Title

Profile of Barbara Skapa, a Maine wild mushroom entrepreneur and United Nations

Authors

Luann Yetter

Source

Down East

Date

10-1-1994

Pages

38-40

Abstract

Profile of Barbara Skapa, a Maine wild mushroom entrepreneur and United Nations economic consultant, and of her Mount Vernon-based mushroom business Mycelles Inc. Skapa is able to maintain both careers because the Maine mushroom season lasts only six to eight weeks, from the onset of cool nights in September to the first hard frost. She employs about sixty harvesters who search the woods of Maine's western mountains for highly vaued chanterelles, armillaria pondersa, sulfer shelves, and boletus mushrooms. Skapa, who maintains collecting stations in South China and Anson, where the mushrooms are inspected, sorted, and quickly shipped to urban areas, says that experienced pickers can average $200 to $400 a day in a good year, half that in a bad one. Recently, Skapa has been considering reintroducing ginseng to Maine. The state once produced the highest quality gensing, which is used as both a food and a medicine. The plant was picked to exhaustion during the Depression of the 1930s.

Subjects

Entrepreneurs, Mushrooms, Mycelles Inc, Skapa, Barbara

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