Jon Beegle starts a lot of work days tinkering with logs on his Floyd property and ends a lot of them loading an 84-inch smoker with Boston butts.
The shiitake mushrooms he grows with his wife, Dana, have little in common with the barbecue they sell at Bootleg BBQ, but both jobs help to support the couple and their five children — and that’s pretty important to them.
Like a lot of folks in Floyd, the Beegles make a living by patching together the income from several different small businesses. When they aren’t harvesting mushrooms or hawking homemade barbecue from a mobile kitchen in the heart of town, they’re running Beegle Landscaping & Lawn Care or tending the cattle and chickens on their 70-acre property.
Dana, 42, also freelances technical writing jobs and just started a master’s program in agroforestry at Virginia Tech, where she earned her undergraduate degree in forestry.
Just thinking about all that work is exhausting, and that doesn’t even include the time they spend with the kids: Olivia, 12; Forest, 9; Quinlan, 6; and twins Annika and Izzabel, 3.
Despite all that, the Beegles recently invited me to come see their mushroom crop and loiter around the barbecue trailer so I could learn more about how they’re filling two fascinating niches in the Floyd food scene.
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Click here to see Jon and Dana Beegle’s recipe for mushroom spread.