November 30, 2018

Know Your Farmer: Far West Fungi

Know Your Farmer: Far West Fungi

Respect for the Fungi

Many have an affinity for edible fungi, and thanks to John and Toby Garrone, and their fanatical love of fungi, they bring fungi to the people! Far West Fungi has been cultivating mushrooms for 25 years, focusing on the more unusual varieties that typically grow on trees. Known for their freshness and quality, Far West Fungi has a brick-and-mortar in the San Francisco Ferry building, just doors down from ours. We are thrilled to be neighbors with them, and excited to carry their dried mushrooms and mushroom jerky products.

Know Your Farmer: Far West Fungi
(Photo Credit Far West Fungi)

Farm-raised in greenhouses near the Pacific Ocean, their mushrooms are cultivated using certified organic and sustainable practices, with a balance of modern and traditional growing techniques. The cultivation process is quite intricate but here are a few highlights: bricks of sawdust and organic rice bran (substitutes for the logs and trees the mushrooms would typically grow on in nature) are introduced to fungi spawn; an incubation period ensues to encourage growth of the fungi organism, mycelium; once fully grown, the mycelium begins to bloom with mushrooms and they are harvested between 4-12 weeks later, depending on the varietal. So, when we eat mushrooms, we are eating the fruit of the fungi!

Know Your Farmer: Far West Fungi

The Garrone family loves being able to share all mushroom varietals with customers, discussing flavors, textures, and nutritional benefits, and sharing recipe ideas. And with the movement to eat less meat, many are turning to mushrooms as a substitute, which is great news for the Garrone family. They are ready to meet consumer demand, and their mushroom jerky is perfect to satisfy anyone’s craving.

Know Your Farmer: Far West Fungi

We also carry a few special dried mushroom varietals from Far West Fungi that can be added to your farm box. Dried mushrooms will last longer in your pantry and pack a more intense flavor. You can use fewer of them when you are cooking too. Each type of mushroom offers a different flavor and texture, although they all can be enjoyed with rice, soup, and stir-fries, and many other dishes. Check out our blog on How to Rehydrate Dried Mushrooms for more information.

Fungi Fun Facts

1. Fungi organisms are the largest living organisms on earth.
2. Without fungi, we would be living on top of non-decomposed waste.
3. Mushrooms are an excellent source of vitamins, fiber, potassium, protein, selenium, vitamin B and zinc.
4. There are over 10,000 varietals in North America, with common names like Fried Chicken and Lion’s Mane.
5. Hieroglyphics found in Egyptian tombs characterize mushrooms as a plant of immortality.

Know Your Farmer: Far West Fungi

Now that we all know just how special these little fungi are, let’s have a fungi party to celebrate! During the holiday season we have two super fun, grow your own, shiitake and tree oyster mini farms to gift yourself or some fellow fungi.

How To Add Far West Fungi Products to Your Delivery:
CSA members - head on over to our online Farm Stand Market to customize your upcoming delivery. Market is open from noon on Thursday until 10 am, 2 days before your scheduled delivery day. After you confirm your produce items, click the orange button "Confirm and Continue To Other Farm Products" to add the products to your delivery.

Not part of our farm family? Find out if we deliver to your neighborhood.

November 21, 2018

Fall Thanks


The mornings are getting cold, cold enough to cause the citrus trees to remember they are tropical trees living in a place that is just warm enough through the winter to keep them from dying. They show this through their leaves in the early morning curled back like they are reacting to a bee sting. The smoother and lighter green of the underside of their leaves is visible. By mid-morning, they are back to normal.

The summer crops are done, and the farm team is in a frenzy to get those fields disked, leveled and planted with a nitrogen fixing cover crop before it rains. These cover crops will protect the soil through the winter from eroding away with the rains. They will choke out weed seeds from growing into mature weeds. They will transform the nitrogen gas in the atmosphere into organic nitrogen that our plants will take from the soil, and they will sequester carbon into the soil doing their part to stifle climate change. Yes, cover crops are miracle makers.
Turkeys with Mud Stuck to Their Feet

Right now, those cover crops are seeds in bags in the back of a pickup. Right now, those fields are bare dirt, a light brown covered in a texture of small clods smoothed over. A flock of resident wild  turkeys walk across the field. There are about 30 of them, and they walk in the shape of a triangle. A lead turkey in the front decides where they will go, and the rest are following. They walk slowly, their heads pecking at items in the soil, then looking up, then pecking some more. I imagine that velociraptor dinosaurs looked similar upright with their jerky movements, heads twitching side to side.


With fall here, I am struck by how quickly the end of the year has arrived, and with it, we have reason to celebrate. For Thanksgiving, we are blessed to be expecting a full house of family that consists of generations that have come both before and after mine (third-generation in the photo above). With the season to give thanks, we all wish to thank you for choosing to participate in your local food system and sustaining this farm’s way of life.

Make sure to find us on Instagram (@farmfreshtoyou) and @farmerthaddeus

November 16, 2018

Know Your Farmer: Equal Exchange

Know Your Farmer: Equal Exchange

An Honest & Fair Food Movement 

Equal Exchange was founded in 1986 with an idea of creating a food trading model that was honest and fair, and values each part of the supply chain. Equal Exchange is a forward-thinking company, who cares deeply for the justice of small farmers, the organic food movement, and sustainable ways to bring their products to their consumers, while thinking about the environmental impact and how to ensure a happier planet. Sounds like a perfect partner for us to link arms with, right? 

Know Your Farmer: Equal Exchange
(Photo Credit - Equal Exchange)

The three founders started their business with one fairly traded coffee partner from Nicaragua. They have successfully expanded their partnerships with small-scale farms throughout the world. By building long-term partnerships with small-scale farmers, Equal Exchange is giving farmers access to the global market, which in turn, provides farmers with economic power, better lives, and healthier communities.

This sounds exactly like the fair trade certification, right? Well here is the thing. Consumers have been overloaded with certifications, and the fair trade movement has been watered down in favor of corporate interests. So, Equal Exchange stays tried and true to the original ideology behind fair trade and continue to challenge the status-que trade model that supports multi-national corporations.

Know Your Farmer: Equal Exchange
(Photo Credit - Equal Exchange)

Equal Exchange partners with farmers who all have unique stories, with a history of ambition, struggle and success. They also help the farmers improve their practices to ensure a higher quality product for the consumer. They are also taking a powerful step in building a democratic brand that connects small farmers in the South to consumers in the North. The cooperative structure encourages farmers to share information about cultivation practices that improve harvest and yield.

Equal Exchange embraces this cooperative structure within their own business model as well. They are now the largest democratic worker co-op in the country, where all the employees have an equal stake and an equal vote in the business. 

Know Your Farmer - Equal Exchange

By supporting Equal Exchange, you join a movement to reshape our food system – to make it better for farmers, consumers, and the earth – pay farmers more and give the customer a better value for a high-quality product. From coffee, to chocolate, to tea, to baking cocoa, you have a variety of items you can add to your farm box today!

Stay connected to Equal Exchange by following them on Facebook and Instagram.

How To Add a Equal Exchange To Your Delivery: CSA members - head on over to our online Farm Stand Market to customize your upcoming delivery. The Market is open from noon on Thursday until 2 pm, 2 days before your scheduled delivery day. After you confirm your produce items, click the orange button "Confirm and Continue To Other Farm Products" to add the products to your delivery. 

Not part of our farm family? Find out if we deliver to your neighborhood.

(Header Image Photo Credit - Equal Exchange)