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From left to right: Lion's Mane (Hericium erinaceus); Chestnut (Pholiota adiposa); King Trumpet (Pieurotus eryngii); Shiitake (Lentinula edodes); Blue Oyster (Pieurotus ostreatus var. columbinus). Photo by Paul Miller.

Mile High Fungi Cultivates Deliciousness

You've got to get your hands on these gorgeous mushrooms.

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If you’re a shroomer—no, not that kind—you’ve probably spent the past four months rummaging around in the forest armed with a basket, knife, and identification key. But now that wild mushroom season is winding down—or if you’re a less intrepid Coloradan unwilling to risk illness (or worse) from foraging poisonous look-alikes—you need trek no farther than the Union Station or South Pearl Street farmers’ markets, where you can scoop up Mile High Fungi’s gorgeous cultivated species. Liz and Michael Nail launched the business in 2014, growing oysters, shiitakes, and more in their home and in two shipping containers set in their Jefferson Park backyard. In May, the Nails moved their sustainable operation to a homestead near Conifer where they have room to grow—literally. In the 2,400-square-foot barn that anchors the property, they now produce roughly 500 pounds of mushrooms each week (up from 150). Soon, they plan to offer CSA shares and mycology seminars. Keep an eye out for their pristine, flavorful mushrooms on local menus (including Boulder’s River and Woods and Denver’s Little Spoons, among others)—or, even better, buy a basket or two and cook them up at home.

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