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The Mushroom Mission
Contact: Shauna Lewis
Address: 3434 ESSEX CT Craig, CO, 81625
Email Address: Themushroommission@yahoo.com
Phone: 970-757-4318
About Us
We are Mario and Shauna Lewis. We’ve been together for 20 years and married for 18. We have 3 kids under the age of 10.

Mario
I was in the army for 7 years (2005-2012). I served 2 years in Iraq. I was trained as a truck driver, but also worked as an Arabic interpreter during the last part of my first deployment and all of my second deployment. I came away from the military with service related disabilities. My previously silent disorder of Tourette’s syndrome was greatly exacerbated. I also suffer from extreme anxiety and PTSD-like symptoms. I started growing mushrooms as a hobby to keep my mind busy and center myself mentally. Over a few years it evolved into a productive hobby. We began successfully growing pounds of mushrooms each week, many more than we could eat.

Shauna
I’m a stay at home mother of three. One of the upsides of this venture is that I can work from home and be my own boss. I was already helping Mario a lot when he was growing mushrooms as a hobby. It was my idea to diversify and grow many types of mushrooms beyond blue oysters (Pleurotus ostreatus). I enjoy seeing mushrooms rapidly grow to maturity. It’s a rewarding experience, but I’m still learning. Mushrooms are more sensitive to airflow and humidity than plants, as well as being affected by extreme temperatures. Fortunately the turnaround for a new crop is rapid, so we can recover from environmental problems in weeks rather than months.

Our Business
We consulted a local mushroom grower, Mark Berkley (with Innovative Agriculture), not wanting to take business away from him. Due to the COVID pandemic, he had stopped growing mushrooms, but had many customers (including restaurants) looking for his delicious gourmet mushrooms. It was good timing for all of us, as we were able to provide some mushrooms he could sell to his customers, starting in October of 2020. He mentored us in business aspects including what customers expect: quality, consistency, and presentation. In the last few months we have completed the transition to selling directly to consumers.

Recent Updates
May 2021: The change in season has brought a challenge of dealing with algae in our growth medium. Having a darker area for incubation could help. The majority of straw logs in one two week period had competing algal growth. This is why it is important for us to primarily source certified organic, ready to fruit blocks from Field and Forest. We are in the process of expanding our lab from a pantry sized area to an entire room. We installed positive pressure airflow. We are also looking into some new varieties not sold by Field and Forest. We are learning to cultivate nomeko and enoki.

Special Thanks:
Mark Berkley, for his time and effort and patience.
Aaron at Identity Graphics for his invaluable help, continued support and enthusiasm in logo, business and website design.
Field and Forest for their patience and quality customer service and reasonable prices.
Practices
We’ve been growing our own gourmet mushrooms as a hobby since early 2019. After exhausting our appetite for mushrooms and giving away pounds every week, we worked with Mark Berkley of Innovative Agriculture: http://www.innovativeagco.com to move from hobby growers into a productive business. On December 10, 2020, The Mushroom Mission registered as an LLC. We have a 10X30' building at our home designated for growing mushrooms. We buy certified organic ready to fruit blocks in bulk from Field and Forest: https://www.fieldforest.net, which are fruited and grown to prime condition for consumption. Varieties include, but are not limited to: Chestnut, Lion’s Mane, Reishi, King Oyster, Shiitake, Black Pearl Oyster and Field and Forest’s own Grey Dove(TM) strain of Blue oyster (Pleurotus ostreatus). We are currently developing techniques to grow additional varieties (watch for news of additional varieties as they become available). We've built a custom system to manage temperature, humidity levels and airflow.