MiVT: Peaceful Harvest Mushrooms

Published: Jul. 18, 2022 at 1:50 PM EDT
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WORCESTER, Vt. (WCAX) - When it comes to finding a hobby, some people knit, some people take up a sport. But not Worcester’s Brian Wiseman, who’s a pretty “fun-gi.”

“Karen was working full time and traveling a lot and I needed a hobby because I had two very young boys at home, so I learned how to hobby grow mushrooms,” he explained.

It began as shitake mushrooms, with growing instructions back then coming from YouTube and Google. When Brian and his wife, Karen, moved from Dover, New Hampshire, to Vermont, they kept it up. Eventually, they started selling their products at local farmers markets. That was back in 2014.

“Since then, over the last seven years, it’s evolved more into a medicinally focused company,” explained Brian.

Karen is a trained clinical herbalist with an extensive background in pharmaceuticals. She worked for Merck doing research and development for a chunk of her career.

“When we had left Dover and left the industry, I had never planned on making medicines again,” Karen explained. “Which was super sad for me because I really liked doing that.”

The two have put their brains together and created Peaceful Harvest Mushrooms, an FDA-regulated and certified organic business.

Across two sites in Worcester, Peaceful Harvest offers seven different types of mushrooms that come either fresh, dried, in powder or tincture form.

For the most part, Brian handles the growing, from lion’s mane to oyster, turkey tail, and the difficult-to-grow cordyceps.

“If you can grow a pound of mushrooms, you can grow 1,000 pounds of mushrooms. It’s just the amount of space and infrastructure and people and time it takes to do it, really,” Brian said.

The grow rooms are temperature and humidity controlled. The inoculation station is equipped with a HEPA filter fan, for the best and cleanest product possible.

Karen handles the rest of the operation, making products to help with a variety of ailments, which she says are backed by thousands of years of use and lots of scientific research.

“Across the board, they’re great at supporting your immune system and they do it in a lot of different ways depending on the mushroom. But they all support your immune system,” she explained.

While each variety of mushroom has its own specific effects, Peaceful Harvest can only make certain claims per the FDA. However, they say, there’s no harm in giving them a try.

“It’s been an experimental journey. We never planned for where we are now it just, every year the path seemed to just call us one way or another and we instinctively went in the direction we thought we were supposed to be in,” Brian said.

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