Forest Mushrooms now offers online orders

St. Joseph indoor farm offers 14 types of dried mushrooms

by , jlaxen@stcloudtimes.com
Follow Jake Laxen on Twitter and Instagram @jacoblaxen.
July 10, 2015

Forest Mushrooms is Minnesota's largest mushroom producer.

But until recently, there were limited options for getting the popular fungus directly from the grower.

Earlier this spring, Forest Mushrooms started online orders for their dried mushrooms.

"It's a very small piece of the big picture, but it's an option people want," said Michael Doyle, who was hired this spring to run the website and e-commerce portion of the business.

Orders have been trickling in from throughout the country.

Forest Mushrooms offers 14 types of dried mushrooms, which regain their form after being soaked in water.

The most popular orders so far have been for porcini and shiitake. Doyle also said there was a spike of morel orders during the spring when many Minnesotans hunt for wild versions of the variety.

All online purchases of more than $50 earn free shipping.

"We really want to encourage bulk orders," Doyle said.

Because refrigeration is required, Doyle said fresh mushrooms will likely never be available by mail.

Some are available at the farmers market stands from 3-6:30 p.m. on Mondays at the Sartell Farmers Market and Fridays at the St. Joseph Farmers Market at a stand run by Steve Friederichs.

The rest are sold wholesale, featured in restaurants and grocery stores. The mushrooms are also sold to frozen meal companies such as Stouffer's and DiGiorno.

Forest Mushrooms was started by Michael's brother Kevin in 1985, who converted an old St. John's Abbey hog farm.

Kevin said in a 2014 interview that they produce 400-500 pounds of mushrooms a day, thanks to indoor climate control that keeps the facility at 62 degrees with 90 percent humidity — the most ideal conditions for mushroom growing.

A crop of oyster mushrooms grows in a temperature- and humidity-controlled environment Tuesday at Forest Mushrooms Inc. in rural St. Joseph. The business is now selling dried mushrooms online. Photo: Kimm Anderson, kanderson@stcloudtimes.com

Related links:
Forest Mushrooms ready when you a (StarTribune, August 31, 2106)
Hunt of a different sort when it involves mushrooms (StarTribune, Sept. 10, 2015)
Fungal love: Mushrooms fuel man's passion, business (MPR, Feb. 24, 2015)