Do You Know the Mushroom Man?


Mushoom farmer Matt Hall grows Maitake and Shiitake mushrooms in his garage. It doesn't take a lot of room and he has maxed out every vertical inch. He's also growing them in a petri dish. And soon he will be using the power of mycelium to combat one of the planet's worst problems. There, I have given it all away in three lines. If you think that's all there is to this episode, you have another thing coming.


On my mission to connect more farmers to the people around them -- to, in a sense, make farmers famous -- I am having too much fun. Honestly, I am so excited to share Matt's story with you and hope you are as jazzed about what he is doing, how he is doing it and about his mission to share his knowledge with the world.


Get in the car. Go for a drive. Put Matt on out loud. You're going to love him. That's all I am going to say! Ok, also, we debunk some mushroom myths... Now, that's it!


Here it is. Please share it with your friends. And do me a favor and write a review on Apple Podcasts. It's the one place where reviews really matter, or so they say. Stars are good (thank you for those) but alone stars are not tallied, only written reviews are. Plus if you write one, I will share it with others to help them find what you have found. Gracias and merci!


One more note: If you'd like to meet Matt in person he will be appearing live on my Instagram account (@xoxofarmgirl) in the next week or so. Check my stories for announcements. I will be hosting him in one of my "Live from the Farm" episodes! Stay tuned!


xoxo Farm Girl

GUEST

Matt Hall, mushroom farmer and owner, Midnight Harvest

MUSIC

The music in this episode was created specifically for Talk Farm to Me by professional musician and songwriter Douglas Haines via Fiverr.

SPECIAL THANKS

Always thank you to the amazing farmers who have been on any episode of Talk Farm to Me. Thank you Matt for being here!


TRANSCRIPT

As always, a transcript of the episode follows. Please forgive any typos.

Straight Talk: Mushroom Farmer Matt Hall of Midnight Harvest

Season 4, Episode 4


Farm Girl:

Hey, it's Farm Girl. Welcome to Talk Farm to Me's Straight Talk series. This is episode four. We've already talked bison, and about being a conscious carnivore, we've talked justice for black farmers and about food deserts. We've jumped into goat farming and the fact that upwards of 80% of farms have at least one farmer working in an off farm job.


Farm Girl:

Today we go straight into the deep, dark world of mushrooms. I had no idea how exciting this world could be. From shiitakes to psychedelics, from foraging to morel cultivation, and then into the mysterious world of mycelium. My head is still reeling from all of the interesting ideas that I had the chance to discuss with mushroom farmer, Matt Hall of Midnight Harvest in Northern Michigan.


Farm Girl:

I'm super excited to talk with you, there's so much to know. And I was coming up with really awesome questions to ask you. And then I did a little research and I was like, "Well, that's a myth." So let's start there. Let's start with mushroom myths, because I think there are a lot of them out there, and they don't seem to go away. I'm sure you've probably told people a million times debunking the myths, but somehow they persist and I'd love to hear maybe a little list of myths?


Matt Hall:

Well, I don't know. I think the myth is, what I hear from is they love darkness. That's like the number one.


Farm Girl:

Right.


Matt Hall:

And for some reason, even though their connection to light is the same as ours, and that UVB radiation coming from the sun, and we have a cholesterol in our epidermis, in our skin that reacts to that radiation, which creates vitamin D. Well, they have the same reaction. So in fact, mushrooms are actually akin to the sun.


Matt Hall:

So, they have that same chemical reaction, that's one of the big myths. I think that when you talk about mushrooms, aside from what kind do you grow? Usually referring to psilocybin, which I don't whatsoever, they grow in the dark, I'm like, "No, we give them five hours of light every day. And they benefit from actual sunlight." So, it's just that they're found in shaded areas, due to the moisture content normally. So, Anywhere, any system of mushroom cultivation, there's always going to be moisture, but in nature, they're prone to moisture. Now that's why they have to keep a certain moisture content.


Farm Girl:

And you're growing your mushrooms indoors. So what kind of light are you giving them?


Matt Hall:

We just give them LED. LED light, it's really simple. They benefit from it, we've actually done without LED, and no LED, they're almost albino. So it does create a pigmentation. Like the maitakes go from light gray, to really dark gray. The shiitakes will go from jet white to brown. So, they do benefit from LED, whether they're getting the UVD synthesis occurring under LED is probably not happening because we have the LED going through a plastic barrier.


Matt Hall:

Most plastics prevent UVA, UVB from transferring through them. So, it's probably not happening, but you can expose mushrooms to light and induce the reaction, even after they've been cut from their substrate. So, we just give simple LEDs. Some smaller growers use LED commercial like ribbon light, like the rope light, we just have an overhead LED. It works really easy.


Farm Girl:

Incredible. I'm learning so much already, and I have questions, but there were some things I can't even pronounce. We're going to get back to those.


Matt Hall:

All right.


Farm Girl:

There is, I think another myth around spores, that we're growing mushrooms from spores. Now, where are spores, are their spores, and what are we actually growing mushrooms from?


Matt Hall:

There's definitely billions of spores. But spores are the genetic next code. So you and I are spores of our parents, if you will. And we in fact, in mushroom cultivation, we grow from tissue. So just like strawberry or any other rhizome can be, we have a plant cutting, it's pretty much a similar process where you can clone what you're working with, and that's the same way. So we can cut open any mushroom, we can take a little tissue from inside the mushroom itself, there's a sterile tissue, we can take that out and then put that to a high nutrient media like potato dextrose agar, or agar media, I use molten agar, and we can then clone it in the lab, and regrow that mushroom and it's the same genetic code. It's not the next generation. So spores are definitely, we don't grow from spores at all.


Farm Girl:

Interesting. So when you have a really awesome mushroom, for example, you can just take pieces of that. You don't have to go to the mushroom store and get more mushrooms to plant. You just use what you have?


Matt Hall:

I don't, I buy through a commercial spawn provider, for the reason being spawn the tissue that we buy, it's an art farm. People who know how to produce spawn, that's what they focus on, whereas I know how to produce a mushroom. So it's almost like the seed supplier, versus the plant grower. So how people will bring in plants from another nursery, same process. I can produce my own spawn, I've done it before. It is very tricky, and you have to just kind of look at your offset. Like, "Do I want to put time and effort into this, or do I want to buy it to save me time to put efforts elsewhere."


Matt Hall:

But then you get into a big production, and we're not that big, so I don't have to worry about that. But if I was thinking if I was buying, I think I would have a tipping scale. Once I'm full-time into it... I'm three quarters of the way of being full-time. So once I'm full-time, then I have to go, "Okay, well, where am I going to save the most money, and now that my time is freed up, I can focus on spawn." And we can probably [inaudible 00:06:34] this our own, if we so choose.


Farm Girl:

So what part of the mushroom does the spawn come out of?


Matt Hall:

The tissue. So if you took a mushroom cap, and the stem in the cap, and right in the sweet spot is where they meet, it's the most amount of meat in the mushroom, and you could split it open, and take a sterile scalpel, and remove tissue from that mushroom, because it's completely sterile inside there. There's no bacteria, there's no mold, and that's where it comes from. So theoretically one mushroom, this is covered in a book called Mycelium Running, one mushroom, a little tissue clone can produce millions of pounds of mushrooms, because it just keeps running.


Matt Hall:

Now, they do say that has senescence, which is eventually cloned too much, and it's going to tire out. So a lot of producers will have what's called second generation or first generation master spawn, where it's the closest to the mushroom clone as possible. They're not giving you something like a seventh generation spawn, where it could be very tired out. The goal is to continually feed it something different, because if you keep feeding it the same thing, it will tire, as they say. But I've never gotten to that point, so I don't know the actual results from taking it to a seventh generation.


Matt Hall:

And right now with certain mushroom, like the morel, we can take it across. I've had the same strain in the lab for three years. And that strain comes from Penn State. So imagine, say if you're having like a strawberry, and you've kept it alive for three years indoors, and is just as strong as it was the day you got it. So it's really nice.


Farm Girl:

And when you say in the lab, what do you mean?


Matt Hall:

The kind of mushroom growing, like gourmet mushrooms, like shiitake, maitake, lion's mane, oyster, reishi, that kind of gourmet category, we all require a lab, because we require a sterile technique, whereas white button portabello, that's a pasteurization technique, and it's not to say that the spawn that they have is very clean, but their process is not clean at all. So they spawn out on large beds the substrate, and the mushroom runs through the substrate, and then it produces white button portabello.


Matt Hall:

And usually that substrate is pasteurized cow manure, or pasteurized horse manure. Whereas in the lab, our entire process is sterile up until we produce the mushroom. So, essentially the shiitake cycle is 10 weeks. Eight out of the 10 weeks is sterile. And they're held in controlled bags. All of my bags have a .2 micron filtration, and a spore, like a mold spore is one micron. So we all have flow hood that we work in front of, like I just worked in front of today, that we turn the flow hood on, and the flow hood's now producing 0.3 micron filtrated air, which is extremely... Like half a filter is 99.97, and some gets to 99.99. And then for about two hours, we're in front of a flow hood or more, depending on how many bags are going to do, inoculating very carefully.


Matt Hall:

Eventually it's muscle memory. So just like playing a guitar. Half the time I'm listening to a podcast, which I listen to some of yours, they're wonderful. I caught up, or music and you're just in the flow, but you're an entirely sterile flow. There's gloves on, there's alcohol out, there's a process, even if my shirt worked to nick the bag, I have to mark that bag, knowing I overstepped the sterile flow hood area.


Matt Hall:

And there's a chance that if a mold spore got in there, you're done with. Mold reproduces 1000 times faster than its counterparts, like gourmet mushrooms. So if there's mold anywhere in that bag, it's over.


Farm Girl:

It just can't compete with the mold? Is that it?


Matt Hall:

It can't compete with mold at all, because mold will reproduce, reproduce, reproduce, way faster than my mycelium can run. That being said, there are mushrooms that can compete with molds. Like oyster mushrooms can actually eat mold, and maitakes can actually eat mold. They have defensive mechanisms that can actually defend against them. Shiitake has no defense mechanism. It will lose, I've seen it happen. Whereas maitakes I've seen win. I seen oysters win. A little mold patch gets in there and it's tiny, they'll circle it, and they'll eat it entirely. And that's their job, is to eat things. So, it works.


Farm Girl:

I'm really not usually speechless, but I am now speechless. I need to see mushrooms eating mold. It just feels like Godzilla versus King Kong.


Matt Hall:

Oh, it totally is. I love it. I just can't imagine what's happening on the molecular level between those two species going, "No, it's my house." And fighting over that little space.


Farm Girl:

Speaking of speaking of, when you're checking the growth, are you're using a microscope?


Matt Hall:

So with a microscope, the microscope work is mainly for the morels. So we can determine certain aspects of their culture and of their growth, and we can look at their mycelium. And we have two microscopes. We have a stereo and we have a compound. Stereo is for things you see with the naked eye, you just want a closer look. And then compound of course, things that you need higher magnification. So that's mainly what my microscope works of. It's for all the morel work that we do. So we can look at mycelium and then we can see each individual thread, and are there differences? Are there no differences? That kind of observation.


Farm Girl:

Okay. Let's back up for one second, because I want people to understand on a simpler level here. We are getting into it, and I'm very excited about it, and I'm going to ask you to explain some things, maybe even a second time, because it's really fascinating. But the mushrooms that you're growing, you're growing Shiitake, tell us all of the mushrooms that you're growing right now.


Matt Hall:

I grow only Shiitake and maitake, and then we research and grow on a small scale morel. So, on commercial production, Shiitake and maitake.


Farm Girl:

And what kind of level of production are you talking about, plans-wise?


Matt Hall:

With Shiitake, we're about 40 to 45 pounds per week, and with maitake, we're about 15 to 20 pounds per week. So I'm still pretty small. I'm conservatively to other farms who I look up to, they're into the three to 400 pounds per week. And that's where we're headed next. We're headed to the 150 to 200 pounds per week marker. We're planning that out right now.


Farm Girl:

Right. So, who are your customers?


Matt Hall:

Restaurants and retail outlets. I don't have a direct to consumer outlet yet. I've never been to a Farmers' Market, and we don't have a storefront, and one that I want right now. So, right now just restaurants and retail.


Farm Girl:

Right. So these mushrooms, I think you're going to have to explain to me. I know Shiitake very well, but I don't know if I can visualize a maitake. Explain to me what they look like.


Matt Hall:

Maitake, they're called hen-of-the-woods, or the dancing mushroom.


Farm Girl:

Oh, okay. I know them by hen-of-the-woods.


Matt Hall:

Okay, there you go. Yep, yep. Maitake's just... Grifola frondosa is the technical term, maitake I think, is the Japanese term, and then of course, hen-of-the-woods is its nickname. So yeah, we grow those, and they're amazing and they're gorgeous and all of my chefs love them. It's just one mushroom you can't get fresh enough.


Farm Girl:

Yeah, that's really incredible. I was thinking about mushrooms, and I am not sure if you mentioned it somewhere, or someone else mentioned it to me that, basically mushrooms were relegated to pizza. A couple of decades ago, it was just the only place mushrooms appeared were out of a can, and on a pizza. And now mushrooms are a real delicacy, for people who don't eat meat, they are the meat. So, I'm just very curious. I do see mushrooms at Farmers' Markets and some of them really freak me out. They're really interesting shapes. What is kind of the king or queen of mushrooms?


Matt Hall:

I would say, the original king would be white button portabello, but the up and coming and surpassing is certainly gourmet, and when we get into the gourmet category, that's Shiitake. And I think so for the reason of, if you look at other mushrooms, like lion's mane, maitake, oyster, they're all actually clumping mushrooms, they all come from usually one fruiting body, and so it makes it very intimidating. Whereas Shiitake is very tasty, and it's very much like white buttoned portabello. There's a single cap in a single stock. And it makes it similar to work with and cook with, whereas if you're breaking down a lion's mane, or you're breaking down a maitake, it seems daunting to cook with. It's, "How do you cook it?" So familiarity, I think is one of the leading reasons shiitake's taken hold.


Matt Hall:

The other mushrooms are tasty, but there's a learning curve to how you're going to use it, not to mention it's a mushroom. You've never seen these things. Like lion's mane look like coral. Shiitake doesn't cook even in the pan. We roast ours before we cook it in the pan. So it makes it difficult, I think for consumer, whereas shiitake, "Oh, I know what to do with that. It's got a cap in a stock, we're good."


Farm Girl:

I love the idea that a mushroom could be intimidating, but I definitely see what you're thinking about. I have a tangent, I remember a story from when I was a kid like, "Don't eat mushrooms that you find in the woods. They could be poisonous or what have you." And then I think there was some sort of crazy story about the red cap mushroom and some spaghetti sauce and the whole family dies. These are terrible stories, right?


Matt Hall:

Right.


Farm Girl:

And foraging are you... Two things. One, are you a forage or at all? And I'm just curious about how legends like that, that may be come out of some tragedy, how they affect the world of mushrooms, especially from a culinary or retail sales perspective.


Matt Hall:

Luckily the retailers and the chefs know what they're buying. So that's awesome. I would say the individual consumer, when... I've been a bar chef for 20 years. So I still get the mushroom questions because everyone knows about you. And the question usually I get first off is, "What kind of mushrooms do you grow?" As a joke, "The psilocybin?" And I like to say, "Not that kind." And then they go, "Can you grow morels?' And I go, "If I could I wouldn't tell you." And then typically, with mushrooms and being outdoors and foraging, I'm not a certified forager, I can pick out mushrooms here and there. And it's interesting because of the myth of mushrooms being all poisonous. And Peter McCoy who founded Radical Mycology, great guy, I met him once when he came through town and I went to his seminar, and he said, "Not a lot of mushrooms will kill you, but a lot of mushrooms will make you want to die."


Matt Hall:

And they're going to run a gamut on your system. But then again, if you look at rhubarb, not many people know that the stock is edible, but the leaf is deadly. So, I think it's just the myth of just generational. I think it's just generational myth that carried over that were once a commercial, now are just mainstream. And I think it's just a matter of education and debunking that, and I think that's coming around. We're seeing that and people are, and what they're getting used to and what they're okay with and that not all... You can have it look funky, but it's still healthy.


Farm Girl:

That's great. And I think that you said a fancy word for psychedelic mushrooms, is that right?


Matt Hall:

Yeah.


Farm Girl:

Say it again?

Matt Hall:

Psilosobe or psilocybin or cubensis, it's all related to psychoactive mushrooms that are being used for health in many ways, of which I don't touch. And for the reason of a business purposes, there's a lot of red tape there. You've got to be careful.


Farm Girl:

What is it that makes them psychedelic? It's natural to the mushroom obviously, but what-


Matt Hall:

Yeah, the chemical in the mushroom that reacts with our brain, just like certain things and sends you on an interesting time. I don't know much about it. I can't really speak to it. I've never even tried it myself. So there are-


Farm Girl:

... If you did you should not confess it here.


Matt Hall:

... No, I would not. You know, you know, you know, you don't confess anything over the internet.


Farm Girl:

Okay. All right. So we've gotten through some... We understand some customers, and we've debunked some myths, and I'm curious, I want to know a little bit more about your process, but before that, you said you had some people that you really looked up to in the mushroom business. And I'm curious, because I think that they're... When I talk to farmers, and I talked to a strawberry farmer out in California a couple of weeks ago, there are some big giants in the strawberry business that do things in a really bad way. And they do it in a bad way in terms of like how they're growing, the imprint that they have on the land. So there's criticism sometimes when you start getting bigger and bigger, and I'm just curious in the mushroom business, what happens when you get really big?


Matt Hall:

Looking at the idea of where you want to set yourself up for agriculture, how big do you want to get from inception to a big business owner? And I would say the bigger you get, the less control you have over every part of the process. And for me, I do everything. From the mopping to the sterile process. So it's just me. As a big business owner, you can't possibly be doing all of those jobs. And so quality will go off the door eventually. Maybe you're running such a big company that margin is first up and first in. So you're willing to do anything for the margin. If it's a commodity, like other things like corn and soy, oh my gosh, I can't believe. I feel bad. Those farmers don't make anything. Commodity [inaudible 00:21:28] I listened to your dairy ones and I'm like, "Holy cow!" They're just for the reason of what's being brought in and-


Farm Girl:

Yeah, holy cow's right.


Matt Hall:

... Yeah, literally. holy cow is right. They have milk shortages that are public, but they're dumping milk. I just listened to that one, I was like, "What the..." I love the idea of keeping the business small. Making it sustainable, not just like this crazy attainable goal or record, or... You've got 20 people working for you because more people or more equipment, which means more problems.


Farm Girl:

So I'm curious about the bigger... Sorry, about the bigger mushroom growers. Do they use pesticides? When I go to the grocery store, and there's no label on the mushrooms, other than it's a mushroom in a package and I buy that, what's in there, and how does it affect the mushroom if they are using something funny?


Matt Hall:

I can't speak for white button portabello because I don't grow them, I'm not actually familiar with that cultivation. I'm familiar with a few of the basics of them, but to speak for what they're using on the mushroom to control pests, I have no idea. But luckily for Shiitake, no matter how big you get, it's still a very organic process. There's still one process that kills everything. And most places are going to start with organic or good ingredients. But a lot of the times when you get into monoculturing, and you get bigger and bigger and bigger, you have bigger and bigger problems. So, in this case with Shiitake and maitake, there's no problems. Our biggest competitor is mold. It's a green mold that you see on your bread when you leave it up and leave the bread out too long.


Matt Hall:

And you're usually not even near that process when you're serving it to a customer, or in a grocery store. There's no pesticides involved whatsoever. There's no sprays. The only time we ever spray the blocks is we spraying with water, just to induce the fruiting process. So luckily even for me, as a small person, and for the people, 500 pounds a week, same process, just scaled up. So, there's no chemical inputs that they're putting on the actual production food that they're growing, which amazing. Our whole process is done in a sterile procedure, which makes it perfect. We heat-treat our blocks for 24 hours, which kills everything, and then from there on, the next eight weeks is an entirely sterile process. The two weeks they're out of the bag, there's nothing happening.


Farm Girl:

So take me through some of the elements of the process. We've learned about spawn, and then you have blocks, you said. So, take us through, you get your spawn in the mail, we [inaudible 00:24:15]. Now what?


Matt Hall:

We make a mix and there's many mixes you can look up, and it's predominantly hardwood. A lot of the mushrooms we're growing eat hardwood material. So they're responsible for degrading all the wood that's outside. And we make it particularly mixed with different ingredients like wheat bran or oat bran. The biggest popular one online is actually Soy Hull, I don't use any Soy Hulls because I don't have any access to them. I think it's important using something locally that you can get locally and not shipped in. And then after that, we make that mix, we turn it into a block. It goes into a bag. The bag has a specialized filter on it till later, and the bag gets pressed. That's where the block comes from. And we press it down. And then we set it and we heat-treat it for about 23, 24 hours, at a certain temperature minus 208 degrees, and then once it's heat treated, we let it cool.


Matt Hall:

And once it's cooled, we apply the spawn of the particular mushroom we want to grow. Now, the cool thing being is that we grow shiitake and maitake on the same mix. They don't care. So, there's just techniques in fruiting them, not in growing them. And so my shiitakes and my maitakes are in the same substrate, which makes it really nice and interchangeable. So after that, it all depends on the incubation time. That is where they get in the big warehousing, because my lead time for shiitake is eight to nine weeks, and I'm starting 35 bags of shiitake per week. So we get 35 times, at least a minimum of nine before we get into fruiting. So if you're a big warehouse, producing, even 100 bags a week, you've got 900 bags before you start rotating.


Matt Hall:

So that incubation is one of the biggest places. So storage is huge. And then once they're out of the bag, once they're ready to go, they go into the fruiting room, which is a humid room, and we do it with an ultrasonic mister, light are on, about four or five hours a day. And then off for 19, 20 hours a day. And they're just sitting there in about a medium anywhere from 80 to 85% residual humidity, or relative humidity. And from there, they just become the mushroom. So, it's pretty simple standard process, there's not a lot of... It's not to say that it's easy, but once you get in the flow of it, it is.


Farm Girl:

It's like muscle memory, you said.


Matt Hall:

A muscle memory, yeah.


Farm Girl:

So it sounds like it takes some pretty precise equipment, and definitely some space. And you're running this at your home, or is it a separate facility?


Matt Hall:

Nope. I'm at my a home. We built a room in our garage that it's total square footage is about 500 square feet, and the nice thing is we use vertical integration. So, I am almost to the ceiling with everything, and I have floating shelves. It's like my library, which the wheels are holding up 600 pounds of media. And it's a little scary at times, because I've had one tip over on me, and luckily we were fine, but you're moving around these racks that have 54 bags, each bag weighs a certain amount, and then we move it around just to kind of move the library off incubation room, before they go into fruiting room. And we're vertically integrated. It makes it great for efficiency.


Farm Girl:

You have to be very organized.


Matt Hall:

Yeah.


Farm Girl:

I love that it's called fruiting.


Matt Hall:

I don't know. It's funny that mushrooms are fruiting in there, but somehow, but they do.


Farm Girl:

Yeah, I'm going to call them fruit from now on.


Matt Hall:

Yeah, cool.


Farm Girl:

You've got to go get some fruit from the mushroom section.


Matt Hall:

Definitely, from the mushrooms


Farm Girl:

So let's talk about morels. So in this part of the country we have in the spring, we have ramp season, and people go out and forage ramps, and some farmers are bringing ramps to Farmers' Markets and everybody's going ramp crazy. And then right after ramp season is morels.


Matt Hall:

Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah.


Farm Girl:

And it's like an underground cult of the people who know where the morels are, and they're almost impossible to get to talk. But I know that they're out there, and they're beautiful. No, they're really sought after, am I right?


Matt Hall:

Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah.


Farm Girl:

All right. So what are you doing in your laboratory with the morels?


Matt Hall:

So the history behind... We call them morels up here in Northern Michigan. So we really emphasize the E. So it's always interesting-


Farm Girl:

Morels.


Matt Hall:

... Yeah, right. But morals-


Farm Girl:

I'm probably saying it wrong.


[I am saying it wrong. I am so sorry to the morels. People say my name wrong all the time. Morel, morel, morel.]


Matt Hall:

Morels are... The total industry in the United States, in the Michigan alone would be crazy. Being that springtime mushroom, that everyone goes and searches for and has their spot, and it's always elusive, the total industry in United States is actually hard to gauge. The only one thing we can really go by a few things. USDA did a study back in 2005, and it was only studied in two States, Washington and Oregon, and six months from January until June, where all the foragers go out and pick commercial harvest, they knew it wasn't mainly for morel for the sake of the season. Because that's the only mushroom happening. And they estimated 770,000 pounds of morels were harvested from those two states in six months. So, that's just two states in the United States.


Farm Girl:

Wow.


Matt Hall:

And they do happen across the United States, and in only six months. And that's all what was reported, that was, that's just the permit. Not what mom and pa went out and got, or foragers sold independently. So, it's a small narrow window into the morel season. Being that, it's a big industry. It's probably in United States into the billion. If it was a regular traded commodity, like white button portabello, it'd be easier to track. It's like the one mushroom everyone's looking to find and also cultivate. And there's been some successes over the past few decades, but nothing that ever stuck. Back in the eighties, two doctors, Dr. Ron Ower and Gary Mills, he's in Michigan. I've never met him, but I know he's in Michigan, and they actually ended up cultivating morel in their lab.


Matt Hall:

But those patents are now open and nothing really ever came from them, due to the difficulty level of what they were doing, and the way they were doing it. So what we came about doing is a whole different method, that would be, if we can tell any farm, "Do this,