Nestled in a gentle forest fed by pristine mountain springs, Patrick and Vilma McDougall quietly nurture their passion—growing organic shiitake. SideCreek Farms LLC in North Carolina is a hidden gem located in an environmentally protected area. It’s also the first property receiving pure spring water from the Blue Ridge Mountains. Its little wonder SideCreek Farms’ organic shiitake sprout a rich, earthy flavor and is chockfull of nutrition.
In 2007, the McDougalls started with 400 red oak logs sourced from neighbors. Back then they didn’t track how much shiitake was produced. The following year, they cultivated 1,900 logs (red and white oak). In 2009, they found each log yielded about 3.5 pounds. Logs are arranged crib-style, criss-crossed and naturally protected overhead by forest foliage. It’s an ideal ecological arrangement supporting flora and fauna such as deer visiting the McDougall property.