(DOUG JESSOP’S UTAH SUCCESS STORIES- ABC4 NEWS – SALT LAKE CITY, UT) I get to do all kind of fun things on TV. Utah Success Stories has turned into a combination of “Dirty Jobs” and “How It’s Made.” This time I added a little bit of “Back to the Future” in the mix and I became a mushroom farmer for a day.
Millard County. Nineteen seventy-four. MASH is a top-rated TV Show. Utahns are listening to Barbara Streisand’s The Way We Were on their eight-track tape in their Ford Pintos. A new, very special farm opens. A farm that grows of all things, mushrooms. Over forty years later Mountain View Mushrooms, is one of Millard County’s largest employers.
Danny Wardle, General Manager of Mountain View Mushrooms gave me “the knife” and gave me a lesson on harvesting my favorite fungus… mushrooms. He watched me and said, “You’re going to grab this mushroom and twist a bit. Cut the stem off and then size it.”
The process of growing mushrooms is more scientific than you think. Danny explained; “We start with compost out in our own compost yard. Then we pasteurize it. Then we add the spawn, which is the mushroom seed and that grows for a couple weeks. Then we take it back to our line and add this layer of peat moss on top of it. That peat moss is where the mushroom will actually fruit.”
What’s amazing is how small it all starts. Mushroom spores that they start with are about 5 microns in size…. smaller than you can see.
Those tiny spores grow up fast in Fillmore! Did you know that a Portobello mushroom at this stage will double in size every 24 hours?
Danny gave me a tour of the plant; “These will start with these little pins right here. They grow up into a regular size mushroom. If we thin them out like this. And we give enough space for the mushroom to grow and a little bit more time, a few extra days, we’ll grow these large portobellos.”
A staggering one hundred and ten thousand pounds of various mushrooms are being produced and sold every single week
Mountain View Mushrooms is the major supplier for the entire state of Utah as well as most of Las Vegas. They grow Portobello mushrooms, cremini mushrooms and a lot of whites.
So the next time you see mushrooms in your local grocery store, remember, they may have come from Fillmore.
If you own a business that has an interesting story and you want to put me to work (watch this video for examples of previous stories) for a “Doug Jessop’s Utah Success Stories” click here: Utah Success Stories Submission Form or email me at DJessop@abc4.com for details. PLEASE NOTE: These feature stories aren’t for everybody. It’s got to be a good fit for both side. Full disclosure – we do charge a fee to cover production cost and social media exposure.
I strongly feel that “stories have power.” Chances are that if you are going through something, someone else probably has as well. The shared experiences we humans have can help each other. That my friend makes the point that stories “help us understand each other.”
You don’t have to agree with everyone, but in my opinion, if people would take more time getting to knowing more about others and where they are coming from, we just might find out that we have more similarities than differences.
A big shout out goes to my collaborator, Ed Wilets, who does a great job as my videographer/editor for all my stories. You can also see my positive business profiles called “Utah Success Stories” every Sunday in the ABC4 News at 10 p.m. or online at www.ABC4.com/Success
Consider this a personal invitation to share these stories with your friends and neighbors. Your feedback is always welcome at DJessop@abc4.com
With another entry into Utah Success Stories, I’m Doug Jessop , ABC4 News.