors since last fall. We suddenly heard back from one of them last week who said they had an opening and they could get started on our project right away! Hooray! The new building sat vacant for many months and, as often happens in these cases, it had become a dumping ground/temporary storage for all sorts of things – recycling, tools, etc. We had to get it cleaned out quickly. Last Friday the company came and removed some excess sand, leveled the site, removed the big concrete ramp into the old building, and put down all the insulation! We are waiting to hear from them for next steps.

Wisconsin Mushrooms: Our Building before... (or really "during" since we had a bunch of stuff to move out)...

Before... (or really "during" since we had a bunch of stuff to move out)...

And after!

I delayed this newsletter a day because we have been waiting, on the edge of our seats, to hear if we’ll get a grant to help pay for this next step. As of this writing we haven’t heard yet. It’s going to be very tight if we don’t get the grant, so please help us out by buying lots of mushrooms! 😊

If you live outside the Twin Cities area and not near our farm and want to contribute, you can purchase several of our items online! Last month I mentioned that we had our dried mushrooms available for shipping. In the last month we’ve also added our powdered mushrooms and log kits.

A selection of powdered mushrooms. Yum!

We are currently selling our dried and powdered mushrooms in “stock up” options – 6 packages of either all the same kind or a variety. Purchase some to stock up for yourself; or purchase some and hand them out as gifts to friends and family. You can never go wrong with food for gifts!

Oyster logs, prior to cutting into kits. Look at the beautiful mycelium growth!

Inoculations continue and Jeremy has finished 632 logs. Just under 400 to go! We’re a bit behind schedule as we had both of our main employees out for two weeks! One had Covid and the other had minor surgery to recover from. We are very happy to have them both back and in good health again. And there have been other distractions, as there always seem to be. We just made a moderately aggressive schedule to maybe finish inoculations by June 1st, which would be incredible (for us). Jeremy inoculates in the high tunnel. It’s a great space in the winter and early spring when it’s so cold outside. But the weather has warmed up significantly and it’s a bit unbearable in the afternoon so these days Jeremy can only inoculate in the morning!

Our logs suddenly started pumping out shiitake a couple weeks ago – in our incubating logs from last year, in the stacks of logs in production, out in the woods with logs that were ‘abandoned’ years ago, and various very old logs that are being used for garden beds. Mushrooms everywhere!

A random pile of old logs with shiitake all over!

It’s a bit past time to put up the fabric on the shade structure. Jeremy got one wall up this evening, but we will probably wait till the weekend to put more of it up. If anyone wants to come out for a few hours and help put up the shade fabric, we’d love the help! It involves a bit of heavy lifting (piles of shade fabric) and climbing up ladders!

South wall going up!

We are feeling the crunch more and more as we continue to advertise and look for an outdoor production worker. Hopefully by this time next month we’ll have a person on board. And hopefully a concrete floor! And hopefully all done with inoculations!


Gus & Spore

Gus first because he is the alpha cat! Even though he's only about 9 months old, he's always letting Spore know who's in charge. Poor Spore! Both cats are ecstatic to be out in lovely warm weather again. But that doesn't mean they don't spend a good chunk of time napping inside!

Spore on one of his favorite spots, under my desk.

Gus got fixed a couple weeks ago. Here he is convalescing on the back of the couch, with his funny little home-made "ruff" to keep him from licking. So cute!


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