PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Tashana Mithen and Grant Cameron got into the mushroom growing business a bit by accident.
“We both do native, edible landscaping as well, so I had done it in yards before, just helping them grow mushrooms,” Mithen told KOIN 6 News one day at the King Farmers Market in Portland. “Then Grant wanted to grow mushrooms as well, but we didn’t want to do it in a controlled climate. We didn’t want to use a bunch of plastic. We were really trying to figure out how that would work.”
A man doing a restoration project on an oak savanna was able to give them a lot of wood — and they’re using it to grow mushrooms.
“You have to innoculate the logs during winters, so it’s kind of the main season. We see how much wood we can get our hands on and how much we can physically do,” Cameron said.
About 2 years ago they began the Wild Oak Regenerative Farm in Corbett, and one of their items is DIY Mushroom Logs.
Mithen explained they’ve done most of the work, so it’s easy for someone to get wild mushrooms.
“All you have to do is put them in full shade, somewhere it can get natural rainfall is gonna help because then you don’t have to water it for most of the year, because Oregon has such nice weather for mushrooms,” she said. “In the summer, you want to water it once a week.”
She said it can also be done inside. “You just want to water it regularly, and apparently if you don’t do that good of a job, it still lives, which is nice.”
Mushroom-growing logs are “perfect for people who are kind of nervous about growing things,” she said. “You just have to water it half the year, once a week, and then they will keep coming back year after year, anywhere between three and eight years. So it’s pretty cool.”
Cameron said he loves hearing excited customers coming back. “It’s also awesome to see and hear the kids, so much interest in mushrooms, even knowledge at that age,” he said.
They set up a booth every week at the King Farmers Market, which is open on Sundays until Thanksgiving.
Mithen said the farmers market is her favorite time of the week.
“People are genuinely interested in doing things in a more healthy way for themselves and for the world around us. It’s just really nice to connect with people every weekend. It gives me hope for sure.”