Small Bites

Shorter stories about people and their connections to sustainable food

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Wild and Cultivated Mushrooms at the Farmers Market (video)

Fall is upon us, the summer’s harvest is coming to an end, and many farmers are getting fields ready for next years crop. But not everyone is slowing their pace. If you grow mushrooms – whether cultivated or from the wild – your busy time is fast upon you.

This is what I discovered when I happened upon Norma Cravens of Springwater Farm at the local Portland Farmers Market recently. A table was piled high with a large variety of mushrooms. Some, like Shitake and Golden Chanterelles, are more commonly found than others. Nestled in baskets nearby were wild Lobster mushrooms – and once you see them, you’ll understand why they are called that – Maitakes, Namekos, and Matsutake mushrooms. Each has their own shape, color, and distinct flavors.

And it seems I wasn’t the only one drawn to the abundant display. In the hour, or so, time I spent hovering and swooning (if I may) over these fungi, people worked their way in, slapped open lunch-sack size paper bags, and began to fill them with wonder and excitement toward the next meal. Well, at least, that’s what I was imagining as I filmed!

If you have a chance in the next few weeks, go visit your local farmers market or local farmer. They not only provide access to fresh, and locally produced foods, they often offer greater diversity of food choices than found in the typical supermarket store.

—Rebecca

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