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Unusual Places in Pennsylvania: The Largest Mushroom Grower In the World

Patty collects recipes and gadgets from the past and is particularly interested in early American history and all Indigenous Peoples.

An assortment of mushrooms.

An assortment of mushrooms.


September is Mushroom Month in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania is in the leading mushroom growing region in North America, supporting the largest mushroom grower in the world, called Creekside Mushrooms Ltd. The company operations look like a mining company, since the fungi are grown underground and the workers wear miner's hats. In fact, Creekside's parent company, Sylvan, Inc. is involved in other types of actual mining as well, including limestone mining.

The mushroom company and many other mushroom growers in Pennsylvania experienced a decline in 2009 during the Recession of 2008 - 2010, but many that included Creekside recovered.However, they did not resume their higher production rates of 1993, when the company employed nearly 1,000 workers. In 2012, the company reported 500 employees to the University of Pennsylvania agricultural business data base, along with a new website under construction.

Their products are marketed under the brand names Sno*Top, Moon-Bello's, and Moonlight Mushrooms. Processing/distribution plants are located in Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio.

Mushroom Festival at Kennett Square

Mushroom Festival Video

Creekside Mushrooms Ltd.

Creekside is owned by Sylvan Inc. in nearby Kitanning PA. Sylvan owns and distributes mushroom spawn, mushrooms (via Creekside) and "fungal products" that are dietary supplements, via its Sylvan Bio division. It is the largest such company in the world and further affiliated with the larger Snyder Brothers, Inc. group of companies.

Sno*Top is a processor of Moonlight Mushrooms in number 10 cans (restaurant size) in North Lima, Ohio a few miles south of Youngstown.

Sno*Top in North Lima OH

Global Operations

Active in 65 different nations globally, Sylvan also dedicates itself to research into mushrooms and mushroom varieties for better products. Some of their affiliates include:

  • Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary. The most up to date mushroom information globally is available at this link:
  • Fujian Mushroom, China
  • Plant Research International, Wageningen, Holland
  • Southern Cross University, Australia
  • University of Sydney, Australia

Sylvan Bio markets

  • Red Yeast Rice capsules for regulating LDL cholesterol and
  • Agaricus blazei for enhancing the human immune system and producing interferon and interleukin in the body.

Annals of Internal Medicine - Red Yeast Rice Studies

  • Best High-Paying High Demand Oil and Gas Jobs in PA
    Oil & Gas forms, active in the $3.25 Billion worth of oil and natural gas deals cut in Eastern and Southern Ohio for early 2012, is also active in Pennsylvania for the next decade or longer. The company announced in late December 2011 its plans t

Owned by an Oil and Natural Gas Company

Sylvan, in turn, is owned by Snyder Brothers, Inc. This is one of the largest independent producers of natural gas in Pennsylvania since the 1970s, drilling 150 wells per year.

Involved in construction, limestone mining, and other businesses as well, Snyder Brothers, Inc. is headquartered in Armstrong County PA near both Sylvan and Creekside Mushrooms Ltd.

Mushroom Varieties

Creekside's MOONLIGHT brand mushroom are 100% organic, selling 60 million pounds annually.

In business listings, Creekside Mushrooms Ltd is found under Mushrooms: Packaged in Cans, Jars, Etc. Founded in 2003, the company employees at least 500 workers.

Mushrooms grown processed:

  • Dried Mushrooms
  • Morel Mushrooms
  • Maitake Mushrooms
  • Psilocybin Mushrooms
  • Reishi Mushrooms

Psilocybin Mushrooms

It is not widely known why Creekside produces psilocybin mushrooms. They contain a hallucinogen found in tropical and subtropical climates in South America, Mexico, and the United States. These fungi usually contain 0.2% to 0.4% psilocybin and a trace amount of psilocyn. Johns Hopkins medical researchers are studying the drugs for use in psychological and psychiatric applications. Presumably, Creekside produces these mushrooms, nicknamed Magic Mushrooms, for research purposes as an affiliate of Sylvan, Inc.

According to the US Department of Justice, Psilocybin is a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act.

Notice the structure of the serotonin molecule found naturally in the human brain with similarities in molecules of the two hallucinogenic substances discussed above. The main effect of psilocin on brain chemistry is on the receptors for serotonin. Psilocybin may allow serotonin to have a longer time to act in the synapse between brain cells, leading to mood elevation.

This is the recipe for the very first dish I ever ate that contained mushrooms or crab meat.

These stuffed mushrooms were light and delicious - still are - and not filling. I must have eaten enough for 3 people.


Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

15 min

25 min

6 or 8 Servings


  • 1/4 cup green onions, minced
  • 2 tsp Butter
  • 4 oz Canned crab meat, drained
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/4 Cup small white mushrooms, without stems


  • Add green onions and butter to a small bowl and microwave on High for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in crab meat, parsley, and garlic and stir well.
  • Place half the mushrooms, stemmed (concave) sides up, onto an 8" or 9" pie plate.
  • Fill each mushroom cap with 1 tsp crab meat mixture and microwave on High about 3 minutes.
  • Remove mushrooms and place on a serving plate.
  • Repeat in batches until all mushrooms are heated.
  • Allow finished dish to rest 3 minutes and serve with hot sauce at the table or buffet..

Amanita Muscaria In Tasmania, Australia

While Creekside does not grow these mushrooms, I had a string of Christmas lights in their likeness as a child. I had not realized that they represented real mushrooms.

While Creekside does not grow these mushrooms, I had a string of Christmas lights in their likeness as a child. I had not realized that they represented real mushrooms.

© 2012 Patty Inglish MS


Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on May 17, 2012:

I like making stuffed mushrooms with sausage and peppers and the sauteed stems! When I was a kid I use to walk in the woods and collect mushrooms. I loved the pretty colors and thought they were so cool! Fortunately I didn't try to eat them though. I suppose one must exercise great caution in collecting and eating mushrooms, thanks for the info!

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on May 16, 2012:

breakfastpop - these stuffed mushrooms are absolutely delicious. I hope you like them, I really stuffed *myself* with them when I first saw them.

incomeguru - Yes, these are light, tasty, and more healthy than some other dishes. Thanks for your nice comments.

vespawoolf - I love the supermarket after dinnertime, when they mark down all the produce, including mushrooms!

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on May 16, 2012:

Wow, lots of great information. I'd never heard of mushroom "miners"! I look forward to trying your recipe as I love fresh mushrooms and can't get enough of them!

Oyewole Folarin from Lagos on May 16, 2012:

Mushrooms were such a nice healthy meal in those days when less meat were being consumed. And those generations lived longer than we do now. Nice hub, well structured. Thanks!

breakfastpop on May 16, 2012:

Crab stuffed mushrooms are a definite try. I am in heaven!

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on May 15, 2012:

GoodLady - About the immune enhancer, you might look for an information hotline at your local hospitals or ask the staff of any GNC store, or ask a nutritionist or doctor. The Nurse Practitioners in the Little Clinics in drug and grocery stores might have this information also.

Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on May 15, 2012:

You just throw all that information at us! Fascinating Hub. In the good old days, us '70's California people would have been all over your Psilocybin Mushroom talk! Those were the good old days. Love the crab and mushroom recipe and enjoyed learning about Creekside and Sylvan.

Very curious to know more about the agaricus blazei capsules for low immune systems. Wondering if I should buy some? I have a low immune system which is a complication for the cancer I had/have? Who would know?

Thanks for super read and info.


Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on May 15, 2012:

Hahaha Thanks very much for the correction. I spelled it at least 6 ways incorrectly and couldn't it right to save my neck.

TomBlalock from Hickory, NC on May 15, 2012:

An interesting hub idea. Before I finish reading it, however, I have to post this or it will drive me insane. You spelled the title "Unusal" instead of "Unusual."

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