I've lost track of the post where the local mushroom CSA was discussed - oh, there it is, but I'll give this topic a full post just the same.
Provisions Mushroom CSA is piggy-backing on Helsing Junction CSA Farm's delivery system to provide mushrooms. Their information is not available on Helsing Junction's web site, nor do they have their own web site.
Run by Christian and Ria Kaelin, the farm provides is based in Olympia, Washington, and provides cultivated and foraged mushrooms.
Provisions emphasizes that their approach is sustainable and environmentally friendly. According to their informational flyer, the cultivated mushrooms are prepared on woods, grains and grasses that are free of chemicals and pesticides. Wild mushrooms are harvested without disruption to the forest floor, and they don't harvest all of the mushrooms, according to their flyer.
The farm offers a variety of mushrooms, including more familiar high-end mushrooms like chanterelle, oyster, porcini, matsutake, shitake and morel, as well as three I haven't heard of - Pioppino, Lion's Mane, and Chicken of the Woods aka Sulphur Shelf.
Despite their good intentions, they appear to cross a line that the FDA doesn't like crossed by claiming certain health benefits. If the health benefits have not been substantiated and approved by the FDA, Provisions could be in trouble for making the claims.
The costs seem reasonable, based on what I have seen of high-end mushrooms in grocery stores and taking into account that this is a small operation: $150 for 9 lbs spread across 18 weeks, or $220 ro 18 lbs spread across 18 weeks. There also is an option for a two pound storage share ($24) at the end of 2007.
The Butter Bitch and I did not partake of the trial delivery at the end of 2006. We were busy with our meat CSA, and I'm not convinced that I want that many mushrooms. The endorsement from Helsing Junction is a good sign, but we can't endorse Provisions just yet. If any of our readers have tried their mushrooms, we would be interested to know their experience with this CSA.
Provisions CSA's contact information is csamushroomfarm AT msn.com.