Just northeast of Seattle, in Duvall, Washington, a kingdom of mushrooms is growing.
Sno-Valley Mushrooms’ Will Lockmiller has been a mushroom grower since his high school days. His love for fungi led him to open his business in 2011 and he hasn’t looked back since. Operating on a quarter acre of land, he’s perfected his mushroom operation using organic methods to provide King County with the most delicious fungi available.
For the Sno-Valley crew, producing high-quality mushrooms starts with having the perfect growing environment. Will’s team achieves this critical step by developing a nutrient-rich substrate using a mixture of decomposed grain, bran, and sawdust from the local mill. This material creates a “home” for the mushroom mycelium to establish itself in, providing all the healthy growing conditions needed to spur mushrooms to fruit. Going even further, they introduce steam and sterilization into the process, giving the mushroom spores the best advantage for colonizing the substrate material.
Zooming out, their onsite facility features an inoculation room pressurized with temperature-specific, sterile, HEPA-filtered air. This protects the mushroom spores from invasive mold and mildew that might inhibit the mushrooms’ growth. After the spores are added to the substrate, they are placed in heat-sealed bags to feed on the nutrient-rich environment while exchanging CO2 for oxygen. After a couple days, these bags are transferred to a humidity-controlled grow room where they’re partially removed from their bags to soak up more oxygen, ultimately fruiting into firm bunches that can be harvested for the masses.
Sno-Valley’s efforts don’t stop there, though. You can catch up with them at farmers markets around the King County, purchase their grow kits on Etsy, and even get in touch with their FungusBot™ division, an in-house team dedicated to helping farmers use technology to manage and control their critical growing environments.
We love counting Sno-Valley as one of our partners and hope you’re as delighted as us when you find their amazing fungi in your produce box!