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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.