Bob and Harriet Ames started growing WSDA certified organic specialty mushrooms in Hansville, WA in 1991. After 10 years, the farm was shut down and Bob returned to his profession as a soil microbiologist and worked until retirement in 2014. Upon returning to Washington, they restarted a mushroom growing business in 2016: the Skokomish Ridge Mushroom Growers’s Cooperative, consisting of grower and non-grower members. Grower members produce a variety of specialty mushrooms for distribution throughout the Olympic Peninsula and Puget Sound Region.
Individual growers purchase the mushroom production units from the cooperative which in turn, purchases and sells the mushrooms they produce. The mushroom species grown include shiitake, maitake, lion’s mane and king trumpet. The mushrooms are grown on natural alder sawdust which includes the addition of certified organic nutrient additives. Although Skokomish Ridge Mushrooms is not currently certified organic, the production process follows organic guidelines and does not apply pesticides or chemicals.
The coop concept was developed to eliminate most of the expense, administrative and technical aspects encountered by mushroom growers which prevent them from expanding their farm and realizing its full potential. Grower members build their mushroom growing facilities on their own property with technical support from the Cooperative. Grower members purchase the mushroom production units (bags containing the sterilized substrate inoculated with the pure culture of the mushroom species to be grown) from the Cooperative at cost, and grow the mushrooms in their own grow rooms. The Cooperative performs all the preparation and laboratory work for the growers and then purchases the mushrooms that the growers produce. The Cooperative also takes care of all the packaging, marketing, sales and distribution of the mushrooms, thus eliminating these time-consuming functions for the grower. Coop mushroom growers receive payment for the mushrooms they produce each month as well as a bonus payment derived from surplus funds at the end of the year.
Learn more about Skokomish Ridge Mushrooms, located at 130 W Corporate Rd, Shelton, WA.