A Vermont couple shifted their plans for a farm centered on a goat dairy after taking a workshop in growing shiitake mushrooms.
Now, Lucas Jackson and Maeve Mangine are selling the spongy rich mushrooms to several restaurants and a food cooperative, and through a community supported agriculture farm.
Their Tangled Roots Farm in Shrewsbury was one of about 20 farms chosen in Vermont and New York as research sites under a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant.
A University of Vermont-Cornell University extension study found that a 500-log operation could bring in $11,000 in gross income at the retail price of $16 a pound. The study also determined that demand for shiitakes far outstrips supply.
Next month, the universities plan to release a guide for growing shiitakes in the Northeast.