Benefiting our community with fresh food security and local access to natural products for good health and wellness. Local, all natural and sustainable!

How did I get started growing mushrooms you ask?

Let me tell you my story…

In 2019 my blood pressure was totally out of control. Normal blood pressure is around 120/80 and despite being on medications, mine was usually 170/100.  The only thing the doctor could do was change my meds and raise the dosage, neither of those solutions were working for me.

I have a blood pressure machine in my home and one day my blood pressure was particularly high. I had a wicked headache so I went to the walk-in clinic, the doctor was extremely alarmed as my blood pressure was very, very high, it was around 190/105, she advised that I should go to the hospital.  I didn’t go the hospital and went home instead but my blood pressure kept rising so I ended up going to Emergency.  My headache was beyond bad, and I was concerned that my brain cells were dying. 

When I arrived at the hospital, the nurse took my blood pressure and said, “Wait right here, I have to get a doctor NOW!”

I didn’t know what the problem was; she immediately came back with a doctor who said, “Oh wow, you’re doing just fine”. I asked him, “why?”. He said “Your blood pressure is 205/127 and usually people with blood pressures that high are dead. I said, “oh my goodness I had no idea”.

The ER doctor prescribed some more BP meds and set me up with a Cardiologist and I decided to get a physical just to check everything out. After my blood test came back, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. I was freaked out and very overweight at 281lb. I immediately went on a Keto diet and started losing weight.  When my cardiologist appointment came along, I had lost almost 40lbs and told the Cardiologist what was happening and that I had lost almost 40lb on keto, she said I was doing all the right things and expected to see a lower blood pressure as I had lost weight. When the Cardiologist checked my blood pressure it was still horribly high. The Doctor told me there was a group of the population that medication just doesn’t work well for, we change the medications and try as best as we can, but they are just not effective. She told me that I fit into that group and there was nothing more she could do but change my medications.

She increased my meds and added a pill, now I had to take 2 different high dose blood pressure medications and said to keep doing what I’m doing and to get off all other medications, as any other medications can raise blood pressure.

I went home and started Googling how to lower blood pressure naturally. We had a lot of time on our hands as it was the beginning of the pandemic, and our other business Lake Country Designated Driver was essentially shut down. So, I spent hours looking for solutions to my ailments, my Google searches brought up this crazy looking thing it looked like it came from another planet or somewhere alien and I love alien stuff, I was like this is SUPER cool and said I NEED this in my life! I discovered it’s called Ganoderma or Reishi mushrooms. I also Googled how to lower blood sugar naturally, the results were, I needed Hericium Erinaceous or Lion’s Mane mushroom.

I began Googling “Reishi lowering blood pressure” this is when I learned about PubMed and started reading medical journals on Reishi and Lion’s Mane mushrooms. I then began searching for local sources and found none. This was when I decided I would start a new business, growing mushrooms! I said to my hubby, “Guess what? I’m going to learn to grow mushrooms and make a business out of it, we need it!”  Boy, was he surprised lol…

During the pandemic I received government covid benefits to survive, after I paid my bills, I bought mushroom supplies and studied growing techniques. Keep in mind I had never even eaten any and I didn’t’ even know if they would even help me or even if they tasted good lol. I spent thousands of dollars on equipment and built a room to grow them in.

At this point I had lost 100lb and still had 180/101 (or higher) blood pressure and was still diabetic too.

Now it’s May of 2021 and I just harvested my first 8 fruiting blocks, 4 Lion’s Mane and 4 Blue Oyster mushrooms. I was so excited to try them!!  (And yes, I LOVED them!) I saved most of that batch of lion’s mane to make tinctures, as I learned that’s what I needed to get blood sugar under control naturally. It takes two to three months to make quality tinctures! I tenderly made my tinctures while learning and practising growing techniques and I sourced a Reishi culture, so I can grow those too!

My Lion’s Mane tinctures were finally ready and after taking them for a couple months, I saw my doctor to have my blood sugars taken. They are totally normal and I’m no longer diabetic!!

However, my blood pressure was still outrageous, and I was still taking two different high dose blood pressure meds that still weren’t working. My doctor didn’t understand either, he said after losing 100lbs my blood pressure should be amazing and there I was with dangerously high blood pressure!

The wait is finally over, I grew, harvested and made Reishi tinctures! I was taking them for maybe a month, and I was having some major dizzy spells. I was like what’s happening?  I grabbed my home blood pressure monitor and took my blood pressure; it was 110/70! I just about passed out from shock! It’s NEVER that low, NEVER! I stopped taking my blood pressure medication and started watching it daily, my average blood pressure is 130/75. My doctor called me to have me make an appointment because he was worried as he hadn’t heard from in a while. When I told him he was surprised and thrilled, as he did not know how to help me either, he said “More mushrooms for you!” I laughed and said, “love it!!” What a great doctor!!

I knew I found my calling, and now I grow 33 different kinds of mushrooms! We serve restaurants, and the public, and offer a variety of high-quality wellness products at affordable prices, the same quality as I take myself to keep my diabetes away and blood pressure under control without the use of conventional medications.

Tonya Edwards

Proud Owner and Operator of Lake Country Gourmet Mushroom Farm