Mushroom Farmers of Pennsylvania

Mushroom farms have been growing mushrooms in southeastern Pennsylvania for more than 120 years. Pennsylvania leads the country in mushroom growing. The 68 mushroom farms in the state produced 63 percent of all U.S. white mushrooms, valued at $554.4 million. PA mushroom farms are family owned and operated, some for as many as four generations. Farms use both conventional and organic agricultural practices and vary in size.

Meet The Farmers

Meet The Farmers

Mushroom farming is hard work, but our farmers love the challenge. Meet some of our long-time, local farmers who have been bringing you quality mushrooms for generations.

Learn Our History

Learn Our History

How did Kennett Square and its surrounding areas become the “Mushroom Capital of the World?” It all started in 1885 with a florist who tried out mushroom growing.

Learn About Farming

Learn About Farming

When you buy mushrooms from your local store, do you ever wonder how these delicious, nutritious products end up in the grocery aisle? Well, wonder no more!

Our Community

Our Community

Pennsylvania is a wonderful place to live, work and raise families, and we are thrilled to share our vibrant mushroom community with you. Check here for recent farm and community news.

Our Farmers

 

Pennsylvania’s mushroom farms are family enterprises! The more than 65 farms in the state are owned and operated by local families, and all but a few are multi-generational – mom and pop farms passed down to sons and daughters, nephews and cousins. In many cases, the current owners are third or fourth generation farmers. Find out more about some of our local, Pennsylvania farmers.

 

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Bear Ferranto, patriarch of Buona Foods, continues to be involved with his family farm after almost 40 years.

Bear Ferranto, patriarch of Buona Foods, continues to be involved with his family farm after almost 40 years.

“Mushroom farms and mushroom farmers have always been one of the first recyclers of material.”  -Joe DiNorscia, President, Skyland USA

“Mushroom farms and mushroom farmers have always been one of the first recyclers of material.” -Joe DiNorscia, President, Skyland USA

“We couldn’t do it without the employees – we had good employees, we had good people, we had good ideas put in place by other people.”   – Buster Needham, Owner, Hy-Tech Mushroom Compost

“We couldn’t do it without the employees – we had good employees, we had good people, we had good ideas put in place by other people.” – Buster Needham, Owner, Hy-Tech Mushroom Compost

“There’s a great pride and tradition in knowing that…you’re able to take this business on. It’s a great story – it’s a great story of the American farm.” Gale Ferranto, Owner, Buona Foods

“There’s a great pride and tradition in knowing that…you’re able to take this business on. It’s a great story – it’s a great story of the American farm.” Gale Ferranto, Owner, Buona Foods

If you eat mushrooms from Pennsylvania, you can thank William Swayne.

 

In 1885, he was the first person to grow mushrooms in Chester County. A successful florist in Kennett Square, he had the idea to grow mushrooms beneath his greenhouse benches. He sent to England for spawn, and the results were encouraging enough that he built the first mushroom house in the area. His son, J. Bancroft Swayne, returning from college, took over the mushroom business and made it a commercial success, eventually developing a spawn plant and a cannery in addition to the growing houses.

 

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Our History

 

Since 1885, farmers have been  growing mushrooms in Pennsylvania. In the 130 years since William Swayne first grew mushrooms in Chester County, mushroom farms and the local families that run them have become a critical part of the local economy and community. Learn more about how mushrooms became an integral part of the history of Pennsylvania.

 

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Local farmers quickly established Pennsylvania as a mushroom growing center in the U.S.

Local farmers quickly established Pennsylvania as a mushroom growing center in the U.S.

As the community grew, mushroom farms and their employees became a critical part of the local economy and an integral part of the local community.

As the community grew, mushroom farms and their employees became a critical part of the local economy and an integral part of the local community.

In the 1950s, growers formed the American Mushroom Institute (AMI), an organization that acts as an advocate for the farming community.

In the 1950s, growers formed the American Mushroom Institute (AMI), an organization that acts as an advocate for the farming community.

AMI is a national voluntary trade association representing the growers, processors and marketers of cultivated mushrooms in the United States and industry suppliers worldwide.

AMI is a national voluntary trade association representing the growers, processors and marketers of cultivated mushrooms in the United States and industry suppliers worldwide.

63% of U.S. mushrooms are grown in Pennsylvania.

More than 65 farms operate in Pennsylvania, providing almost 9,500 jobs and producing more than 580 million pounds of white, brown and specialty mushrooms with a value of more than $550 million. Mushrooms are one of the most difficult commodities to grow, so mushroom farms today are highly technical operations that require intensive labor to produce a consistent, high-quality crop.

 

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Learn About Farming

 

Mushrooms are one of the most difficult commodities to grow. Because of this, mushroom farms today are highly technical operations, complete with extensive computerized systems to monitor each point in production. The process also requires intensive labor in order to produce a consistent, high-quality crop, so our workers are key to our success.

 

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Much like any agricultural community, mushroom farms and their employees put in many hours to produce the quality mushrooms you see in your grocery store.

Much like any agricultural community, mushroom farms and their employees put in many hours to produce the quality mushrooms you see in your grocery store.

Highly skilled workers at each mushroom farm are essential to producing nutritious mushrooms.

Highly skilled workers at each mushroom farm are essential to producing nutritious mushrooms.

Mushrooms are packed and shipped to locations all over the U.S.

Mushrooms are packed and shipped to locations all over the U.S.

When the mushroom harvest is finished, farmers steam pasteurize everything in the growing room and dispose of the rich, organic material that remains – mushroom compost.

When the mushroom harvest is finished, farmers steam pasteurize everything in the growing room and dispose of the rich, organic material that remains – mushroom compost.