Building Access to Growing Mushrooms with the Squaxin Island Tribe

Project Overview

Project Type: Local Ed & Demo (formerly RGR)
Funds awarded in 2023: $71,126.00
Projected End Date: 04/30/2024
Host Institution Award ID: G337-23-W9988
Grant Recipient: Metamimicry
Region: Western
State: Washington
Principal Investigator:
Jade Swor
Mack Kleiva


No commodities identified


No practices identified

Proposal abstract:

The Salish Place of Remediation Education, or SPoRE, is a community mushroom cultivation project in partnership between the Squaxin Island Tribe and Metamimicry. The SPoRE, located at and functioning as a part of the Salish Roots Farm, is helping to bring greater access to mushrooms to the Squaxin Island Tribe and broader community. At the SPoRE, people learn sustainable cultivation and experimental techniques, contribute to research projects, make medicine and recipes, grow remediator species, and grow fungi from culturally relevant, foraged finds. As a shared space, people are able to access resources, including equipment and books, for their own personal projects, increasing access to fungi for all. We aim to utilize the knowledge gained from this space, and from previous Western SARE research, to experiment with cultivation methods to include more locally produced waste substrates. Primarily, we will document this novel community approach to mushroom cultivation and produce learning materials for replicating the project, eventually sharing this knowledge with other Tribes and communities.

Project objectives from proposal:

  • Increase access to mushroom cultivation knowledge & techniques
      1. Host 12 monthly workshops and events related to mushroom cultivation, foraging, preservation, cooking, medicine making, soil building, and bioremediation at the SPoRE
      2. Produce educational materials, including 5-8 videos and 8-10 booklets on related topics
      3. Orient and teach specialized training to 5 farm employees, Tribal members, and broader community to use a cultivation lab & a variety of growing techniques 
      4. Provide farm tours to local schools, community members, and other tribes
      5. Create a guidebook for facilitating a community cultivation lab to be shared with other tribes and communities
  • Increase the presence of fungi in food sovereignty efforts of tribes
      1. Develop sustainable systems for growing culturally relevant mushrooms on local waste substrates, such as cannabis stalks and coffee grounds
      2. Create extracts, broths, & tea blends with medicinal mushrooms
      3. Travel to 4 other tribes to share about this project and offer support for starting their own
  • Enhance community-based sharing of mushroom cultivation resources
      1. Develop a novel library method for use & exchange of mushroom cultivation equipment and supplies  
      2. Connect the Potter Valley Tribe’s community mushroom lab with the Squaxin Island Tribe’s lab to form the first tendrils of a growing network
      3. Invite regional tribes to learn at the SPoRE, and visit 4 other tribes to help set up new community mushroom labs
  • Improve soil health at the Salish Roots Farm
    1. Contribute an on-site source of spent mushroom blocks to an actively managed compost pile for soil building
    2. Utilize substrate blocks contaminated with Trichoderma sp to increase disease resistance in orchard & other garden areas
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.