Kennett Square Is Home to Millions of Mushrooms, But They Are Not Out in Wild as Some Tourists Might Hope

mushroom houses
Image via Tyger Williams, The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Peter Gray at The Woodlands at Phillips Mushroom Farm, points out modern mushroom houses next to the farm's museum.

While some tourists visit Kennett Square in the hopes of seeing some of its famous mushrooms growing in the wild, it does not take long before they find out that the popular food is instead grown in cement structures known as mushroom houses, writes Jenn Ladd for The Philadelphia Inquirer

Restaurateur Aimee Olexy — who uses mushrooms in nearly all her meals — often must break this somewhat disappointing news to those who ask her where they can find mushroom fields in her hometown. The owner of Talula’s Table instead steers visitors to Phillips Mushroom Farms, one of her suppliers. 

The fourth-generation grower operates the Woodlands’s mushroom museum, which offers a glimpse into what takes place in Kennett Square’s rarely seen mushroom houses. The museum is a necessity because too many people walking through actual growing houses would be “a food-safety issue,” said Phillips grower Peter Gray. 

The museum covers the whole process of mushroom growing, all the way to picking which, unlike in Europe, is still primarily done manually in the U.S. 

Read more about Kennett Square’s mushroom houses in The Philadelphia Inquirer

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