Combining mycology and technology to improve agricultural growth in Maine
Equity | $150k
Varieties of mushrooms
Day to go from farm to shelf
By breaking down organic matter and returning nutrients to the soil, mushrooms play a vital role in nature’s ecosystem. In southwestern Maine, they’re also playing a major role in the economic ecosystem.
Mousam Valley Mushrooms was started in 2012 by John Sharood and his son Robert. With support from numerous entrepreneurial organizations in Maine, they’ve since grown to 17 employees and now supply mushrooms to Hannaford, Whole Foods and food service distributors like Native Maine and Sysco. Beyond their own farm, they’ve created millions of dollars in economic impact through employment and working with vendors and suppliers.
But none of this would be possible without an innovative, IoT climate control system developed by John and funded by MTI. This system allows the farm to remotely manage all the precise growing conditions their dozen different mushroom varieties require. Much more affordable than other agricultural control systems, John’s technology shows commercialization potential in its own right — opening the door for other farmers in Maine to expand beyond farmers markets and compete with large-scale operations from out of state that currently dominate the market.