Blawgletter doesn’t much care for mushrooms. Or other kinds of fungi for that matter. A Federal Circuit decision two days ago confirms us in our bias.
Growing mushrooms, we learned as we read the opinion, produces a nasty byproduct — something by the name of "spent mushroom substrate". SMS’s nitrogen-richness creates problems, we also discovered, when the toadstool farmer dumps the SMS in the woods, where rains carry it into streams and from there into fragile ecosystems and drinking water supplies.
We love business cases, by the way, in part because we get to learn about a great many industries. Who knew, for example, that mushroom-farming "is a major economic activity in Chester County, Pennsylvania"? Rick’s Mushrooms, Inc. v. United States, No. 07-5137, slip op. at 2 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 2, 2008). You can bet your last pile of Shiitakes that we didn’t before today.
The Rick’s Mushrooms case involved a claim against the government for its bum instructions on how to clean up SMS at an "SMS transfer facility", where some mysterious process leaches out the mushrooms’ nitrogenous leavings from soil and converts them into potting soil and such. We think that Rick’s Mushrooms somehow forgot to exhaust administrative remedies before suing and therefore couldn’t establish subject matter jurisdiction. But that just may be the psilocybe cubensis talking.