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Demand grows for shiitake mushrooms from Northeast

SHREWSBURY, Vt. (AP) -- A Vermont couple shifted their plans for a farm centered on a goat dairy after taking a workshop in growing shiitake mushrooms.
  
Now, Lucas Jackson and Maeve Mangine are selling the spongy rich mushrooms to several restaurants and a food cooperative and through a community supported agriculture farm.
  
Their Tangled Roots Farm in Shrewsbury was one of about 20 farms chosen in Vermont and New York as research sites under a $116,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture grant.
  
A University of Vermont-Cornell University extension study found that a 500-log operation could bring in $11,190 in gross income at the retail price of $16 a pound. The study also determined that demand for shiitakes far outstrips supply.
 
Next month, the universities plan to release a guide for growing shiitakes in the Northeast.
  
AP-WF-09-22-13 1523GMT
 
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