Mushrooms – NH Style
EJ and I got to thinking, “Is it entirely necessary for every post to be about geocaching?” After some deliberation we decided that our ever-growing fan base might be interested in some of the other adventures we constantly find ourselves involved in. Today’s post is about organic mushroom farming… and a little geocaching.
In October of 2012, my brother Eric Milligan, fulfilled a dream of owning his own business and officially began producing organic mushrooms under the name New Hampshire Mushroom Company. After years of planning, hard work and the support of friends and family, he was finally able to make his dream a reality.
Located in Tamworth, New Hampshire, The New Hampshire Mushroom Company cultivates a variety of fungi, from basic oyster mushrooms to the more exotic varieties of Bear’s Head and Maitake. The mushrooms are grown from blocks of sawdust that have been mixed with a variety of “foods” depending on the species. All of NHMC mushrooms are USDA organic and are prized additions to the menu’s of up-scale restaurants in the Northeast.
Since production began, the small business has seen a dramatic increase in orders and is already looking to expand the operation to meet the growing demand. An increase in production is one of the reasons you have not seen a post from me in recent months. Since moving back to Maine/New Hampshire my weekends are generally spent assisting my brother in the production process. EJ even made the trip North from Portland, ME to assist in the process and what was to be a short visit turned into a 7 hr shift of stacking bags. Thanks dude!
But you might be thinking, “Great Kurt, plug your brothers business some more – what does this have to do with geocaching?” Well, I’ll tell yah!
When I think of Geocaching, I think of community involvement. I enjoy sharing my geocaching stories with others and speaking with people from all over the world about the difficult finds they’ve had or exotic locations they’ve been to. The mushroom farm is sort of the same thing, except they talk about mushrooms.
The outpouring of community support since the doors opened has been amazing with several people popping in just to get a tour of the facility and learn a bit more about the process. NHMC attends the local farmers markets and also participates in mushroom forays to help educate the public on what is, and what is not safe to ingest. The passion people have shown towards this industry reminds me a lot of die-hard cacher’s.
For me though, learning about mushrooms has added a whole new element to my geocaching adventures. At present, I can confidently identify up to ten edible species and find myself constantly looking for snacks as well as geocaches. The amount of mushroom variations in the forest are staggering and there is always something to learn – as I hit the trail with friends and family I find myself constantly picking up mushrooms to bring home to eat or the odd type I want my brother to identify. Mycology has certainly made my treks in the woods for cache’s more exciting. There is also the added bonus that some of the edible species in the Northeast can be sold for a hefty price, so a well hidden geocache in a mushroom patch could earn you some dough as well as geocaching treasure.
If you are interested in organic mushrooms, foraging for fungi or just want to stop in and see what this operation is all about, stop by the NHMC Facebook page or visit the website at www.nhmushrooms.com.