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Ashland - Local Town Pages

Are You a Mycophile? If So, Ashland Farmers Market Has Mushrooms for You

By Margy Gassel and Ashley Thompson
Joyberry Farms in Mason, New Hampshire, has been growing mushrooms commercially and selling them at the Ashland Farmers Market (AFM) for the past three seasons. How did owners Amy and Brad Ikenberry get started in this unusual venture?
“I don’t think Amy or I ever planned on growing mushrooms for a living,” Brad said. “The idea came about for Joyberry Farms three years ago when Amy was pregnant with our first child. We were wondering what we could do to work for ourselves and spend more time together, and started joking about mushrooms. We own a couple of horses and always laughed about our pile of horse manure and the mushrooms that would grow on it! We would tell each other that we are great at growing mushrooms, they love us! Maybe we should do it for living!”
“When our daughter Madisyn was born, she came about eight weeks early. So, the maternity time turned into a four-month period as she needed some extra help. This extra time together for Amy was a blessing that we didn’t want to end. A few weeks after Madi was born we both looked at each other and confessed that we didn’t want to go back to work for someone else! We decided to use our savings, and the time we had at home, to renovate a barn on our property into a mushrooms house and jump in with two feet.We have never looked back.”
In the past few years our society has been becoming increasingly more aware of the amazing and even remarkable health benefits of mushrooms.
Mushrooms are low in calories, carbohydrates, fat, and sodium, and provide protein, B vitamins, vitamin D, selenium, potassium, and fiber. Mushrooms are also exceptionally high in antioxidants. 
In addition to delivering important nutrients, many studies have demonstrated the medicinal properties of mushrooms. They have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties, and are also used in cancer treatment due to antitumoral attributes. They reduce inflammation and stimulate the immune system, and can reduce high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and hyperglycemia. Medicinal mushrooms are used in the prevention or treatment of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease. (
Because of these amazing health benefits people are looking for more ways to realize these affects. Joyberry also makes mushrooms powders, teas, and tinctures to offer more efficient and/or concentrated forms of some of the more potent medicinal.
AFM is open every Saturday through Oct. 9 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 125 Front St., on the grass across from the Ashland Public Library. For more information and to sign up for weekly email, visit