North Spore is the brainchild of three college friends with an admiration for all things related to the mycological world. What began as a love for mushroom foraging has developed into an obsession with all things fungi. That passion for foraging has evolved over time: these days any of us are likely to be found in our cultivation rooms growing oyster mushrooms, shiitakes, lion's mane, chestnut mushroom, king trumpets, and pioppinos, or tincturing the myriad medicinal polypores that grow in the Maine woods. Maybe we are at Fork Food Lab in Portland sautéing shitakes with mirin and tamari; or perhaps it's the dried porcinis and chanterelles from our last mushroom walk that are taking the stage.
North Spore produces 100% of the spawn used at its facility and also makes sawdust, plug, and grain spawn for other commercial and enthusiast growers. We take our commercial spawn customer's needs seriously and are fortunate to have both a mycologist with a Master's Degree in the field and a trained lab technician overseeing our in-house laboratory, culture bank, and spawn production.
Regardless of whether we are sharing our favorite mushroom dishes, our knowledge of mushroom foraging and cultivation, or simply our overwhelming admiration for this often overlooked biological kingdom, we are striving to be a community hub for fungi enthusiasts; a place where people learn to love mushrooms as we do.
We offer frequent mushrooming expeditions during mushrooming season (late-June through September here in Maine), guest lectures by leading Maine mycologists and foragers, and classes on DIY mushroom identification, foraging, and cultivation.
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About the Team
Jon Carver grew up foraging wild mushrooms with his father in the Green Mountains of Vermont. From this early interest in mushrooms Jon went on to pursue a MS degree studying Mycology and most recently worked as the Research and Production Mycologist for Field and Forest Products in Peshtigo, WI. As the Lead Mycologist at North Spore, Jon is in charge of maintaining our mushroom cultures and researching new strains of wild mushrooms for their potential cultivation. He is also the go to person for any of your fungal questions.
Eliah Thanhauser is a true Mainer through and through. Eliah is an expert in greenhouse and organic farm management. He's also an avid sailor and musician.
Matt McInnis, a veteran of the food world, developed his culinary knowledge serving and cooking at The Burning Tree restaurant on MDI where he frequently supplied the restaurant with wild-foraged mushrooms. He later became a representative for Crush Distributors, a small boutique wine distribution company based in the Portland, Maine, area. His passion for good food, good wine, and good company coupled with a strong environmental ethic and a love for foraging and gardening, has underscored his commitment to the North Spore manifesto.