Mushrooms worldwide have become a billion dollar industry. Most of the economy for produce in Pennsylvania, especially in Kennett, comes from the growing of mushrooms. There are mushroom houses across the southeastern town, the smell of manure and signs all over about the importance of mushrooms in the town of Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania has always been one of the top states for produce production and economy. Mushrooms have only added to that economy in Pennsylvania. The growth of these mushrooms in Kennett is more recent, but it is just as significant. This small town in Pennsylvania has grown to be to mushroom capital of the world.
How Rarity Produces Economic Growth
Mushrooms are found all around the country, but not all of these mushrooms are edible. Many of these are toxic to humans, and there are only 1000 species of mushrooms that are edible out of the 40,000 types. Foragers of mushrooms in Kennett know the mushrooms that are most delicious and non-toxic to humans.
Mushrooms became popular in the 1800s because they were considered a rarity. The Pasteur Institute in Paris developed a method to develop white button mushrooms that were able to be eaten but were not toxic. These mushrooms were soon exported in large quantities to England, then to America.
The Rise of Florist Development
William Swayne in Kennett, Pennsylvania is who began developing mushroom cultivation at full force ahead in America. He was a florist in 1885 with carnations in greenhouses, using wasted space in his greenhouses to test mushrooms.
Swayne ended up developing a mushroom house with dark settings for the white button mushrooms to thrive. His son, J. Bancroft Swayne, assisted his father in growing these mushrooms into a genuine business. Farmers continued growing mushrooms starting in the 1920s, such as Phillips Mushroom Farms. In 1930, there were over 500 mushroom houses in Kennett.
An Increase in Variety
Throughout World War II, Kennett focused on creating the white button mushrooms. This remains the most popular variety, but other varieties have popped up in the Kennett mushroom houses. Many varieties include those such as portobellos and shitakes.
Actually, in 1989, Phillips Mushroom Farms stopped producing white button mushrooms in favor for more exotic varieties. They did resume white button mushroom production ten years later. Kennett has grown to have excellent economy from their mushroom production.
Phillips Mushroom Farms in Kennett continues to produce a wide variety of mushrooms. There are fresh mushrooms, dried mushrooms, jarred mushrooms and other specialities. There are memorabilia items with pictures of mushrooms. You can even self-guide the farm to understand the mushroom production process for yourself while visiting this farm and purchasing items at the store.
Kennett is one of the top mushroom production areas of the world. They started out solely producing white button mushrooms but have since expanded to create exotic mushroom production and multiple farms. Visit Kennett, and see for yourself the mushroom variety offered through the farms there.