The Shiitake Mushroom Story

Here's a quick backstory on our famously delicious shiitake mushrooms!

The name Shiitake (pronounced "SHE-TA-KEH") is composed of the Japanese words "shii" for Castanopsis cuspidata (the tree where they are usually cultivated from) and the word "take" which means mushroom.

Other common names are "black mushroom", "black forest mushroom", "oakwood mushroom", "golden oak mushroom", or if you want to get really scientific "Lentinula edodes."

Naturally grown in southeast Asia where they would grow on decaying wood/trees due to the warm and moist climates. They can grow on different types of trees such as shii, chestnut, oak, maple, and many others.

First known record of shiitake cultivation started as early as the year 1209 in China... pretty crazy right?! Over 500 years later, the first book on shiitake cultivation was written by a Japanese horticulturist named Sato Churyo. Since then shiitake has been a staple in many different types of Japanese cuisines, Asian cuisines, and even eastern medicine.

The first shiitake farms in the U.S started growing less than 50 years ago. Our farm's founder started growing shiitake mushrooms here in New Jersey over the past 20+ years and eventually started to supply some of the biggest companies here on the east coast. But every year we feel that the demand for shiitake is continuing to grow more and more. We produce over tens of thousands of pounds of mushrooms every month!

It's crazy to think our small farm can produce that much, but we already have plans of creating another farm on the west coast and share the joy of these little guys to the other side of the country. That's going to be a LOT of mushrooms...

We even created an at-home-mushroom growing kit (Mini Farm Kits) which allows anyone and everyone to recreate the excitement of growing shiitake in the comfort of their own home. As long as growers were able to recreate the right environment (humidity, temperature, and oxygen levels) then it's possible to grow anywhere and everywhere!

Even though these mushrooms have been enjoyed for over 800+ years (and who knows how long before that); we believe that there are still so many others out there that haven't even heard of them, so it's our mission to get these in front of as many people as possible.