Blog Post 18: Being Thankful 

Avery holding a bin full of King Trumpets

November has left us with so many reasons to be Thankful.  Our grow rooms are full of fruiting fungi, our incubation chambers are overflowing with myceliating blocks, and more and more guests are visiting to explore our farm and buy our fresh delicious mushrooms!  We have continued to expand our product offerings from in house made items to products made by others with our mushrooms!  Upon a customer’s suggestion we created an Umami Powder Blend: Shiitake, Oysters, and Maitake perfect for soups, gravies, baking, or beverages.

We now carry two different Primo Botanica Chocolates made with our mushrooms: Sesame Lioness (with Lion’s Mane Powder), and Three Mushkateers bars (using our Lions, and another farm’s reishi and cordyceps).

Bree Harvesting Black Pearl Trumpets

We had 3 great field trips where mycophiles of various age levels came and got a tour of our facility and learned about the mushroom growing process.

Latham, NY Pack 1701 Tiger Scouts
RiverRun Montessori School from Schenectady, NY
Biopunk Class Visit from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY 

We had several engaging events that brought people together to create, share, and eat!  

Artist John Zoccoli led a painting workshop where participants brought a poem and created a watercolor painting that reflected its meaning.

Out of the Darkness: The Artist Workshop curated by Maria Diotte of Bliss Arts 

For the culminating evening event of John’s exhibition poets wrote ekphrastic poems based on his paintings.  We shared them during a walking tour of his displayed works and each poet performed their piece either holding the painting, or standing nearby.

Out of the Darkness: The Poetry Session curated by Maria Diotte of Bliss Arts

John Zoccoli performing a poem titled “Conflicting Demands” inspired by his painting of the same name.

The Sunday following Out of the Darkness: the Poetry Session we hosted the Second Sunday Poetry and Prose reading.   A standing room only crowd filled the front shop with creative writers and their words.  You can read Dan Wilcox’s blog about the evening here:

https://dwlcx.blogspot.com/2021/11/2nd-sunday-2-poetry-prose-november-14.html

Bob Sharkey Performs his piece “An American Werewolf in London”

Poet Tim Verhaegen shares his piece “1990 Afternoon at the Pines”

We hosted the culinary creatives of the Meaty Max Vegan Sweet Meat team as they prepared a plated dinner for 20 guests.  This 3 course meal featured Meaty Max products and our mushrooms in every dish!  They even launched a new “meat stick” product called Mushroom Madness that we are now selling in our shop!

Amy holding all the mushrooms that were harvested for the dinner
Max cooking up the millet patties that were served with a side salad as an appetizer

Dinner guests enjoying their main course: seasoned mushrooms covered in mushroom gravy, smashed potatoes, and brussel sprouts

The Mushwagen made its official debut!

This 1967 Volkswagen Type 2 Transporter has been undergoing restorations for over a decade.  While not 100% complete, it has finally hit the road and is now our official local fair weather delivery vehicle!  It made the rounds delivering fresh mushrooms to almost all of our restaurant customers and our two farm stand drop spots.

Avery and Nico on the maiden mushwagen delivery mission to Nighthawk’s.
The Mushwagen at NightHawk’s
Mushwagen on the mountain
The Mushwagen in Delmar!

Honest Weight Food CoOp in Albany has started carrying our Oysters.

The Capital Roots Market Space is now stocking our Oysters and Shiitake.

Indian Ladder Farms featured our mushrooms for their vegan weekend specials, and we moved forward with a few other restaurants who are considering adding a mushroom dish or two to their menus! 

Just in time for the winter holiday season of giving we received a complete restock of Find the Fungi (our mushroom matching game), all of our of the Forest products, and some gorgeous hand made Woolcraft art by Jen Bowen-Smith

We held our first Book club meeting to discuss goals, structure, and possible reading choices.  Our first book will be Entangled Life, by Merlin Sheldrake.  In addition to reading and discussing mushroom based books some possible gatherings included a foraging walk (after reading about foraging), and a pot-luck or cooking session (after reading about mushroom recipes).  This will not be your average book club.  Space is limited to 10 and there are only a few spots left!  Our first meeting will be January 13th, 2022.  Email collarcitymushrooms@gmail.com for more details and to reserve your spot in the club! 

2 bit studios created a 5 level game showcasing the Dao de Mogu Warriors and some common threats to mushroom cultivation.  You can play the Beta version on our website now!  (a soundtrack is being created and it will be updated soon!)

We celebrated 1 year of visiting the Helderberg Mountain Brewing Company in East Berne, NY.  Kerri Harrington heard about our farm shortly after we started growing at 333 Second Ave and requested a pack be dropped off at the Brewery so she could try them.  We inquired with the tap room team about making the spot a regular drop off and it stuck!  Find us every Wednesday on Main Street East Berne from 5pm – 6:30pm.

Here’s Kerri celebrating 1 year of enjoying our beautiful mushrooms!  (out of 52 weeks she missed buying fresh fungi only 4 weeks or so!)  

Ian transferring mycelium into our sterilized substrate blocks.

Coming Soon

Starting December 7th and running every Tuesday in December we will be hosting Meditation Amongst the Mushrooms instructed by Bob Muncil.  This 60 minute meditation class available for a sliding scale donation ($5 – $20) will feature meditation instruction, time to practice, and a period of Q and A.  Registration required, see our website for details (Events and Happenings page).

Saturday, December 18th from 12pm – 2pm we will be hosting the Capital Region Vegan Cookie Swap with lunch provided by the Meaty Max Team. $18 for members of CRVN or $20 for non members.  Registration required, see our website for details (Events and Happenings page).

A small start up company in need of lab space will be moving into the farm this month through January.  They will be making use of our sterile lab and autoclave equipment while they complete some experiments that they are working on!

Avery, Nico, Isabella, and Quentin discuss setting up their equipment in our production space

Mushrooms in the news: 

https://www.universetoday.com/153283/fungi-were-able-to-absorb-radiation-on-the-iss-could-astronauts-grow-their-own-radiation-shields-in-space/amp/?fbclid=IwAR3LMB4bTDC4crfymgxZbB9MDSPB01ZvdUlhSe_Znxocm5PJ3RFXQcqIzTg

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