Pursuing Mushrooms

By Tracey Moro

Vincent Sanna is like many local people, he loves to go foraging for mushrooms.

An entrepreneur all his life, he took up mushroom hunting in 2011 as a hobby while he owned a pet supply company. He was so intrigued with mushrooms that he quickly learned how to grow them and came up with the idea to produce and sell mushroom grow kits. The grow-at-home kits were a hit but his love for mushrooms won out with his mushroom farm, Give and Grow Mushrooms, taking his passion to the next level and his next business venture.

This is not your typical farm with acres of soil, sprinkler systems and tractors. It has a modest building in Chesterfield with designated grow rooms set to the perfect temperature and atmosphere to successfully grow mushrooms. Sanna operates with 14 employees plus family to handle the grow process and the sales at farmers markets throughout the metro region.

The grow at home mushroom kits were marketed at expos and Sanna saw the product was very viable. “That was the direction for a couple years, but through the process of product development we ended up becoming a full farm. We still sell the kits at the farmers markets but we don’t go to expos anymore,” said Sanna.

“We create mushroom blocks “After they are inoculated they are incubated and will sit in rooms while they grow,” added Sanna. “This is farming. Everything has got to be under control. We grow up to 13 different varieties of mushrooms so it’s pretty extensive. Each has different requirements.”

Today Give and Grow Mushrooms, sells at farmers markets throughout the metro region including at the Mount Clemens and New Baltimore farmers markets. But the bulk of their mushrooms are sold to wholesalers who eventually get the product into store shelves. They also sell black garlic, which is an aged garlic using a Korean process of heating the garlic for about 40 days in a controlled environment.

The mushrooms leave the farm in brown bags to be sold to the wholesaler and to the public at farmers markets. “We typically have about eight varieties that we are consistent with, and about five more seasonal based on weather conditions,” said Sanna who also still loves to go foraging. “We (also) do wild forage; right now it is morel season. That’s what I started with. I find them right here in Macomb County.”

Sanna doesn’t sell cooked mushrooms at all, but he does enjoy cooking for himself and there are a few recipes on his website. He suggests you just sauté the mushrooms in some butter, maybe garlic, salt and pepper. He noted the benefits for mushrooms. They are low in calories, cholesterol and sodium, a great source of vitamins and minerals. Some say mushrooms can help prevent cancer and diabetes, and can boost cardiovascular health.


Pappardelle Pasta with Black Garlic and Pearl Mushroom Sauce
Serves 4


  • 6 whole black garlic cloves
  • 1 Each medium shallot, minced
  • 1 lb. Pearl mushrooms cut to inch size pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. thyme, chopped
  • 2 Tbsps. parsley, chopped
  • ½ Cup dry sherry
  • 2 Cups heavy cream Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Pappardelle pasta Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh parsley to garnish


  • Cook the pappardelle pasta per instructions in salted water.
  • Heat a quarter cup of olive oil in a large sauté pan, on high heat. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and saute until golden, then add shallots.
  • Add black garlic to the pan. Sauté for about two minutes then deglaze pan with sherry. Lower heat and add cream, allowing the flavors to combine and the sauce to thicken a little.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the pan, include some of the pasta water if the sauce is too thick. Adjust seasoning, add herbs.  Plate in four bowls and add  Parmesan and parsley.


King Oyster  Bruschetta Topping
Appetizer for 6-8


  • 3 Tbsps. olive oil
  • Bunch green onions, white and green parts separated, and chopped
  • 3 Cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsps. fresh thyme, rosemary and basil
  • 4 King Oyster (trumpet or oyster) mushrooms, large diced
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Baguette, cut into 1-inch slices, and lightly toasted Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat the broiler and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the whites of the green onions and sauté until they are a light golden brown.
  • Add the mushrooms, and saute until golden brown. Add garlic and fresh herbs. Drizzle in the soy sauce, and continue cooking, stirring for one minute.
  • Sprinkle in the chopped green onion tops, season with salt, and pepper, to taste, and remove the pan from the heat. Transfer the mushroom mixture to a bowl, and allow the dish to cool.
  • Arrange the toasted baguette slices on the prepared baking tray, and top with a spoonful of the mushroom mixture. Broil the bruschettas in the preheated oven, until the cheese has softened, approximately three minutes. 


Maitake Mushroom Vegetable Fried Rice
Serves 4


  • 1/4 cup Canola oil, divided
  • 2 Large eggs, scrambled
  • 1 Clove garlic
  • 1 tsp. Ginger, grated
  • 1 lb. Maitake mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 Scallions, chopped – whites and greens separated
  • 1 Carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 Medium zucchini, finely chopped
  • 2 Cups cooked short-grain rice
  • 1/4 Cup water
  • 2 Tbsps. low-sodium Soy Sauce (or Tamari)
  • 1 tsp. Sesame oil


  • In a wok or large skillet heat two tablespoons of the oil on med-high heat. Scramble the eggs in the hot oil, remove and reserve.
  • Heat remaining oil on high heat. Stir-fry garlic, ginger, mushrooms, scallion whites, carrots, and zucchini until vegetables are tender, about eight minutes. Add scallion greens, rice, water, soy sauce, and sesame oil.
  • Stir-fry until rice is heated through, about four additional minutes. Serve immediately.

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