Mushroom Farmer & Tinkerer in Bozeman, MT 59718

SporeAttic LLC

Full-Time Job Posting – Starting October 1st, 2023
SporeAttic LLC – Mushroom Farmer/Handyperson/Tinkerer
Updated 9/4/23 ** Must be local to Bozeman**
Hello! My name is Ben Deuling, and I am the owner of SporeAttic LLC. We are looking to bring on one more full-time employee to join our team and help grow this company. Our goal is to bring someone on to become proficient in mushroom farming, as well as take on a handyperson role around the farm. This person would help tackle the ever growing list of projects, building, and custom equipment repairs going on around the farm. This is a rather unique and specific position to fill. Up until now, I (Ben, owner) have pretty much built and repaired every aspect of this mushroom farm for the last 3 years, having no formal training or prior experience building. Going forward, I need help tackling these projects, so that I can afford myself the time to design and build the future of this company. We’ll be in growth-mode for years to come, so there will be no shortage of projects anytime soon.
Term – Start Date: October 1st, 2023, ideally joining us for the long haul. Asking for a minimum commitment of 1 year.
Schedule – Full-time, flexible, no specific hour/week requirement. Your schedule is dependent on getting the work done. May need to work weekends occasionally.
Asking for a 1 year minimum commitment, at which point we will reevaluate whether we would like to renew for another term, or modify the position.
Pay – Starting salary is $3,000/month. We will reevaluate your contribution to the growth of the company and adjust your pay accordingly at 3, 6, and 12 months. We want folks who are Hungry! You help us grow this company, we pay more. You just help us coast and remain stagnant, your pay remains stagnant, plain and simple. (fyi, no one’s pay has ever remained stagnant, because everyone on this team is growth-oriented)
Job Description:
It’s important to realize that the photogenic, “Instagram-side” of mushroom farming that most people are familiar with seeing from the outside, is not at all what mushroom farming actually looks like. The day-to-day work is a GRIND. It’s manual labor, long hours working on your feet the entire time, lifting heavy objects often, attention to detail, and listening to a lot of music all the time really loudly. This is absolutely part of the job. Lots of music, every day, and with some phenomenal people.
SporeAttic is in its early stages, and is growing quickly. We have a very skilled and capable team to make this growth happen, and right now we are most in need of additional help around the farm, as well as someone to assist Ben with the designing, building, and repairing of equipment to optimize this farm. Mushroom Farming is inherently DIY in nature. Most of the time there is no playbook for what we are doing, and how we are doing it, so we have to make it up. This requires creativity, innovation, and a decent bit of trial-and-error. There is a constant need for building and repairing equipment to improve the workflow and grow the farm.
It also might be worth mentioning that we will be building an entirely new mushroom farm over the next year, so there’s room to become involved in that if it makes sense to do so.
This position will involve becoming proficient with the tasks that needs to happen around the mushroom farm on a daily basis to grow the actual mushrooms, as well as working with Ben to tackle projects in order to keep the farm running optimally and advancing our workflow. We’re assuming the breakdown would be roughly 75% mushroom farmer, 25% tinkerer/handyperson.
Regarding the Mushroom Farming side of things, daily tasks will include all operations involved with running a gourmet mushroom farm. These include, but are not limited to:

Packing substrate bags
Loading and unloading steam sterilizer barrels
Mixing substrate bags
Moving things from one room to another
Prepping substrate bags for fruiting
Composting spent fruiting blocks
Cleaning again
Cleaning even more
Being a respectful and kind teammate
Sterile culture work
Inoculating bulk substrate
loading/unloading the grow room
Harvesting/filling orders
Occasionally running deliveries if necessary

The Ideal Candidate:

The ideal candidate has some level of experience and finesse in one or more of the trades (i.e. HVAC, electrical, construction, carpentry, heavy equipment operation, automotive, etc…). This person will be valued for their ability to attack problems creatively and effectively, occasionally building whatever new device or piece of equipment that will improve the farm.
The ideal candidate is one that is coachable. You must be able to take constructive criticisms very well while not taking it personally. You must be good about implementing changes after being critiqued. I’ll be the first to admit that I am VERY tedious with this work. Mushroom farming is all about quality, and I set the bar very very high.
The ideal candidate must be able to work long hours while being physically active and on their feet the entire time. You must be able to lift and carry over 50lbs – you will do this often.
Must be comfortable working in small spaces. The facility is less than 2,000 square feet. Within that space is everything we need for a state of the art mushroom cultivation facility capable of producing over 850 lbs. of mushrooms every single week. The downside of that, is that it’s always very, very cramped. Like, incredibly cramped all the time.
Must be quick to respond to text messages, emails, phone calls, etc. This is crucial.
Regarding the Building/Repairing side of things, the ideal candidate must be comfortable working with Ryobi Tools, because that’s what we’ve got! If you’re not okay with this, you’ll be required to bring your own tools. It’s worth knowing that this farm was built with Ryobi, which could explain why everything needs constant maintenance…..

Above all, and most importantly, we are looking for someone who is HUNGRY. Hungry for more hours, hungry to grow this company, hungry to earn more money. We’re looking for someone who WANTS to grow this business. You help us make more money, we’ll help you make more money. We’re building a team that’s going to take this company to the next level. We have very ambitious goals of where we can take this company, and we only want to bring on the people who are going to help us do so.
Other Important Considerations:
Communication is everything. We are all humans, and we want to respect your schedule as much as we need you to respect ours. If something is going on in your personal life, we hope you feel comfortable enough to bring these things up with us, so we know where your head is at. If boundaries need to be drawn, certain days need to be taken off, or you just need to take some space for your mental health, these are all very very important and we want you to feel comfortable bringing these up. Similarly, we may do the same if someone experiences a crisis, and will expect you to rise to the occasion and help hold down the fort for a bit until we’re back to full strength. This HAS happened and will happen again. Having a team that always has each others’ backs is huge.

At this point in time, we do not keep track of hours worked, days worked, or time off. Everyone technically has unlimited paid time off. This only works if we all communicate incredibly well, and we all have each others’ backs. Once that stops being the case, we’ll lose this privilege and start keeping track of everything. Ideally, that day never comes, as long as we keep setting each other up for success.

*Important* A fascination with mushrooms and the world of mycology does not make you more qualified for this job. Nor does any prior experience growing or working with mushrooms, or in a lab. In fact, it might make you less qualified. You might think mushrooms are SO COOL, but trust me, you won’t after 2 months working at a mushroom farm. This is not the Instagram-side of what mushroom farming looks like. This is very difficult work – there’s no way to sugar coat it. We are physically active all the time. There are weird smells, dirty liquids and slimes, heavy lifting, close quarters, long and sometimes unpredictable days, etc… It can be very hot, or very cold in the farm. It can be very fast paced and chaotic at times. Things change on a week-to-week basis, and we have to be ready to adapt on the fly.
*Final Considerations:
– We wear respirators every single day to protect our lungs from mushroom spores in the air, specifically when we are in the grow room. Anytime you are in the grow room, you will be required to wear a respirator. They can be annoying and irritating, and you’ll get used to it.
– Dress Code… I don’t care what you wear, but you will almost certainly get bleach on the clothes you wear to work, so I highly recommend never wearing anything nice or expensive to work. Also, if you have facial hair that prevents an airtight seal with a respirator, you won’t be able to work in the grow room. However, we need this person to be able to work in the grow room. In other words, facial hair is not allowed, if it prevents the airtight seal with your respirator.
Job Type: Full-time
Pay: From $3,000.00 per month

Flexible schedule
Paid time off

COVID-19 considerations:Masks, gloves, respirators, & sanitizer are all required to handle mushrooms.
Application Question(s):

In plain English, why do you want to work for SporeAttic?
What would you be giving up in your life if you were to take this job? This is not a trick question, I just want to know what sort of sacrifices are being made, if any, to take this job. For example. Were you considering backpacking across Europe this winter, and this job would prevent that? Would this job require you to spend less time with family members or loved ones? Are you at a toss up between this and another job? Are you taking a pay cut to work this job? etc…
What sort of Handyperson skills are you bringing to the table? Do you have experience Building? Electrical? Carpentry? Automotive? Do you have any licenses or certifications worth mentioning?

Work Location: In person