This presentation will be taking place at Stinchfield Hall on Main Campus.
People have harvested wild mushrooms for thousands of years, yet more than 50 percent of the mushrooms we consume in the U.S. are commercially grown in the Chester County area of Pennsylvania. According to local lore, in the late 1800s Quakers started growing mushrooms indoors, where all the environmental inputs could be controlled. Historically, though, for at least the past 1,000 years people have cultivated mushrooms outdoors, mainly on the mushroom’s preferred substrate, cured green logs. The forest farming technique has become more popular in the U.S. since the early 1980s, when suppliers enabled a few fungi farmers to start inoculating their own logs for mushroom production to feed the demand from expanding tastes for new, healthy cuisines from around the world.
Paul Lagreze is a mushroom farmer/educator from Colrain. He has grown and foraged mushrooms in this area for over 25 years. He has taught mushroom foraging and cultivation courses at GCC and UMass Amherst for the past seven years.