We moved back to Alabama in November of 2014 after a couple of years working on Georgia farms and are excited to provide our home state with fresh, gourmet mushrooms.
Brian graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Environmental Science. His interest in bioremediation (using microbial metabolic pathways to degrade environmental contaminants) led him to take courses in mycology, soil microbiology, and applied environmental microbiology. He worked as a student in the Plant Pathology Department's Mycology laboratory under Dr. Kathy Lawrence where he isolated plant pathogenic fungi into pure culture and identified fungi by microscopy. Brian also worked while a student, and full-time after graduation, at an environmental testing laboratory where he analyzed water samples for organic contaminants including pesticides by GC-MS and HPLC. After this, he took a leap off the conventional career path and accepted a position as mycologist and assistant farm manager at a small, organic mushroom farm in Georgia. This opportunity allowed him to learn to scale up what began as a hobby to a commercial level; less than a year later he had finished designs for his own farm and took up a friend's offer to rent land back home in Alabama.
Elizabeth graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Fruit and Vegetable Production. After graduation she worked at farms in Auburn, AL; Bakersville, NC; Pine Mountain, GA; and Sparta, GA before moving to Oneonta, AL to start Southern Foothills Farm with Brian. While her true passion is vegetable farming, she is enjoying learning how to grow mushrooms and looks forward to the time when the mushroom compost can be used to help grow fruits and vegetables too. She is researching ways to incorporate plants in the mushroom houses to help balance the environmental conditions. She also documents their journey with photography and tries to keep her IPM (Integrated Pest Management) skills sharp by identifying the insects they come across while hiking. She enjoyed participating in the CSA farm model while working for Jenny Jack Sun Farm and hopes to have a CSA of her own one day with mushrooms, vegetables, flowers, and more.
Hank and Rosa
Sawdust Quality Managers
Hank and Rosa check each batch of sawdust as it comes onto the farm. They check for moisture-content, particle size, and their favorite - sticks.
Building the Farm
We worked from November 2014 to March 2015 to design and build the farm infrastructure. Our first mushrooms fruited in April 2015 and we look forward to expanding production to meet the growing demand for high-quality, local mushrooms.