ur wild, foraged mushroom selection varies with the seasons, but our cultivated organic mushrooms are available all year. Mushrooms are one of the most sustainable foods to farm, with high yields from a small physical footprint, common use of recycled and composted materials, and minimal energy and water. How are mushrooms grown? What kinds of mushrooms are available? Read on for the answers to your mushroom questions.
How Mushrooms Are Grown Indoors
Mushroom grow houses aim to recreate the natural conditions of the forest, with just the right amount of humidity and the perfect temperature. Since most mushrooms are saprophytes - meaning they get nutrition from breaking down dead plants and trees - they are found on tree stumps or downed and dead trees. As the natural composters of the forest, the best way to encourage mushroom growth is to provide a wood substrate, such as clean logs or wood pulp.
The wood pulp substrate is first steamed and purified to ensure that it is pristine, then it’s inoculated with specific mushroom spores. The inoculated material is placed in large jars with wide mouths. The jars are placed into trays, and then on shelves, which fill large rooms.
Each variety of mushroom gets a separate chamber to optimize the conditions for its growth. The mushrooms mature rapidly in these controlled conditions, with specific temperature, humidity, and constant monitoring, and are harvested at the perfect time.
Because they are not on the forest floor, these cultivated mushrooms are not subject to insects and other factors in nature that can compromise their quality. They are so clean you only need to gently brush them, and possibly trim the end of the stem before cooking.
Our organic mushroom farm grows several tasty varieties of mushrooms.
The firm and meaty Trumpet Royale mushroom has a porcini-like texture, with compact, thick stems and caps that can span up to two inches. The sturdy cap and stem have the same texture and flavor, so you can halve the mushrooms and toss them with olive oil, then grill. Or sauté in butter and pair with Chardonnay.
White Beech Mushrooms
White Beech Mushrooms grow in clusters with dainty one-inch caps and crunchy texture. Excellent with seafood and shellfish, and are best when cooked in olive oil, duck fat, or butter. Pairs well with garlic, parsley, tarragon, red bell pepper, tomato, and citrus juice. Drink Sauvignon Blanc with this one.
A cousin of White Beech, with a similar crunchy texture, the one-inch caps of Hon-Shimeji are lightly marbled tan or mocha. Small clusters can be roasted in the oven to concentrate flavors, or separated for sauteing. Pairs with light red wines or Sauvignon Blanc, seafood, grilled veal, almonds, goat cheese, and thyme.
Velvet Pioppini Mushrooms
Our beautiful Velvet Pioppini Mushrooms offer intense flavor and dark-chocolate colored caps that are silky in texture. The stems are cream-colored and similar to asparagus in texture. Traditional in pasta, good with grilled red meats, veal, and game, garlic, oregano. Pair with medium to full-bodied red wines.
The Maitake Mushroom grows in a distinctive cluster of leaf-like, flattened caps that look a bit like the feathers of a chicken, which explains its nickname “Hen of the Woods.” With a firm, crunchy texture and fruity, earthy flavor, the hen of the woods mushroom is a favorite with chefs. Often roasted whole, maitake pairs well with roasted meats and poultry, Asian dishes, dark leafy greens, and grains.
A popular mushroom that is tan to brown, thin-stemmed, with large, slightly convex, spongy caps. With an earthy, woodsy flavor, Organic Shiitake Mushrooms are meaty and full-bodied with lots of umami, and the larger ones can taste creamy like custard. Shiitakes add umami flavor to stir-fry, noodle dishes, and braises. Sautéed, they're also a great accompaniment to steaks and chops and even burgers.
Chef’s Mix Mushrooms
We offer a selection of our cultivated mushrooms in the Organic Chef's Mix Mushrooms. Named for our chef clients who favor this mix, it is packaged for the home cook in a convenient 1 lb container with Trumpet Royale, White Beech, Hon-Shimeji, and Maitake (which may be substituted depending on availability).
Explore our collection of mushroom recipes and get inspired to cook with these fantastic fungi.