From our growing operations and environmental
At the end of every day, our goal is to be good people that grow good food. And that doesn’t happen by accident. Every decision we make promotes the long-term sustainability of our environment, our culture, our company, our values, our people and the people we feed.
Monterey Mushrooms is the largest grower of fresh mushrooms in North America, with more than 4,000 employees in 10 locations, including Mexico, growing, picking, packing and shipping 250 million pounds of mushrooms per year.
We maintain some of the highest quality standards in the industry through hands-on, home-grown management of our entire operation, including our own coast to
Fresh mushrooms may be the face of our company, but our farms are backed by an integrated network of subsidiary companies and operations created to support and sustain our business vision.
On every level of our company, Monterey Mushrooms is focused on sustaining our brand, our industry and the love of mushrooms.
In the bigger picture of hunger and the challenge of sustaining the world’s food supplies, mushrooms are one of the most earth-friendly renewable crops in the world. They grow in the limited space of one million pounds per acre and are ready to harvest in just a matter of days, conserving soil and netting high yields.
Blending meat with mushrooms not only improves the flavor and nutritional value of recipes, but it may also address food deserts and hunger. Mushrooms can be used to increase the volume of meat recipes, increasing portions and feeding more hungry people.
Mushroom blending also replaces the brunt of the meat industry’s carbon footprint and pollution with a more eco-friendly growing process. For example, compared to the 660 gallons of water required to produce one hamburger, a pound of mushrooms needs less than two gallons.
The mighty mushroom is healthy on the plate and gentle on the planet, according to a study measuring the water, energy and carbon emissions required to grow and harvest fresh mushrooms in the United States.
This study found that production of a pound of mushrooms requires only 1.8 gallons of water and 1.0-kilowatt hours of energy, and generates only 0.7 pounds of CO2 equivalent emissions.
In addition, the annual average yield of mushrooms is 7.1 pounds per square foot. That means that up to 1 million pounds of mushrooms can be produced on just one acre, every year!
Mushroom growers around the world, have made tremendous strides to conserve resources and eliminate pollution. Mushrooms farms recycle, A LOT, and for those unfamiliar with life on the mushroom farm, it’s in surprising ways.
Mushroom growers’ biggest recycling opportunity is through composting. So, we happily utilize agricultural waste products to create our mushroom growing substrate (compost).
Hay is the foundation of mushroom compost. We purchase second-grade hay from farmers with less than perfect crops, or from farmers who planted a marginal crop so their land doesn’t sit idle. In addition to the hay, we also rely heavily on the discarded bedding from horse racing tracks and boarding stables. Believe it or not, there isn’t enough horse bedding to go around; mushroom farmers have to secure contracts with equine facilities to ensure a year-round supply of the material.
Another waste product we make use of is poultry manure for its great nitrogen properties. This also helps to solve a difficult waste management problem for the poultry industry.
We also purposely pave our compost wharves with a slope to direct water runoff to lagoons, catch basins and holding tanks so we can recycle it by pumping the water back onto the compost piles.
As fierce advocates of the mighty mushroom, we work hard to teach our communities, municipal governments and customers about how mushrooms and mushroom farms benefit the environment, from reducing our overall environmental footprint to feeding the hungry and even recycling other industries’ waste as well as our own.
After all, the more we know about where our food comes from, the more we’ll understand how to make that food better, for everyone and everything.
What many farmers call “spent compost”, we call “post mushroom substrate” because it’s really not spent at all and has many uses off the mushroom farm.
Many people wonder why we can’t reuse the mushroom compost a second time. Simply put, it’s not desirable because the prior mushroom crop used most of the nutrients (such as cellulose, lignin and other carbohydrates) that are essential to growing edible fungi, mushrooms. So, we encourage others to repurpose it.
Gardeners, landscapers, and farmers who know the value of post mushroom substrate use it readily. Sometimes, it’s necessary to further decompose the substrate, or add additional ingredients, to dilute the strongest nutrients and better balance the compost to maximize the benefit it provides other agricultural crops.
Post mushroom substrate isn’t harmful to the environment and doesn’t pose a threat to groundwater when it’s spread on the ground. Since compost is about 75 percent organic matter, it easily decomposes and takes on a soil-like characteristic.
At Monterey Mushrooms, we know the environmental impact of mushrooms because we study it extensively. Our individual farms have unique water and air quality monitoring programs customized for the regional environment.