Many people ask us: "What makes you different?" Here is the answer...
Willow Mountain Mushrooms is a family farm. We are not a corporation with hundreds or thousands of employees. When you purchase from us you are supporting a farmer and his family.
Why "Naturally Grown"?
After Bob had worked for the large corporate factory mushroom farms for over 20 years we decided as a family to start a small farm of our own.
One of the first decisions that we made was that we would not use the synthetic fertilizers and non-organic (and most that are considered organic) insecticides during our growing. We even try to get organically produced materials for our composting whenever possible. With not using these chemicals we have lower yields. However, what we loose with yields we make up for in flavor and quality as well as shelf life.
We have had many of our customers tell us that, "I have never had a button mushroom that has had flavor and your mushrooms have Flavor!" Also, "I can't believe how long your mushrooms last in the refrigerator. I had a package in there that I forgot about and it was still good after more that two weeks!" Now, while we are thrilled that the mushrooms stayed so fresh for so long we do tell our customers that they should be eaten within 10 to 14 days ~ at which the reply is, "They won't last a day in our house!" (with a big smile!)
It makes us feel good that so many people, even former anti-fungus eaters, enjoy our mushrooms. We work very hard to produce a quality mushroom that is 'clean' ~ for the environment, our family and our customers.
We then ask, "Why do our mushrooms have the flavor that factory farmed mushrooms do not?"
Could it be that the mushrooms are being picked too early? So that they can withstand the shipping trucks they enter and leave several times on the way to the grocery store?
~ Since we don't have to send in a crew to do our picking during scheduled hours, we go in when the mushrooms are ready to be picked. Now, that sometimes is 1 o'clock in the morning, but that is what it takes. So, we do it.
Could it be that the chlorine and chlorine products (Dow Flake) that are used during watering at the large factory farms to kill bacteria and make the mushroom nice and white dilute and kill any natural flavor that the mushroom may once have had?
~ We use just plain 'ole mountain water that is pumped from a clean aquifer over 400 feet in the ground. There is not a speck of chlorine added to this water. Not even for drinking purposes. It tests clean and pure ~ so, why mess with it?
Could it be the 'not so real' fertilizers that are used in addition to the 'natural' ones that the factory farms utilize?
~ Unlike most mushroom farms out there we utilize an all plant based process in our proprietary compost mixture. That means NO animal products what so ever in our compost! No poultry or horse manure, feather meal or urea.
Could it be the pesticides, like malathion and other neuro-toxins, that the factory farms employ on a standard basis as a preventative for mushroom fly?
~ We do not utilize non-organic chemicals during any process at our farm. We limit our use to a pyrethrin to 'knock down' any flies that may be in a growing room after all the breaks are picked off only in extreme cases.
Whether it is picking at just the right time, chlorine, not-so-natural fertilizers, pesticides or a combination there-of we may never know. And really, what does that matter? As long as we provide the 'cleanest', best tasting mushroom you have ever had.