In this new Blog Feature we will get to know the family farmers who grow your mushrooms as they tell you the story of their farms, explain the growing process, address common myths, and share their favourite mushroom recipes.
Murray Good of Whitecrest Mushrooms, Putnam, Ontario
Murray was raised on a farm in Plattsville, Ont. He worked for Alpine Plant Foods and was the main mixologist of liquid fertilizer for twenty years. Although he loved his job at Alpine, Murray knew that farming was in his blood. Seven years ago he decided to take chance and ask Hank Hermans if he could buy his Mushroom Farm. He loved the concept that Mushrooms were one of the most natural foods to grow. Murray and Chantelle have owned Whitecrest Mushroom Farm for 7 years now. They grow Crimini and Portabellas, and have started a little retail store on their farm. They have also produced their own line of mushroom products, called Good Family Foods.
1. What is your name & farm name?
Murray Good, and my farm name is Whitecrest Mushrooms.
2. Where are you located?
Putnam, Ontario. About 15 minutes outside of London.
3. Tell us about your farm.
Welcome to Whitecrest Mushrooms. We are standing in front of the new building that is being constructed. Our old building was struck by lightning last June 5th, and it was totally taken down to the ground.
We are going to be producing mushrooms again here in our new facility in the middle of August. The mushrooms that we produce are the brown agaricus, or what everybody has come to know as portabella or criminis.
We will be producing roughly around 1.5 million to 2 million pounds of mushrooms per year.
4. Tell about Food Safety.
The main focus at Whitecrest with the new production and the new plant is food safety. We adhere to SQF Certification as far as food safety, traceability, and food security.
The biggest thing we stress to our workers is that they understand the philosophy of food safety and why food safety is so important on a farm.
Food safety is the number one thing we have to be concerned about here as far as production goes.
5. Mushroom growing room.
Here we are standing in front of one of our typical mushroom growing rooms. As you can see, the aluminum bed, the aluminum walls, everything has to be clean, that's the priority from our food safety point of view.
From these rooms we will be growing our portabella mushrooms. They are produced in these rooms 365 days a year.
6. Locally grown, and fresh year round!
With production of 365 days a year we can guarantee freshness, which in turns creates great flavour, and a great quality product that can be consumed year round.
7. Mushrooms Go PINK, what’s that about?
This year mushroom producers across Canada will be participating in a breast cancer awareness program using the PINK tills. When you see them in your local store that will be in September.
We will be raising funds for breast cancer awareness and research.
We were very proud of last year’s donation of over $60,000. This year, in 2011, we are planning to do much better than that. We hope to increase the awareness of breast cancer and research for Canadian Women.
8. Evan and Aidan, what’s your favourite way to eat mushrooms?
Aidan: My favourite way to eat mushrooms is on pizza.
Evan: My favourite way to eat mushrooms is in spaghetti.
9. What’s your favourite mushroom recipe?
Chantelle Good’s Mushroom Hot Dip
Mix onions, garlic, mushroom with a few spices, cream cheese, Monterey jack and jalapeño cheese. Heat that up for 30 minutes or so, and serve with pita chips or nice crusty bread. Yeah, it’s delicious!
You can also see Murray Good talking with Maribel Linfield of Grand River Living about mushroom growing here.
To see more "Fresh From the Farmer" Videos visit our YouTube Channel.