Gwendolyn Casebeer and Jay Englebach, Black Trumpet Farm

Increased Efficiency and Output in Gourmet Mushroom Production
Grant Award: $6,000

Gwen and Jay use organic growing practices to produce 150 pounds per week of gourmet and medicinal mushrooms. Demand has consistently been far beyond production capacity, so they’re expanding from a 500-square-foot temporary indoor growing facility into a 1,400-square-foot space in February 2021.

The grant money will buy new equipment to handle the increased workflow, including a 130-gallon mushroom substrate steamer, two self-contained HEPA air filtration units and a vertical impulse bag sealer. These upgrades will allow them to save production time while increasing output nearly tenfold. They will be able to diversify sales through expanding to wholesale markets and adding another Saturday tailgate market.

Buncombe County

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