At just 7 years old, Te’Lario Watkins found his passion for agriculture. The Cub Scout, who lives in Blacklick, Ohio, has been growing mushrooms since 2015 with the help of his parents and older sister.
Watkins had the opportunity to grow cat grass and basil through Cub Scouts, and loved it so much that he chose a crop he could grow year round – mushrooms. When the crop became too large for his family to eat, he started selling it at the local farmers market under the name Tiger Mushroom Farms. He now sells shiitake and oyster mushrooms, along with shiitake- and-onion soup mix, at 10 farmers markets, several restaurants, two grocery stores and a hospital.
READ MORE: When is Mushroom Season?
Watkins and his parents are working to grow the business, and hope to soon have a warehouse to grow more mushrooms and meet demand.
Watkins says he has learned a lot from growing mushrooms, including how to network, public speaking skills and money-management techniques. Learn more about his journey with Tiger Mushroom Farms at tigermushroomfarms.com.