Growing Mushrooms in New England

PHOTOS ADAM DETOUR, TO MARKET MAGAZINE

PHOTOS ADAM DETOUR, TO MARKET MAGAZINE

“The lion’s mane does not like to be dripped on,” Julia Coffey informs me, “so it sits on the top shelf of this greenhouse.” The founder of Mycoterra Farm, a leading small-scale, year-round mushroom farm in Massachusetts, knows exactly what makes her edible fungi tick. When she first started bringing her quaintly named native mushrooms to farmers markets, people didn’t exactly line up to buy them. She had to work to build a following.

Coffey also took her mushrooms to restaurants for chefs to sample. One early taker was Dolly Bourommavong, chef de cuisine at Metropolis Café in Boston. To her, the shredded lion’s mane, which look like albino broccoli heads, resembled crabmeat, so she used them to create vegetarian crab cakes. Now she is experimenting with other varieties of mushrooms.

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