Hello mushroom enthusiasts and farm lovers! We’re back from a very long mushroom farm newsletter break. You know how it takes something like 21 days to form a habit? Turns out it takes about 5 seconds to break a habit! My habit was sending regular emails (weekly or bi-weekly) about all the ups and downs and events of our farm. 2022 was a hard year for us. You can read about that in the last two newsletters I sent: May 2022 and June 2022.
I’m happy to report the herniated disc in my neck is pretty much under control. I’ve been contemplating my return to writing our newsletters and I think they’ll be monthly for the time being. Monthly seems reasonable both for me and for your inboxes!
But what has been happening on the farm for the last almost 10 months!? SO many things!
When I last wrote at the end of June, we had the shell of the new building done and were looking towards next steps. We decided to go ahead and get the plumbing installed that we would need for an eventual bathroom in the building.
Digging a DEEP ditch from the building, through the road, across the lawn...it was huge!
The next step after that was pouring concrete in the building. Due to some weird misunderstanding/miscommunication, the company we had lined up to do that bailed out on us. It was too late in the season by then to line anyone else up. For a few weeks we thought about trying to do the work in the winter, but it just wasn’t feasible.
Two of our chickens check out the sandy inside of the building.
So our beautiful new building still sits there, just a shell. Now that spring seems to be arriving, we are reaching out to companies again trying to line someone up to do this next step.
We decided to inoculate way less logs this year, in preparation for the possibility that we wouldn’t have an employee to help with that. Sure enough, we had an employee hired for that position who was here for about a week or two before leaving, and we haven’t been able to find anyone since! Jeremy completed logging in early March and he’s working away on inoculating now. We have a plan and we’re hopeful inoculations will be done by the end of May.
This year's batch of logs to inoculate.
We lost a round of employees last fall, but we have two full-time folks onboard right now who are amazing. They make sure the mushrooms get picked every day, packed up twice a week for deliveries, and they keep on top of drying, smoking, and powdering.
We just wrapped up the Winter Farmers Market season and it was great to connect with so many of our customers in person again. The Summer Farmers Market starts in about three weeks and we’re excited to have our employee Liz back for a third season! She can’t work every single Saturday, so we have a second person to help out. This year our second person is also named Liz!
Our online shop is still up and still taking orders that you can pick up on farm or at the Mill City Farmers Market. Last fall we finally got into shipping items! We are building this up slowly, but right now you can purchase any of our dried mushrooms. We are working on adding powdered mushrooms to this and hopefully log kits soon.
We are grateful for every one of you. For everyone who buys our mushrooms and mushroom products at the farmers market or a co-op; for everyone who purchases a CSA; for folks who come out to visit the farm during a farm tour; for folks who have taken our workshops in the past. You keep us going! Thank you!
Farmers Market: May 6, 2023
The winter farmers market has ended and we have a brief break before the summer farmers market begins.
Come find us for the opening of the market on Saturday, May 6th in downtown Minneapolis. The market is between the Guthrie Theater and Mill City Museum, overlooking the Stone Arch Bridge over the Mississippi River. It's a beautiful and fun market and we hope you'll come check it out!
We'll have all of our usuals: fresh mushrooms, dried mushrooms, pates and butters, powdered mushrooms, log kits, and brownies.
If you feel like pre-ordering, please do so by the Thursday before the market so we have time to put things together. Here is the link to the shop! Otherwise, you can just show up and shop!
Seward Co-Op CSA Fair: April 29, 2023
This is the 22nd year Seward has held their annual Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Fair. The fair will be held on Saturday, April 29 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Seward Co-op Creamery parking lot at 2601 E. Franklin Ave, Minneapolis. (The event will also be a welcome party for Seward's new General Manager, and there will be tours of the Creamery building.)
Those who attend will have the opportunity to learn about local farms and speak directly with 25 farmers to choose a CSA share that is right for you and your household. RSVP here!
Jeremy will be there, so stop by and say hello - and we hope you'll sign up for a CSA!
CSA season is nearly here!
Every year we offer a mushroom add-on through a number of CSAs - so you can have mushrooms in your CSA box along with all those yummy veggies! We're excited to be working with almost all the same farms from last year.
If you're in the market for a CSA veggie box and want some mushrooms on the side, take a look at any of these excellent CSAs:
We will also have our direct-from-our-farm CSA this summer - in case you already have a CSA and it's not one of those listed above.
Here are the details!
Pick up will be from our booth at the Mill City Farmers Market during market hours
Pick up dates are every-other-week from June 3rd through October 21st
We are no longer accepting prorated midseason sign-ups; so please sign up by May 31st!
What you get: in the course of 11 deliveries you will receive 11 third-of-a-pound boxes of fresh mushrooms, a reishi brownie, a jar of shiitake powder, and a mushroom butter.
The price is $85.49. (If you want to pay in cash or with a check at the farmers market it's $83!)
If you often shop at the Mill City Farmers Market and purchase our mushrooms, you may be wondering why you’d purchase a farm share instead of just purchasing from our booth. There are a few reasons:
You’ll get a great variety of mushrooms – including ones that aren’t available at our market booth.
Because our farm share is direct, we can offer it to members for a good value, between 25% and 33% less expensive than other market sales
Since direct farm shares are paid for ahead of time, you can step up to our booth and pick up your share with no fuss!
Please note: If you forget to pick up your share, we won't be organizing how to replace that share in a following week. It's just too complicated when we've tried that in the past This year, any unclaimed shares will be donated to folks in need of some fresh produce – and mushrooms! It will go to the MCFM Greens for Good program.
Go to our shop and look for our Mushroom Farm Share - the one that says "pick up at Mill City Farmers Market." There is another listing for a CSA, but that one is for folks who are with Farm Farm.
FARM TOUR! July 15, 2023
Mark your calendars everyone! We will be part of a local 2023 Farm Tour this coming July! The co-ops of the Twin Cities usually plan an “Eat Local Farm Tour” each year, but they decided to take this year off and not do the tour. The farms in our area decided to plan our own regional tour anyway! The tour will be on Saturday, July 15th from 10am – 4pm. There are around 10 farms on the tour so far. Stay tuned for more information next month!
Spore's corner... introducing Gus!
Anyone who follows us on Instagram knows we adopted a new brother for Spore last fall. We somewhat jokingly named him Fungus, or Gus for short, and brought him home on September 30th. It took a little while for Spore to accept Gus. Gus is definitely the alpha cat, even though he's still smaller, so he beats up on Spore from time to time. But they have moments of being very adorable together.