Farmer of the Month

Last Sunday we had our Open House. It was fun to show the whole operation to a few folks, including “neighbors” from down the road in Rice Lake and a friend we hadn’t seen in years. After touring around checking out all the mushrooms and fruiting areas, we cooked mushroom brats over the fire, then we had apple crisp made with apples from the big grandfather apple tree on the farm. If you missed this open house, don’t worry – we’ll have one again some day!

I somehow failed to mention (all of last month) that Jeremy was “farmer of the month” at the Farm Table in Amery, Wisconsin. The Farm Table Foundation teaches classes and workshops, partners with and supports local farmers, and has a fabulous restaurant with very tasty food in downtown Amery.

Each month they have a featured farmer and Jeremy was the farmer for September.

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All month they have a couple of special recipes made up to highlight the products from the farm they’re featuring. For Jeremy they had made up a Mushroom Ragu Crostini and a Mushroom Paperdelle. Then towards the end of the month the farmer comes to the restaurant to hang out during dinner and answer questions.

I got to tag along, so I got to try the crostini. I wish I had tried the pasta dish too, because it looked amazing! It’s hard to describe what it’s like ordering a fancy dish from a fancy restaurant made with mushrooms that my husband picked and delivered himself. It’s pretty cool (but mostly it’s nice having someone else do the cooking!).

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After enjoying a taste of our mushrooms, we walked around with the Program Director, Brandie. She had put together a taste test tray of Jeremy’s log-grown shiitake and some “store-bought,” not-log-grown, crimini mushrooms.

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We walked around the restaurant handing out samples to diners to see if they could guess which was which. Well – everyone could! And everyone agreed the shiitake were better. We answered questions about our farm, growing mushrooms, inoculations, and all sorts of things.

It felt a little odd at first to walk up to people in a restaurant who were eating dinner and interrupt them. But no one seemed to mind and they were quite interested in finding out more. I really like this educational piece that the Farm Table Foundation does. It’s not just about making and serving really good local food; they really believe in educating people about food and agriculture too.

They’re probably on to a new featured farm now, but don’t let that stop you from taking a trip out there for a meal!

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