Our Farming Philosophy
We take pride in growing our produce naturally and sustainably. Our farm is free of fungicides, herbicides, pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and GMO's. We till our used substrate into our outside fields for soil health and monitor our water use. There is no better feeling than making a meal from food that was grown using only the best practices, and we want to share that feeling with you.
Meet the Owners
Left to right : Daniel, Lee Anne and Ike (above photo credit goes to Fish Eye Studios.)
Meet Daniel, co owner and head of sales at RBM. Daniel has enjoyed gardening since 1997 using natural and sustainable practices. He and Ike continue that natural, sustainable focus as they grow mushrooms. Daniel also currently owns and operates a renovation company here in the Upstate and has satisfied customers for over 17 years.
Meet Lee Anne, co owner, certified forager, office and quality control manager, and head of distributing operations. Lee Anne has enjoyed growing food for her family and foraging for greens and medicinal plants for the last fifteen years and really feels a "completed forager" now that she gets to forage shrooms for RBM. Heading up daily operations and quality control is a perfect fit for her as she keeps the farm in tip top shape and makes sure the shrooms grown are healthy, picked and prepared to distribute.
These three hard working entrepreneurs have just the right combination of skills to build and make this farm a success. They have worked together on renovation projects for over 5 years and started building the mushroom farm in 2015. Production of mushrooms began in August of 2016.
As of April 2017 they have already grown over 2000 pounds of mushrooms for local restaurants, markets and independent grocers. They are looking forward to producing and offering for sale several new varieties of mushrooms in the fall of 2017.
What do oyster mushrooms taste like?
The oyster mushrooms flavor is described to be "umami", a japanese word meaning "pleasant savory taste". Oyster mushrooms have a meaty, savory taste that is very versatile. They are more delicate both in texture and flavor than sturdier varieties like portabella or shiitake and can be used fresh or dried. They are tender, cook quickly, and are amazing sautéed on just about anything from sandwiches, burgers, steaks, seafood, to pastas. They also make a great meat substitute in vegetarian/vegan recipes, and are excellent in sauces and soups. They grow in bouquets, each bouquet contains mushrooms of varying sizes.
Are there any nutritional or health benefits?
Oyster mushrooms are full of nutrients. Click here for more information on oyster mushroom nutrient data. They are low in calories and carbohydrates, yet packed with protein (up to 30% by dry weight), they have significant levels of the cholesterol lowering molecule Lovastatin, vitamin D, (Stamets, 2005; Alarcon, 2003), vitamin B6, selenium, potassium, magnesium, antioxidants, and a variety of other vitamins and minerals. They are a powerhouse of nutrients.
They also show promise for medicinal benefits as well. In the International Journal of Oncology, Andrej Jedinak and Daniel Sliva (2008) idenitified two molecular mechanisms from alcohol extracts of oyster mushrooms that “specifically inhibits growth of colon and breast cancer cells without significant effect on normal cells, and has a potential therapeutic/preventive effect on breast and colon cancer.”
All mushrooms should be cooked to take advantage of their beneficial nutrients while deactivating the toxins that can be present, with the exception of truffles. A note for sensitive stomachs: some mushrooms can contain protein that causes slight stomach upset. Cooking deactivates the heat sensitive protein and really brings out the flavor of mushrooms and makes them very safe.
Where do we grow them?
When in full production our farm will produce 100-300 pounds of mushrooms each week. We start our mushrooms by seeding mycelium into pasteurized straw. The seeded straw is kept in "clean rooms" at our farm to avoid dirt, dust, and contamination from other spores. In the fruiting rooms, the mycelium is nurtured with the exact conditions needed for them to mature into large bouquets of mushrooms. The mature mushrooms are then carefully harvested and packaged by hand. The result is delicious, clean, beautiful, ready-to-eat, healthy mushrooms!