As a child, our founder Alex Winstead, was always fascinated by the mushrooms and fungi that popped up every year around his suburban Seattle, WA area home and the Olympic Peninsula where his family would take vacations. His experience at that age mostly included plenty of “be careful” or “wash your hands after touching that” disclaimers from his mother, but he was never discouraged from exploring and learning more about the natural world that surrounded him. Little did anyone know at that time that later the same curiosity would blossom into a successful farm business which not only provides the finest gourmet and medicinal mushrooms available, but also nurtures the curiosity and wonder that surround mushrooms in others.
Established in the cramped confines of Alex’s rented basement in the fall of 2005 Cascadia Mushrooms was born. Putting his academic degree in mycology and the sciences from the Evergreen State College to work, Alex setup the first incarnation of a commercial mushroom farm on the micro scale. After one season of vending at the Bellingham Farmers Market it was clear that he was going to need a bigger growing space. The dedicated shoppers at the farmers market were thrilled to have a mushroom grower in their midst and they were excited to try the new and interesting varieties he brought to market.
After five years of learning through experimentation, a second rented space to house his growing business, and crafting a successful business plan, Alex acquired the financing necessary to build the mushroom farm of his dreams. In 2010 he broke ground on the permanent home for Cascadia Mushrooms in North Bellingham, Washington. Through those early days of cramped spaces and inadequate facilities, to the year-round efficient production that the farm maintains today, the vision has stayed the same: produce the best quality mushroom products possible and feed our community while raising awareness of our humble fungi friends.
Today the farm’s fresh gourmet mushrooms and mushroom kits can be found at more than two dozen local restaurants, select natural and organic food grocers, farmers markets from Bellingham to Everett, WA, community supported agriculture (CSA) shares, gardening centers, as well as directly from our website. Alex and his team of dedicated myco-philes also host the public several times a year on the farm for mushroom growing workshops and tours of the facility. Check the events calendar or subscribe to the mailing list for details.
Above all, Cascadia Mushrooms is dedicated to growing the best mushrooms possible using Organic growing practices. Fungi have the innate ability to cleanse soil and heal the environment. The goal of this farm is to nurture that ability, to teach it to others and hopefully to spark a little of the same inspiration that drives our work every day. Thank you for your support of our vision!