2009 Recipient: Steve Rice

"This grant has upgraded my operation immediately and showed me that significant income is possible." ~ Steve Rice

Indoor Mushroom Expansion – $6,000

Steve grew up sharecropping tobacco and worked in it throughout his life. He has managed a commercial operation of shiitake mushrooms since 1996. With his award, he will improve his indoor mushroom growing environment, which he expects will be a prototype that can be adapted across the state.

He will buy and bury a metal shipping container, then use it as a controlled environment for growing shiitake mushrooms on organically certified sawdust blocks. He will also erect a greenhouse with a concrete floor acting as a solar collector and solar cooler abutting both containers that pre-filter the air.

The expansion will provide a steady supply of indoor mushrooms that will allow Steve to expand beyond his current local markets to a wholesale market on a regional level. Steve hopes that this project will help promote Madison County as one of the leading mushroom producing counties in the state.

Madison County

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