This weekend marked the 6th annual Eastern Triangle Farm Tour (NC). It was a bit moist and cool out, but the weather actually held up Saturday while at Spain Farm.
The Spain Family; David, Linda and Patrick, did a phenonmenal job of working with the public.
It was particularly enlightening to learn about growing and harvesting shiitake mushrooms.
Even the time of day for harvesting can influence the shape of the mushroom cap, (or pileus).
A word about mushrooms:
The term mushroom itself is actually quite fluid. Its usage here in the U.S. usually refers to the cultivated white button mushrooms Agaricus bisporus; hence the word “mushroom” is most often applied to those fungi (Basidiomycota, Agaricomycetes) that have a stem (stipe), a cap (pileus), and gills (lamellae, sing. lamella) or spores on the underside of the cap. (Source info- wikipedia)
A brief listing of the parts of the mushroom:
Cap (head of mushroom, usually button shaped)
Veil (splits as mushroom grows and falls down the stalk to form the annulus, a ring sometimes seen around the stem of the mature mushroom)
Gills (underside of mushroom cap, spores are released from the gills)
Spores (microscopic particles from which mushrooms grow)
Stem (stalk or stipe supporting the cap)
Fungi not conforming to the standard shape often have their own specific names: such as, “morel”, “puffball”, “stinkhorn”, etc.
Shiitake mushrooms are fruit bodies belonging to the main order Agaricales, whose type genus is Agaricus and type species is the field mushroom, Agaricus campestris.
Shiitake conform to the standard shape (morphology). In molecular defined classifications, not all ‘mushrooms’ produce fruit bodies. Some fungi occur in other orders of the class Agaricomycetes. Chanterelles are in the Cantharellales order of fungi, for instance.
So there is much to learn about the Shiitake mushroom! The Spains are some hard-working folks. They also have cabrito (goat meat), pastured Muscovy and other ducks, as well as chickens. The goat meat was quite popular; as were the duck eggs.
It was a pleasure to co-volunteer with Raymond Goodman and Kevin Gordon.
Raymond Goodman, is a photographer and supporter of the local food culture.
Kevin Gordon supports the Western Wake Farmer’s Market and their efforts to secure a permanent space for the market. Consumers have to really pour the heart into supporting a local market for these efforts to come about. It doesn’t happen overnight. Market permanence takes a tremendous amount of funding and elbow grease!
Durham has come a long ways! The importance of a place for vendors, and shoppers alike to flock to cannot be underestimated. Farmers Markets are such a community effort, sometimes we can lose sight of the business aspect. Location is central to growth.
A few exciting activities are coming up!
The Durham Farmers Market Chef Challenge is next weekend at 8:30am!
The three contenders are:
Bill Cotter of Toast
Andy Magowan of Geer Street Garden
Josh DeCarolis of Dos Perros
Looks like some stiff competition folks!
They will each be cooking a secret ingredient that will be unveiled at the start of market that day. Judging the event will be:
- Brenda Brodie – founder of SEEDS and local food advocate
- Johanna Kramer, active local foodie of the Durham Foodie blog
- Bryan Christopher, of the blog Searching for Sicily
- And Heather Greer, a local market customer
Just a reminder, the Foodshare Challenge will also be next week!
They are looking to raise $500.00 and 500lbs of food! The monies donated will be used to start a fund to ensure winter buying for Urban Ministries. Be sure to stop by the Foodshare donation station at the pavillion this Saturday.
Happy Local Shopping…and Eating!
Durham Farmers Market Newsletter, edition 9/16, Erin Kaufmann