The (Chemical) Engineering of Sheltowee Mushrooms

The Sheltowee Farm grows the highest quality mushrooms, indoors, by replicating nature’s processes of rest and renewal.

So, instead of 18,000 outdoor logs as host for mushroom spawn plugs, Billy has developed two amazing types of media for the growth of the most beautiful shitake and oyster mushrooms.  Compressed, sterile sawdust blocks host perfect shitake.  Vertical ‘logs’ of organic straw host pinkish-peach, vibrant yellow and beautiful gray oysters.

Billy, now single-handedly, manages moving the mushrooms through the process he engineered of cultivation and harvesting.  Mushrooms that are harvested one day are delivered the next day to the kitchens of the best restaurants in Louisville, Lexington and Cincinnati, including Jean-Robert’s Table, Orchids and Nectar.

Hen-of-the-woods and maitake mushrooms, known as super-mushrooms, are foraged and sold to Whole Foods, among others; they’re about 25% of Sheltowee’s overall business, as are its Internet sales.  Foraging is a a topic I’m very interested in, and will be devoting a great deal more energy to as mushrooms become available seasonally.

Billy offers tours of the farm; he also offers foraging classes.  Instead of emailing Sheltowee, become a Facebook Friend of Sheltowee Farm Gourmet Mushrooms and be notified immediately when morels, chanterelles and maitake become available.

Sheltowee’s shitake blocks are available for sale and, in fact, I brought a block home to grow mushrooms in my kitchen.  I have no idea what level of success I’ll realize, if any; however, I (occasionally) take direction well, and I’m up for the challenge.

Tune in.

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One Response to The (Chemical) Engineering of Sheltowee Mushrooms

  1. Billy Webb says:

    News from the farm. Please spread the word. Sheltowee Farm (well, Billy Webb) was selected by the UNited States Agency for International Development to go to the Republic of Georgia to help an Oyster Mushroom farm. I leave 25 June for Tiblishi, Georgia. I hve started a blog (as suggested by the USAID) adn you can follow this adventure Wish me luck.

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