Tim Armstrong of Eat Your Yard Jax spoke to room full mushroom enthusiasts on November 1.
Armstrong has studied the varieties that grow best in Northeast Florida and shares his extensive experience gained from training programs around the country. He shared tips on how to grow varieties like shiitake and oyster mushrooms and the seasons when they grow best.
Eat Your Yard Jax is a family-run farm specializing in edible landscape and garden plants and practicing organic principles and sustainable agriculture. The farm uses composting, vermiculture, rainwater reclamation, aquaponics, chicken production for a manure source, and mushroom production from waste wood reclamation as part of its sustainable practices.
Armstrong’s family has lived in North Florida since Florida became a state. They operated a trading post, post office, and steamboat stop on the Apalachicola River for almost 100 years. Armstrong grew up on Jacksonville’s westside and worked in several nurseries as a young man. He returned to the nursery business in 2007. After he met the folks at the Beaches Green Market, he expanded the edible component of his business. He enjoyed sharing the market experience with his children and hearing stories of urban agriculture success—and failure—from customers. After volunteering at the North Florida School of Special Education’s gardens, Armstrong studied at Growing Power in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with Will Allen. The training helped Berry Good Farms to grow out of NFSSE’s small garden into the microbusiness training model it is today.