We’re leaving Big Pharma for mushroom cultivation

On a warm afternoon in May, chickens were scratching around in the yard of Karen and Brian Wiseman’s home in Worcester. But the free-range herd is just part of the couple’s farm, just down the road from the city center. The centerpiece of their business, Peaceful Harvest, is instead in a damp, metal-lined room in the back shed: medicinal mushrooms.

The Wisemans grow and process seven species of mushrooms – none psychedelic – to make a range of products: powders, tinctures, sachets of dried strips. Some products are mixtures of species. All of them, the Wisemans say, can boost the immune system, improve memory and energy, and boost a range of other healthy body functions. They’re approaching a decade of business and their products are on the shelves of more than thirty co-ops and wellness stores in Vermont – and appearing in stores in ten other states.

“We just want to help and serve others and help people with their health and well-being,” Karen said.

She and her husband are among a wave of mushroom-focused businesses that have opened nationwide in the past decade, part of what’s being called the Shroom Boom. You can also see it in Vermont, where more than a dozen outfits grow and sell mushrooms.

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