A leaky washing machine sprouted a new farming operation

When people think of having a farm, a mushroom farm is probably not one of the first things to come to mind.
It wasn’t the first thing Matt and Nora Trammell, of Trammell Treasures Mushroom Farm, in Humansville , Mo, thought of either. In fact, Matt admits that when growing mushrooms as a business first became a possibility for the Trammell family, he didn’t even like them. In 2013, Matt, Nora and their two children, Sara and David, were living in an apartment in Chicago, and had taken a growing interest in learning how to grow and raise their own food. They moved to an apartment in Overland Park, Kan., and shortly after were introduced to fungi.
During their family vacation, their washing machine had begun to leak, creating a damp, wet environment that, upon the Trammell’s return, had grown mushrooms. Matt and Nora were fascinated.
“I started researching mushrooms,” Matt said.
After learning about the health and environmental benefits of growing edible mushrooms, Matt purchased a mushroom growing kit – and from there, they were hooked.
Matt and Nora soon discovered that there was a niche market for mushrooms, and they decided to try growing and selling their product at the Kansas City Farmers Market and the Overland Park Farmers Market. They purchased and installed a pop-up greenhouse and another – until they had mushroom growing houses from their master bedroom to their patio in order to try and keep up with the market. The demand for the Trammell’s mushrooms continued to grow, and eventually led them Warrensburg, Mo, and then to their current mushroom growing facility, the old Mill Street Market building in Humansville, Mo., right off of Highway 13.
Matt and Nora have created climate-controlled growing and clean rooms, where they grow pink oyster, gray oyster, lion’s mane and shiitake mushrooms, plus a few other specialty varieties depending on the time of year.
The growing medium for the mushrooms (typically sawdust) is hydrated before being inoculated with mushroom spawn for the given variety, and stuffed into plastic bags perforated with small holes to create an artificial log. As the mushrooms develop from the spawn, they push their way out of the bag through the holes, and continue to grow until they are ready to be harvested.
There are a few challenges to be had with growing mushrooms.
“We really have to balance the moisture,” Matt said.
Mold and contamination of the spawn/growing medium mixture can also come into play without careful regulation of the moisture and temperatures. Oxygen levels are also a factor – this affects the color and cap size of the mushrooms, Matt said.
Today, Trammell Treasures Mushroom Farm sells their mushrooms at a select grocery store or two, as well as at the Overland Park (Kan.) Farmers Market and Farmers Market of the Ozarks in Springfield, Mo.
Along with selling the mushrooms, Trammell Treasures Mushroom Farm also sells mushroom spawn and plugs for the majority of mushroom varieties they grow, value-added products like mushroom jerky and imported truffles. They also hosts mushroom growing workshops and educational classes periodically throughout the year, where participants learn about the benefits of fungi and have the opportunity to make their own mushroom logs.”


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