Farm looking to expand mushroom reach


By Alia Boyd - aboyd@civitasmedia.com



Nathan Wheeler, of Borrowed Land Farm, discusses mushrooms with Jessica Allshouse at The Living Room on Thursday afternoon.


Nathan Wheeler and his family have set out on a quest to make the Pilot Mountain/Pinnacle area a hot spot for mushroom farming. Nearly a year into their endeavor and the two say they have no plans of letting up anytime soon.

Recently Borrowed Land Farm offered a special mushroom-themed menu at The Living Room as part of its plan to increase its local offerings.

Wheeler’s aunt and uncle, Ernie and Cathy Wheeler, started Borrowed Land Farm roughly one year ago as a branch of the family’s Raven Ridge Farm that was started seven years ago.

Wheeler said that in the next two to three months, Borrowed Land Farm is looking to expand its mushroom reach to more local restaurants. As part of a local push, the farm is working to reduce its prices so that area restaurants will be more inclined to go with its products.

“We want to stay local to the area, which will allow people to get a taste of Surry County,” Wheeler said.

In particular, Wheeler said that the company has its eye on eating establishments in the Winston-Salem and Pilot Mountain areas.

One of the strategies that the farm has taken in an effort to lower its prices is to expand its growing space with the addition of a large shipping container that will be used as a growing facility.

Mushrooms that the farm currently offers include oyster, pink, poku and mountain oyster, a wild mushroom that was harvested from Pilot Mountain.

“We haven’t really pushed the shiitake mushrooms because they’re grown in logs and take longer to grow,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler explained that once the shipping container is completed, the farm will start adding a few more strains of mushrooms to its offerings.

The farm offers wild mushroom walks in order to educate people about the mushrooms, something which Wheeler said the farm is looking to do more of.

“I think we’d like to have a lot more education factors at the farm, it’s one of our primary factors,” Wheeler said.

Borrowed Land Farm mushrooms are sold at the Mount Airy Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays, Washington Perk and Provision Company on Thursdays and the Elkin Farmer’s Market on Saturdays.

Nathan Wheeler, of Borrowed Land Farm, discusses mushrooms with Jessica Allshouse at The Living Room on Thursday afternoon.
http://www.pilotmountainnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_Mushrooms.jpgNathan Wheeler, of Borrowed Land Farm, discusses mushrooms with Jessica Allshouse at The Living Room on Thursday afternoon.

By Alia Boyd

aboyd@civitasmedia.com

Aila Boyd may be reached at 336-415-2210.

Aila Boyd may be reached at 336-415-2210.

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