Philadelphia, PA - Why Kennett Square Is the Mushroom Capital of the World - The first person to introduce the cultivation of mushrooms in the town was William Swayne, a Quaker who had been growing carnations for years. Swayne, a mushroom enthusiast, began growing mushrooms to utilize space under elevated beds. After importing mushroom spawn from Europe, he began experimenting. Today, Kennett holds an annual Mushroom Festival in early September.
Kennett Square Is the Mushroom Capital of the World
Throughout the years, the mushroom industry in Kennett Square has grown to an international level. The city has a long history of integrating new immigrants into its economy. Many immigrants in the past have been Quakers, while others have been Latino and Guatemalan. Today, the city is home to a robust food supply, robust healthcare system, and a thriving mushroom industry.
Kennett Squares Mushroom Industry
Today, 65% of all the mushrooms in the United States are grown in the town of Kennett Square, PA. Other towns have indeed produced mushrooms, but only Kennett Square has the title of The Mushroom Capital of the World. However, a little-known fact is that the town became the Mushroom Capital of the World by accident, as settlers from Italy and Mexico settled the area after the Quakers.
Since the first commercial mushroom farm opened in the town, the area has become a leading source of exotic mushrooms. Major restaurant chains and corporations now source from Kennett Mushrooms. In addition to producing delicious mushrooms, the area is also home to many specialty food retailers and restaurants.
Growing mushrooms has many challenges. Climate change is taking its toll on outdoor crops. Some growers have taken their farming business indoors to protect them from harsh climate conditions. Nevertheless, Kennett Square is a leading example of climate-controlled agriculture in the world. Many farmers have developed extensive infrastructure and resources to support their mushroom farming. As a result, the town's mushroom-growing tradition has grown nationally, with wide varieties of mushrooms available in retail stores.
The Mushroom Farming Industry In Chester County, Pa.
The mushroom farming industry in Chester County, Pa., produces over 400 million pounds of mushrooms each year. The farms are built into the hillside with cinder-block houses filled with peat moss and compost mixed with spores. The fungi then grow to produce fruit. One of the big producers in Kennett Square is Phillips Mushroom Farms. The industry has also brought jobs to the community. In the 1950s, the Italian labor force had aged, several Mexican immigrants had begun to take over the fieldwork, and many had even started to operate their own farms.