ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. -- A small farm in Saxapahaw is one of 24 NC small businesses to recently receive tens of thousands of dollars in state grants.
- Haw River Mushrooms farm is located in Saxapahaw.
- The farm is just two years old.
- The farm has received tens of thousands of dollars in state grants.
Haw River Mushrooms grows more than a dozen varieties of mushrooms and sells all over the Triad and the Triangle.
Just two years ago, Laura Stewart and her husband, owners of Haw River Mushrooms, took their mushroom farming from a hobby to a full time job.
Stewart says the grant has been more than they ever expected.
"It came not with just dollars, but also support from the Small Business Technology Development Center. So they've come out to the farm and then they've met us at coffee shops several times and given us advice, looked over our business plan," she said.
As part of the grant, they're experimenting with ways to turn mushroom waste into new income opportunities.
"We're funneling the carbon dioxide from this grow room into a high tunnel where we'll be growing a special variety of blackberries, and that CO2 supplementation in the high tunnel provides enhanced photosynthesis."
She says they've already seen ways to invest the money back into their community as they prepare for this weekend's Piedmont Farm Tours, the biggest event of the year for them.
"Just yesterday we had our local gravel company come and make a delivery so we'd have gravel for the farm tour. We bought bread from Chicken Bridge Bakery."