As I get ready to move full steam ahead with our 2024 Grow Morristown Season, I think of how I plan to make it even better. Even though I scaled back the participant numbers for this year, I am excited to add mushroom growing to our amazing program! Mushrooms often end up with such a stigma surrounding them. They are absolutely amazing for so many reasons. I have admired them as long as I can remember.  I grew up a feral child at the base of a small mountain, you could say some foothills of the Appalachians. I would go wander the woods for hours and hours, picking up treasures along my route. Mushrooms were always a part of that for me…I loved the smell of the forest floor and I would just melt into it and become one with it all. I would always take home mushrooms and plants to garnish my mud pies with. Skip forward a few decades to when I moved to from Alabama to Tennessee and quickly became involved with a local mycological society. At that point, a whole new world was revealed to me and I became completely enthralled with fungi all over again. I started to forage for wild mushrooms and vittles of the woods, the firsts were of course passed over as food sources, and rather became specimens for me to study until I felt comfortable enough to eat them. Quickly, this obsession spread among my friends and even some family. This all evolved into a brief period of growing some mushrooms to eat and partnering with a friend as she started a mushroom growing operation. We were like mad scientists with our petri dishes and such. We grew lots of oyster mushrooms, lions mane, wine caps, cordyceps and reishi. There are so many possibilities in this highly sustainable, vitamin packed food source and so many ways of cultivation. I have felt it part of my mission to share my admiration of mushrooms with others. The people I have shared this passion with have never ceased to amaze me with the ways they run with these little ideas I give them. I know that our gardeners are all going to enjoy the process and enjoy mushrooms for years to come.