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

Updated on August 17, 2016
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty collects recipes from past generations among ethnic groups, the 13 Original Colonies, the American Civil War & the 19th century.

An assortment of mushrooms.
An assortment of mushrooms. | Source

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 Video

Creekside Mushrooms Ltd.

show route and directions
A markerOne Moonlight Drive Worthington PA -
Moonlight Dr, Worthington, PA 16262, USA
get directions

Creekside Mushrooms Ltd is on One Moonlight Drive.

B markerKitanning PA -
Kittanning, PA 16201, USA
get directions

C markerNorth Lima OH -
North Lima, OH 44452, USA
get directions

D markerPittsburgh PA -
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
get directions

Reference point.

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

A markerNorth Lima OH -
North Lima, OH 44452, USA
get directions

This town is on the opposite side of the State from Lima, Ohio.

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.

A load of antioxidants, nutrients and vitamins are available in the produce aisle from white and brown fungi, commonly known as mushrooms. Mushrooms are low in calories, cholesterol and sodium, and they provide plenty of fiber and flavor when cooked.

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.

Creekside Mushroom Varieties

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Young Common MorelMaitake mushroom: "Hen of the Woods"Psilocybe weilii, one of many types of mushrooms containing halucinogens.Reishi mushroom
Young Common Morel
Young Common Morel | Source
Maitake mushroom: "Hen of the Woods"
Maitake mushroom: "Hen of the Woods" | Source
Psilocybe weilii, one of many types of mushrooms containing halucinogens.
Psilocybe weilii, one of many types of mushrooms containing halucinogens. | Source
Reishi mushroom
Reishi mushroom | Source

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.

Introduction to Mushrooms

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.

5 stars from 1 rating of CRAB-STUFFED MUSHROOMS


Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 25 min
Yields: 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. | Source

The Amanita muscaria is known as "fly agaric", as it attracts and kill flies. While it does not contain psilocybin or psilocin, it contains hallucinogens muscimol and ibotenic acid.

© 2012 Patty Inglish


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    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      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 profile image

      Patty Inglish 5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      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!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

      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!

    • incomeguru profile image

      Oyewole Folarin 5 years ago from Lagos

      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 profile image

      breakfastpop 5 years ago

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

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      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.

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 5 years ago from Rome, Italy

      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 profile image

      Patty Inglish 5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      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 profile image

      TomBlalock 5 years ago from Hickory, NC

      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."