Oyster mushrooms have grown wild since ancient times in places like Europe, North America, and Asia. It wasn’t until the 1940’s when they were first commercially cultivated. Today Oyster Mushrooms are available all year-round, with a peak season in the late summer through fall (1).
Their caps are broad and fan-like, ranging in color from dark gray, brown, tan, pink, to yellow. Their curled edges become wavy lobed with maturity. White gills extend from beneath their caps, and the flesh is white, meaty, and firm. Oyster mushrooms are known for their chewy texture along with a mild and nutty flavor. Oyster mushrooms are super nutritious and healthy too. They contain Vitamin B6, D, Fiber, Potassium, and Folate. They also contain Ergothioneine, which can help decrease inflammation in the body (1).
Cooking applications such as frying, stir-fry, and braising are best for Oyster mushrooms. They pair well with onions, shallots, green onions, garlic, ginger, potatoes, thyme, parsley, peas, green beans, eggplant, sherry, soy sauce, tofu, scallops, poultry, lemon, and spaghetti (1). So pretty much everything!
For freshness they can be stored in a paper bag in the refrigerator for a short period of time.
Inspirational Local Organic Mushroom Farmers
Far West Fungi started in 1982 as a mail order supply company. Today the farm is a 60,000 square foot growing facility strategically located in the heart of Monterey Bay at Moss Landing. A steady ocean breeze and northern coastal fog makes it ideal for a consistent temperature throughout the year and a perfect location to grow mushrooms (2).
Their goal is to provide a year-round supply of high quality, organic mushrooms (Shiitake, Tree Oyster, Lions Mane, Maitake, and King Oyster) throughout the local San Francisco Bay Area (2). “Our family’s mission is to consistently produce quality mushrooms and provide customer service with a high level of commitment and dedication. Skilled care and attention are given to our mushrooms when growing, harvesting, grading and packing for freshness. The farm uses a balance of modern and traditional growing techniques in order to maintain high quality mushrooms while ensuring minimal impact on the environment.”
Sumano’s Organic Mushrooms is in San Juan Bautista, San Benito County. Certified Organic since 2008. Ray Sumano purchased the mushroom farm in 2017 (3). “In Sumano’s Organic Mushrooms Farm our commitment is to provide high quality great tasting mushrooms at a fair price. In our farm we grow shiitake, lion mane, and various kinds of oyster mushrooms organically all year round (4).”
“We’re looking to expand our mushroom operations. We’ve got 10 acres of greenhouses that we currently grown on, but only use about 25% of available capacity (3).”
“People want a local, organically grown product and we’re delighted to be able to supply them with these tasty mushrooms (3).”
Ken Kimes and Sandra Ward of New Natives are part owners in the mushroom operation. They sell the tasty mushrooms with their sprouts at Monterey County farmers markets (3).
Learn about other California Organic Farms on our Farm page.