KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WVNS) — Mushrooms grown in a repurposed, historical tunnel in the Southern West Virginia mountains are being harvested for distribution to local businesses and restaurants.

“This week, we’re really, really excited to announce that we have our very first harvest,” said Hernshaw Farms CEO George Patterson. “So this one will be going out to places all over Charleston.”

(13 NEWS FILE/DIGITAL REPORTER AMANDA BARBER)

Hernshaw Farms has been growing mushrooms for quite some time, and in February they recently started a growing operation in Memorial Tunnel. The tunnel was built as part of the West Virginia Turnpike in the mid-1950s and was closed to traffic in 1987. Patterson said the cool environment inside the tunnel is ideal for growing temperatures.

The growing operation has been a journey for Hernshaw Farms, and Patterson said he can’t believe the first harvest is finally ready.

“We’re making history right now and something that’s really historic, and I’m just really, really blessed and happy to be a part of it,” Patterson said.

It warms Patterson’s heart to think about the farm’s Mountain State-grown mushrooms going out to local restaurants and being used in Appalachian recipes. He said Hernshaw Farms is excited to expand the mushroom operation over time and continue serving the people of Appalachia.

“We can’t wait, we cannot absolutely wait to keep growing, keep expanding and keep pushing our mushrooms all across the wonderful state of West Virginia and the Appalachian region,” Patterson said.

Patterson revealed that after the first harvest is done, Hernshaw Farms will add more grow rooms in the tunnel.

Charleston residents can enjoy the mushrooms at several local restaurants, including The Pitch of KC, 1010 Bridge, Barkadas, Ristorante Abruzzi, General Steak and Seafood, and more.