New Mushroom Vendor Enters Albany

New mushroom vendor sells shiitakes and blue oysters

Dezmond Remington and Braxton Reece

When faced with adversity, some people crumble under the pressure. Some, like Mike Lowe, decide to start a new mushroom business.
Lowe and his stepson, Alex Diaz, sell mushrooms each Saturday morning at the Albany Farmers’ Market. Based in Lebanon, they grow various mushroom varieties year-round indoors in special mushroom grow room.
“Right now we grow shiitakes, and blue oyster mushrooms, and some king oysters that should be coming out here soon,” Lowe said.
He’s been in the business for about five months. After quitting his job, Lowe needed a source of income.
“I got online, started figuring out where I was going to turn my yard into one big garden and see what kind money we could make,” Lowe said, “and so I watched videos and mushrooms came up, and I thought, ‘Wow, that sounds pretty good.’”
He needed a way to start, so he met a retired mushroom farmer in Lebanon who needed help, and Mike helps the farmer with growing his mushrooms and the farmer gives Mike space to grow Mike’s mushrooms.
He sells directly to the public at events like the Albany Farmers’ Market, but wants to expand the reach of his product. Having only recently started growing and selling mushrooms, he is only selling at markets, but is trying to sell his product to wholesalers.
The reason? He’s trying to support his family. “I’m a caregiver for my mom, my mom lives with us. I quit my job a year ago, and I just got married, I got three new step kids, and one on the way, so I figured I want to spend some time with my family, so this is what I do.” “If it wasn’t for me being a caregiver for my mom I wouldn’t be able to do this, there is no way this would pay the bills for now.”