Meet your farmer!
Each week we're featuring one of our market vendors. One of the great things about farmers' markets is getting to know who grows your food and where it comes from.
This week, we're featuring Kevin Rodericks of Mount Shasta Mushroom Co., from Dunsmuir, California.
Along with many years in the restaurant industry, Kevin has been cultivating mushrooms for nearly 20 years, though up until about 4 years ago it was "a glorified hobby". In the last four years he has made this a more professional endeavor, selling in about 10 different venues including the Mt. Shasta, Dunsmuir and Redding farmers' markets, Berryvale Grocery, Cafe Maddelena and other restaurants.
Kevin says that if his stock is low, farmers markets are his first priority: "It's vital to compete," he says, and adds that selling direct is generally the best way for a farmer to make a living.
Kevin practices sustainable growing methods, using "waste products" and growing his mushrooms in straw. With this method he gets the greatest bioeffiency - over 120%. What this means is that he gets 120% the weight of mushrooms from an equal rate of "substrate" (straw, in his case, though some mushroom cultivators use other things - with Kevin's decades of experience, we'll trust him on this, though if you really want to talk mushroom-growing science, he is VERY glad to accommodate, and he's incredibly knowledgeable).
Kevin believes deeply in the medicinal properties of mushrooms and gets excited when he talks about potentially and inadvertently "inoculating people" against certain diseases with the gourmet oyster mushrooms he grows. His favorite ways of doing this?
"Sautée them in olive oil with shallots, garlic, and fresh herbs and serve them with filet mignon, ribeye or a flat bread."
Thanks, Kevin! We love having you and your delicious oyster mushrooms in the market each week.