You can stretch your mushroom palette beyond the portobello and button varieties. All it takes is a trip to South Knoxville or a click on the internet.
In a small garden in South Knoxville Bob Hess planted what will become a patch of Maitake mushrooms.
"People call it the dancing mushroom because when they find it they actually dance for joy," he said.
It comes from a bag Hess sells at Everything Mushrooms.
It's a block of mushroom spawn mixed with sawdust.
"Once it's done its thing for a couple of weeks it will start to throw off mushrooms," he explained. "So sometime over the course of the next month or so we'll find a nice little cluster of Maitake mushrooms coming up next to our Japanese Maple and we'll dance of joy."
You can check out Everything Mushrooms in person at its South Knoxville showroom but most of their business is done online.
"About 95 to 98 percent of our business goes out everyday on a UPS truck," he said.
Photos of the demonstration garden show online customers how to plant the mushroom spawn they order.
Online, customers can see the finished mushroom.
Hess said the secret to successful mushroom cultivation is weather and patience.
He plants Oyster mushrooms near tomatoes so the plants will benefit each other.
"This is almost like a natural fertilizer that you can plant in your raised beds or your gardens to help your vegetables along," he explained.
Mushroom logs stacked near the garden are white oak with Shiitake mushroom spawn plugged into holes then sealed with wax.
Bob Hess said, "It starts to eat the wood and forms its own little happy home in there and within about a year it starts producing mushrooms."
Don't confuse the mushrooms with the fungus you find in your yard.
"If you have logs that are just sitting out in a wood pile it is highly unlikely that they are going to grow anything that's desirable," he said.
The business really does feature Everything Mushrooms, from cultivating them to canning them.
"We have reference books, cook books, guide books and i.d. books," he said.
He has dried mushrooms all year and fresh mushrooms in season.
"We also collect mushrooms from foragers. So when wild mushroom seasons are on we will buy mushrooms from local foragers and either sell them directly in our show room or take them to local kitchens," he said.
His favorite mushroom is Morel which grows in Tennessee in April.
"The season for us was pretty pathetic so we're left waiting for next April," he said.
Ah, there's always dried Morel mushrooms available at Everything Mushrooms.