It all started with chaga.  I live in northern Vermont surrounded by hundreds of acres of woods, and over the years I had vaguely wondered what that crusty black stuff was that I would see growing on birch trees.  I finally looked it up and found out it was chaga, probably the most widely used and valuable medicinal mushroom, and so began my fascination with medicinal mushrooms and plants.  This led to hours of foraging, shelves full of steeping tinctures, and eventually construction of a mushroom grow room in my basement.  It took a little trial and error, but I eventually became Octagon Farm, running a small but busy gourmet and medicinal mushroom business supplying several local stores, farm stands and restaurants. 


Growing mushrooms produces a lot of compostable material (straw and sawdust) so I became an avid composter, but what to do with all the compost?  Medicinal herb gardens were the obvious answer.  Not only do they make good use of the considerable amount of compost the mushrooms produce, but they also benefit from a thick mulch layer of uncomposted spent mushroom substrate.  Sometimes after a rainy spell, there are actually mushrooms sprouting amidst the herbs! (Learn more about how I garden here).    


When I googled  “chaga” all those years ago,  I had no idea it would lead me to where I am today. I never imagined I would become a mushroom and herb farmer and be able to quit a frustrating desk job I had resented for 20 years.  Every morning I get up feeling like the luckiest person in the world.    





If you have questions or comments, I would like to hear them.  Please email me at octagonfarm802@gmail.com

Thanks for visiting.