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The incredible, edible mushroom

Mushrooms are more versatile than you might think

What inspired a Navy veteran with a degree in chemistry and a retired firefighter to cash in all their savings and buy 50 remote acres in LaRue County and become members of Nolin RECC?


Heather Gayler Barnes, the firefighter, met husband Andrew at Thunder Over Louisville in 2003. Andrew had raised mushrooms as a hobby; Heather had learned about them through classes with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Resources. When they married, they talked about making a living with mushrooms. The decision seemed natural, says Heather, that growing mushrooms “is healthful; it’s something we can believe in.”

The couple grows oyster and shiitake mushrooms in an insulated metal and plastic building they built themselves while Heather was pregnant. They harvest mushrooms daily for sale at farmers markets during the market season, at the Reynold’s Grocery Company in Louisville, and several restaurants.

And what they don’t sell, they eat. Heather says she puts mushrooms in everything, even taco filling.

Greens and Shiitake Mushrooms

Sage and Sausage Dressing

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