About Sharondale Farm

Elm oyster

Sharondale Farm helps you learn how to grow your own mushrooms, provides high-quality spawn, and sells the best tools and supplies for growing mushrooms.

  • We believe that food should be fresh, nutrient-dense, and be consumed in our community.
  • Our commitment to high-quality food is reflected in our growing practices.
  • We use no harmful herbicides, pesticides, or man-made fertilizers in our farming practices.
  • Our farm provides the highest quality gourmet and medicinal mushrooms for the health of our land and community.
  • We also believe everyone can grow their own mushrooms, and we’ll help and empower you to do it.

The Team at Sharondale Farm

MJ-KO

Mark Jones

Mark Jones, Sharondale CEO (Cohabiting Ecological Organism) was introduced to fresh, home-grown produce as many of us were–in the garden with his grandmother. He became fascinated with  fungi during a college mycology class and then accepted a graduate research assignment studying a fungal wilt of Tabasco pepper.  Following a M.S. degree in Plant Health from LSU, Mark learned and practiced the craft of carpentry and grew a construction business.  His hobbies building gardens, working with kids and disabled adults in horticultural therapy , and practicing permaculture led him back to agriculture and growing mushrooms.

After designing and building outdoor living spaces and encouraging people to grow food in Portland, Oregon, Mark moved to his family’s homestead Sharondale in the summer of 2004 to continue developing perennial polycultures that integrate fungi and mushrooms with fruit, flowers, and fiber plants. His current work includes learning and teaching about: low-input mushroom growing for small farm diversification; fungi that contribute to agroforestry and natural resource management plans; intercropping mushrooms in the food forest for production of food, medicine, and soil fertility; and collecting local strains of mushrooms that have potential as food, medicine, and earth healers.

Contact Mark


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Aaron Kennedy

Aaron Kennedy grew up in Cismont, Virginia and holds a degree in Business Administration from Fairmont State University.  He is a key member in managing our mushroom growing operation and provides development assistance to our many mushroom projects.

Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharon

 
Sharondale Farm is located
at the base of the
Southwest Mountains
of the Virginia Piedmont
about 12 miles
east of Charlottesville
in Cismont.
 

Current research at Sharondale Farm includes:

  • Identifying and evaluating commercial and locally collected mushroom strains for production value in central Virginia under different outdoor growing conditions and on different substrates.
  • Exploring and expanding low-tech and low-input cultivation methods for productive mushroom growing.
  • Intercropping gourmet and medicinal mushrooms in the food forest and garden.
  • Evaluating the local potential of numerous perennial fruiting tree and shrub species and varieties including jujubes, willows, plums, cornelian cherries, goji, currants, and gooseberries.
  • Collaborating to make food and medicinal products from abundant crops of mushrooms and plants.
  • Training mushrooms to enhance their ability to break down hydrocarbons and agricultural chemicals.
  • Awarded a USDA-SARE producer grant for 2008-2009 to study concurrent cultivation of mushrooms (Agaricus blazei, and A. subrufescens) and earthworms (Eisenia fetida) in manure based composts; and to measure their effects on the soil amendment value of the resulting compost.
Community Collaborators:

Herb AngelHerb Angel is owned and operated by Angel Shockley – plant lover, gardener, medicine maker and perennial experimenter.