Intermountain Gourmet Specialty Mushrooms: Farming the Superfood You Need
Food: Interviews & Features
In case you haven’t heard, the shroom boom is not only alive and well but continuing to grow. From appearing in the latest fashion and design trends to slipping their way into your dietary supplements, mushrooms are becoming notable in many aspects of modern life—especially the food world! Intermountain Gourmet Mushrooms is one local farm that has capitalized on this movement, farming fungi in Ogden since 2015. Adam Wong, the man behind the magic and owner and operator of the farm, was welcomed into the world of fungi by a few close friends and he hasn’t looked back since.
Without many other local fungi farms to look to, Wong took matters into his own hands and opened the warehouse in Ogden with the assistance and support of his friends, acknowledging his longest employee, Yasmeen Ireifej, who has helped grow the business where it is today. Using a controlled climate agriculture system, all farming is carefully managed every step of the way. “Mushroom cultivation is like a mix between science and farming. We are doing a lot of farming, but it is all indoors,” he says. Without many other resources or information readily available on cultivating your own fungi farm, Wong notes that there is room for trial and error. He explains that even now, after farming for over nine years, there is still a lot to learn to better understand the craft. He says, “Since I started, we have gone through three to four different growing processes. We definitely have dialed things in over the years.” Each mushroom species is different and grows at different rates, and the quickest growth rate is about a month long whereas the longest is up to six months.
“Mushroom cultivation is like a mix between science and farming. We are doing a lot of farming, but it is all indoors.”
Intermountain Gourmet Mushrooms adds their own value to local restaurants by bringing in the freshest produce possible. Wong describes mushrooms as a short shelf-life product, explaining that they do not travel well. By distributing their mushrooms to local businesses, Intermountain Gourmet Mushrooms is able to provide a wide variety that you cannot find from large commercial wholesalers. In addition to sourcing to local restaurants in the area, Intermountain Gourmet Mushrooms products can also be found in all Harmons Grocery locations, The Market grocery store in Park City as well as a number of local farmers markets throughout the year. Farmers markets are the best way for them to connect with consumers and the local community since they’re able to explain their products in-person and outline the difference and benefits between each mushroom variety.
So, what is the benefit of buying mushrooms? Wong says, “When I first began this journey, no one really knew much about mushrooms but it seems that mushrooms are the next superfood.” With a range of different flavors, textures and tastes, mushrooms are a great substitute for all kinds of items, providing flavors that can even closely resemble bacon or lobster. He says, “I love to eat mushrooms and cook with them, usually eating them up to a few times a week. My personal favorite is the Shiitake mushroom.” Intermountain Gourmet Mushrooms grows seven to eight species of mushroom, depending on the season. They currently produce Oyster, Shiitake, Lion’s Mane, King Trumpet, Pioppino, Chestnut, Beech and Maitake mushrooms at their farm. Wong and his employees have been able to catch onto their amazing health benefits and the value of bringing something new to the community. He says, “They are a great source of protein or can even act as meat substitutes. In past years there was a lot of mycophobia, but with recent findings, there is so much more that goes beyond the basic store-bought button mushroom.”
“I love to eat mushrooms and cook with them, usually eating them up to a few times a week. My personal favorite is the Shiitake mushroom.”
Intermountain Gourmet Mushrooms plans to move to a new warehouse in Henefer, Utah at the end of this year. You can locate where to buy their produce through their website, igmushrooms.com and learn more about the farm through their Instagram @intermountaingourmetmushrooms.