Meet the Farmers
For much of Jim’s life, learning about and hunting for mushrooms was merely a hobby. He and his fiancé Stacy moved to Southern California for Jim’s job as a software engineer, and soon missed their days spent foraging for morels in the woods of Michigan. They decided to bring mushrooms back into their life by testing out grow kits, which spiraled into a “wildly different adventure” of turning an empty pole barn on their property into a proper grow house.
A 30-year career as a software engineer ultimately prepared Jim for this next chapter as a mushroom farmer, giving him the tools to understand how to set up the precise climate conditions required for the different stages of mushroom growth. To hone his mushroom farming techniques, Jim took a formal training with a grower in Kansas and toured farms around Southern California. In September 2019, Jim and Stacy launched Canyon Creek Mushrooms and with rocketing local demand reached their maximum growing capacity of 360 lbs of mushrooms per week by fall 2020.
In spring 2021, they sold their house and signed a lease for the perfect commercial building for expanding operations in Palm Desert. There they can produce 900 lbs of mushrooms per week to start, with the capacity to produce up to 1500 lbs per week, and will finally be able to meet the incredible demand of their local customer base.
Canyon Creek Mushrooms operates on a weekly continuous schedule of incubating, fruiting, harvesting, and culturing the next generation of mycelium. Their tree-based mushrooms are grown on sterilized hardwood sawdust and soy hulls in their climate controlled indoor cultivation rooms. The new 4500 square foot facility is ideally suited for mushroom cultivation with a large, open interior that allows for the construction of various rooms and chambers necessary for the different stages of mushroom growth.
Perfecting the climate controlled conditions needed to successfully grow mushrooms in the desert requires a level of mastery unreachable to many. As one of the few mushroom farms in the region, demand for Canyon Creek Mushrooms continues to surge as they are within an hour’s drive from 13 farmer’s markets and over 800 restaurants with mushrooms on their menu. Jim and Stacy are delighted to have the opportunity to expand their growing capacity and share their love of mushrooms with more of the southern California community.
Regenerative & Sustainable Practices
Most mushrooms found at the grocery store are imported from other countries, with the majority coming from Canada. Canyon Creek produces mushrooms that are consumed locally and regionally, doing their part to help feed and sustain the local food system. They grow mushrooms indoors using farming byproducts, and engage in the following sustainable practices:
- Reusing two waste byproducts, soy hulls and sawdust, as the growing medium for producing their gourmet mushrooms.
- Once the substrate blocks have fed 3-5 fruiting cycles, Canyon Creek passes them off as compost for other local farms in the area. Leftover mycelium is a nutrient-dense addition to enhance soil fertility for growing crops.
- Plans are in the works to partner with a local organization to build out a community composting facility that will increase accessibility to a nutrient-dense soil enhancer.