Hadley farmer to share research results at national conference

The Recorder, March 27, 2018.

Farmer Willie Crosby of Fungi Ally in Hadley is traveling to a national sustainable agriculture conference in St. Louis next week to share his recent research on alternative growing practices of oyster mushrooms.

In 2015, Crosby received a grant from the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program for his on-farm research project, “Alternative growing practices for oyster mushroom cultivation in the Northeast.”

Traditionally, oyster mushrooms are grown on straw that has been pasteurized with boiling water. Crosby’s project looked at alternatives to hot water pasteurization to save farmers time and money, looking at treating straw instead with lime, fermentation and wood ash.

He also developed a 36-page booklet on oyster mushroom production as a resource for people interested in growing these mushrooms.

Crosby will share his research results during a poster presentation at the national SARE conference called “Our Farms, Our Future.” He joins more than 900 other farmers and agriculture professionals that will convene to discuss the future of agriculture across the U.S.

Crosby has operated Fungi Ally, an indoor mushroom farm based in Hadley, for four years. The farm produces specialty mushrooms — including shiitake, oyster and lion’s mane — that are sold fresh to restaurants, grocery stores, farmers’ markets and other outlets.

To learn more about Fungi Ally, visit the farm’s website at