JOSEPH — The board of Slow Food Wallowas has announced that Moonglow Mushrooms LLC, a local food startup owned by Caroline Leone of Joseph, is the winner of the organization’s 2020 Producer Grant, according to a press release.
Through Moonglow Mushrooms, Leone will cultivate mushroom varieties and offer fresh and dried mushrooms — from edible to medicinal — for sale. She is in the process of equipping her indoor growing facility and she will also cultivate some varieties outdoors during the growing season.
With the $2,000 grant, Leone will purchase a valuable piece of equipment, called a laminar flow hood. Fungi propagation involves culturing mushroom spores in petri dishes and requires a sterile environment. The hood will allow Leone to expand her spore library and develop more mushroom products.
Moonglow Mushrooms will be available at the farmers market, sold to restaurants and will be offered for individual sales year round. Along with fresh mushrooms, Leone will dry and process varieties for teas, tinctures and salves.
When it comes to growing mushrooms, Leone is self-taught.
“I have been passionate about fungi since a friend in high school taught me about foraging mushrooms,” she said.
Leone pairs this with her experience in food systems and, as a grower, working locally with Backyard Gardens and the Magic Garden.
Over the past several years, she has been practicing and learning more about fungi cultivation.
“I feel mushrooms initiate interesting conversations about our planet and how we are connected,” she said.
Slow Food Wallowa is the local chapter of Slow Food USA, a nonprofit organization devoted to developing regional food systems and increasing access to good, clean and fair food. Through this grant, Slow Food Wallowas seeks to support a local producer who is working to increase capacity to offer locally raised food for sale.
For more information, call Lynne Curry at 541-263-0347 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.