WEEKLY SPECIALS | SEASONAL CALENDAR | GROWER MAP

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Gourmet Mushroom Tour

Gourmet Mushrooms, pioneers in organic specialty mushroom cultivation, celebrated their 35th year anniversary last Saturday.  A small group from Earls attended the tour of their facility in Sebastopol, located in beautiful Sonoma County Wine Country. The tour was followed by mushroom tastings including grilled mushrooms dipped in soy sauce and sautéed mushrooms with Cajun spices paired with Russian River Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wine poured by Gary Farrell Winery.

Earl’s Organic sells all of Gourmet Mushroom’s varieties which include the Alba Clamshell, Brown Clamshell, Trumpet Royale, Forest Nameko, Velvet Pioppini, Nebrodini Bianco in the sampler pack and Maitake Frondosa.  For more information on each mushroom and culinary tips click here.

David Law, President and CEO of Gourmet Mushrooms led us through the warehouse where we saw the vast amounts of recycled plastic bottles that are sterilized and reused over and over to grow most of the mushroom varieties. The majority of the Maitake Frondosa is grown in bottles although they are experimenting with growing in bags to produce larger heads, a form that is preferred by some chefs. The bottles are filled to the top with sawdust oak shavings and then mixed with other natural ingredients such as rice hulls.  Water is then injected into the sawdust, the growing medium, and then sterilized. When the bottles have cooled down, the mushroom spawn or culture of mushroom is injected into the bottle, capped off and moved to the germination rooms. The bottles are stacked efficiently in crates maximizing the space in the warehouse.  Mycelium, the vegetative part of the fungus, grows as a result of the spawn absorbing the nutrients from the sawdust and begins to form the actual mushroom, turning the bottle from dark brown to white.

Bottles have turned from dark brown to white

Now it is time for the bottles to be moved to the growing room where cooler temperatures will encourage the mycelium to send up its stem and cap.

Trumpet Royale

Carolyn from Walnut Creek standing in the rows of Maitake

Depending on the variety, mushrooms will be in the growing rooms between 7 and 21 days. For example a Trumpet mushroom may only take 10 days to grow until harvest but a Maitake can take 21 days.  Namekos are the only variety that gets a second harvest out of the bottle. Click here for a video of the entire process.

Gourmet Mushrooms harvests every day of the week and the mushrooms never stop growing.  Check out some delicious mushroom recipes such as grilled spicy Trumpet Royale or Braised Lamb Shanks with Trumpet Royale Mushrooms and Zinfandel.  Summer is the perfect time to pair some delicious mushrooms with your barbecue fare!

Valerie and Susan from Earls, Meg White from Gourmet Mushroom and Earl

 

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