I met a boy named Te’Lario Watkins II who loves mushrooms so much he wrote a book about how he started a business growing them.
His book, Te’Lario’s Amazing Mushroom Farm, explains that he got the idea to grow mushrooms after planting cat grass in Cub Scouts. He was looking for something to grow in wintertime and remembered reading a book that said mushrooms could grow in the dark. Now he sells his favorite mushrooms. They are shiitake and oyster. He sells them mostly at farmers’ markets. He and his sister also grow vegetables and give them to food banks for people who need them.
One cool thing is that Te’Lario was on the Steve Harvey Show talking about his Tiger Mushroom Farms business. He started it when he was seven and now he is 10.
Te’Lario proves that even kids can make a difference. He is an ambassador for No Kid Hungry. Also, he will soon be honored among 20 Under 20 by his hometown mayor in Blacklick, Ohio!
His interview is below. Scroll down to see what his book looks like.
Question: I saw your interview with Steve Harvey. You didn’t seem nervous at all. Were you?
Answer: No, I wasn’t nervous.
Q: Is it ever boring growing mushrooms or is it always exciting?
A: Growing mushrooms is always exciting. I have to make sure the humidity and temperature is just right. I also have to make sure I harvest them before they start to curl up.
Q: Why do you think diversity is important in children’s literature?
A: Diversity is important because kids should be able to read stories about everyone, not just one group of people.
Q: Can you tell me some of your favorite book authors?
A: My favorite books are about Superheroes … the author doesn’t matter.
Q: Did you always want to be an author? How did you reach your goal?
A: I wanted to become an author when I saw how people were being inspired by books. I reached my goal by working hard and not giving up.
Q: What motivates you to keep on doing this mushroom business?
A: I like helping people, so that keeps me motivated.
Q: Do you still want to be a zillionaire like you said in your interview with Steve Harvey?
A: Yes,I do!
What a fun interview! Did he inspire you to try a few different types of mushroom? If so, which is your favorite and what is your favorite way to prepare?
Mine is portabella mushrooms grilled on a sandwich 😊
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I haven’t tried any new mushrooms yet. I have only had white mushrooms and baby bella. I like them in soups, salads and sometimes on pizza.