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Interview and lots of photos from American mushroom farm Basciani


This post is also available in: English Russian Polish

Basciani Foods is American mushroom farm company in Avondale, Pennsylvania. The first farm of Basciani was built in 1925. Now the company is lead by the third and fourth generation of the Basciani Family – Michael Basciani is CEO, and in total 16 family members are active in the company.

The farm consists of 5 growing facilities in different locations but all of them in Avondale. Totally at Basciani they have 106 growing rooms; and their sister’s farm has 37 grow rooms for a total of 143.

Old building has now chiller – and every room has the air conditioner. And with wooden racks.

While the new building is with modern shelving and enough similar to a Dutch farm. They have 28 shelves – not 24 as usual – to maximize production from each room.

Coming into a new growing room – something that makes you remember you are in US even if you see aluminum racks – is the wooden platform dividing the lower and the upper part of American double.

They do use a head filling machine by Mush Comb – they bought it some years ago and now are very satisfied with it; and the wood rooms head filler is a Pannell Patented Machine.

At Basciani they produce compost at their Laurel Valley Farms Division.. They have a technical possibility to make Phase 3, and they have been growing on Phase 2 for some time- almost twenty years. The reason – So many mushroom farms in a concentrated area there is always a spore load in the air; and as there is no deficit of mushrooms now in US – they do not need to increase the production which automatically comes with Phase 3.

While most of mushroom farms in US grow button mushrooms with the size 3cm to retail – this farm works strongly with food service clients. 80% of mushrooms Basciani Foods produce go to food service.

It made them start using the specially developed type of polysynthetic film for mushroom packaging. The producer of it is StePac PPC – they produce advanced polymer films with a range of water vapor transmission rates (WVTR) to manage humidity in the packaging headspace for such sensitive to moisture products as mushrooms.  According to what Michael Basciani tells – that helps him to prolong the shelf life of mushrooms to more than 18 day.

One thing which we highly appreciate – is what Basciani Foods’ Laurel Valley Soils Division does with spent compost. They developed a mix of spent compost with the mushroom stalks as well as the technology how to make from this mix eco soil which they successfully sell – for example for the gardens on the green roofs.

Thank you to David Iaconi from Mushroom Supply and Services company in Kennett Square, US, which supplies the whole range of products which mushroom growers need.

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