A closer look | Part of a former mining bathhouse is now home to an agriculture startup

Lonnie and Belinda Riley have boldly declared that the town of Lynch is a town built of faith. Through the Rileys work, they created Meridzo Ministries and have started a venture to grow Shiitake mushrooms in the basement of a bathhouse once used by a neighboring coal mine, which is home to the Portal 31 exhibition mine.

The idea, being spearheaded by Chuck Todd, is to grow mushrooms in buildings that have since been abandoned, explore the possibilities of growing mushrooms in coal mines throughout the region, and to teach people from across the region how to grow such products.

On Thursday, October 18, SOAR Principal Officers Congressman Hal Rogers and Governor Matt Bevin announced a $2.55 million AML Pilot Grant for the Tri-Cities (Cumberland, Benham, and Lynch) in Harlan County. Part of the grant will allow Meridzo to build capacity of its mushroom operation and construct a dulcimer production facility. The Lexington Herald-Leader featured Meridzo’s work in its October 19, 2018 edition. Read the entire story HERE.