It's the moment you've all been waiting for - what's happening with this building project of ours!
Coming along and almost done...
This is not actually a fruiting chamber for indoor mushrooms - at least not permanently. We are using this new space temporarily for that purpose though. One reason is that we've got some buggies (little gnats) in the new fruiting chamber (grr) and it seems the only way to thoroughly get rid of them and clean everything up real well... is to get rid of everything and start over. Uh, we'd rather not!
So we built this space, as part of a bigger plan, and new blocks will go in here. As the blocks in the old-new chamber finish and get tossed, eventually that space will empty out and then we can scrub it down real good!
What we intend to use this space for in the future is a kitchen! It will probably take a while to get to that point. And we might have to do a little fundraiser - kitchen stuff is EXPENSIVE! But there are more and more reasons why having one - a proper commercial kitchen that is - makes so much sense for us. I'll share one reason today: our butters and pates. We know folks love them! There is a commercial kitchen about 15 minutes from us in another town that we have been using. It's been really nice to have that, but for the last two years or so we've only been allowed in one day per week and only when staff are present - we can't just go in when the building is closed. When we're under-staffed or very busy (and it always seems to be one or the other) it gets really hard to make that one-day-a-week work. If we had our own kitchen, we could make pates and butters whenever it worked for our schedule. It's also pretty inconvenient to pack up all sorts of supplies and ingredients and schlep them back and forth between here and the kitchen. We are very excited about this new possibility!
In the meantime we're enjoying the beautiful mushrooms growing in our fruiting chambers.
Oyster mushrooms coming on in the fruiting chamber.
Some fabulous Lion's Mane.
And we're giving it a go with indoor shiitake again!
Give the gift of mushrooms!
With the holidays coming up and multiple gift-giving opportunities, consider some of our mushroom products for your loved ones. Ideas:
Mushroom powders. We have regular shiitake and smoked shiitake which both go well sprinkled in egg dishes. And in everything else you can imagine! It gives your dishes an extra big of umami, and a bit of smoke from the smoked shiitake. We also have powdered lion's mane which can be added to coffee or smoothies - or whatever else you like.
Dried mushrooms. We have dried shiitake, dried shiitake seconds ("ugly" ones), dried oysters, and two dried blends. The Log-Grown blend is shiitake, oyster, and nameko mushrooms. The Umami blend is shiitake, hen of the woods, and chestnut mushrooms. Dried mushrooms have a pretty long shelf-life so you can send them in the mail and keep them around a little while. They just need to be soaked in water to plump them up.
Butters and Pates. We have a few varieties right now and we're trying to get another one or two made soon. We have Black Truffle Pate, Morel Butter, Morel Pate, Porcini Pate. These make great gifts for local folks - a friend, co-worker, or family member. They're great to have at parties (think cheese boards and hors d'oeuvres). The great thing about these is they freeze well! You can stock up at our market on the 4th or 18th, and keep the jars in the freezer till you're ready to give them.
Reishi Mushroom Brownies - decadent dark chocolate and reishi mushroom brownies, dipped in chocolate. Stocking gift? Gift for the chocolate lover in your life? Snatch some up at the farmers market if you see them - it's hard to keep them in stock!
Unfortunately we are not set up to ship anything right now. But these items can be picked up at the Mill City Farmers Market - and found at a few co-ops throughout the Twin Cities - and added to holiday packages you are sending.
I guess I need to change the name of this irregular update, because these ladies (and 3 gentlemen) are NOT chicks any more!
Take a look at those big fluffies!
We ended up with three roosters. Two of them are really good at crowing. The other one's crows always seem to die half-way through which is the funniest sound. I don't know if I've managed to capture this on video yet. They are happy scratching in fresh straw and eating and drinking as much as possible - so pretty much like chicks, just much bigger. But no eggs yet so we're on egg watch here. Surely, any day now...
How can you say no to that cute little face!? We had some friends and their four-year-old stay with us over Thanksgiving. Four-year-old energy is WAY too much for Spore! She managed to pick Spore up and carry him around a few times which was so funny to see - and Spore was amazingly patient and never scratched. He was mostly terrified and spent a lot of time hiding outside! But he survived and is glad to have the run of the house, safely, again. Such a big baby!