Featured Vendor Spotlight: Willow Creek Mushroomsnocofm
In January 2019 we, Jason and Nikki Geib, obtained our first live mushroom culture with an idea in mind; to grow happy, healthy, gourmet mushrooms. To make delectable mushrooms available for all and to expand peoples’ tastes to the unique varieties of mushrooms Mother Earth provides.
We had one little problem, neither of us had ever grown mushrooms before. That didn’t stop us. We set out to learn as much as we possibly could. From January until May we learned every process of basic mushroom growing; petri dish – grain spawn – grow bags- balancing the grow room. We have built every piece of equipment that we have needed, from a laminar flow hood to a humidification system. But, why mushrooms? A question we have been asked from the start. It really is a simple one word answer, passion! We are very passionate about fungi. It’s fascinating.
In May 2019 we had our first farmer’s market. We brought about 2 pounds of blue oyster mushrooms and 2 pounds of king oyster mushrooms. It was a very proud moment for us. A dream, a goal, a passion, that at times seemed unobtainable, was now right in front of us. Small strides toward our big goal. We went from “can we do this” to “we are doing this” in a matter of months. Many firsts happened in 2019, but our first farmer’s market will always be a major highlight.
One of our favorite places to be is in the mushroom grow room. Its a very enchanting mystical space with the high humidity, UV lighting, and light air movement. We could easily spend hours in the grow room just taking it all in. The enchantment of the grow room never gets old. Mushrooms are a big passion of ours, not only because they taste amazing, but because the possibilities of fungi are endless. From food to medicine to textiles to decomposing materials, fungi can do it all.
After a year of learning we decided to expand our production so that we could provide more mushrooms for our local community. At the beginning of 2020 Jason quit his full time job so that we could start renovations on an old tractor barn, that is on our property. The mushroom barn will be fully operational in Summer 2020.
We have 3 children, ranging in age from 4-9. Our three children have been helping us wherever they can along the way. They have seen first hand what it takes to start a business from the ground up. They enjoy helping by, shaking grain jars, mixing mushroom bags, helping with the building project, and interacting with our customers at the farmers’ markets.
On top of growing mushrooms we also breed and raise registered Nigerian Dwarf goats. Our dreams and goals of Willow Creek continue to expand