Kennett Square, a borough in Chester County, may have a population of less than 6,000, but in the fungi farming world, it’s a force to be reckoned with. More than half of the mushroom crop in the United States comes out of this one area, which proudly calls itself the “Mushroom Capital of the World.” Every September, more than 100,000 visitors flock here for the annual Mushroom Festival and on New Year’s Eve, locals drop a 500-pound metallic ‘shroom in lieu of a ball.
Since 1927, the Phillips family has been in the mushroom-growing business. While the bulk of their 57 million-pound annual crop is the usual white buttons and portobellos, they also stock less common varieties such as maitakes and Lion’s manes. The small but informative museum at The Woodlands makes for an engaging detour.
The best part is arguably the gift shop, which sells dried porcini, trumpet, oyster, and other mushrooms by the pound. There also specialty teas, made with energizing reishi or Lion’s mane mushrooms, not to mention all sorts of soups, swag, and prepared condiments.
Know Before You Go
The museum is free to visit. Tours are self-guided.