Advancing Food Sovereignty

Growing mushrooms, for fun and profit, has been the focus of a workshop currently being offered

Growing mushrooms, for fun and profit, has been the focus of a workshop currently being offered at the

Grassroots Learning Centre & Forest Farm in Port Hardy.This is the second time the workshop has been given,

says Coordinator Dawn Moorhead.”The workshops involve growing mushrooms in the forest on logs,”

Moorhead said, which depending on the type, ranges “from impossible to fairly easy.”On the menu this time are

shiitake, oyster and lion’s mane (which tastes like lobster).”Log-grown mushrooms are scrumptious,” she said.

The workshop began the last week in February with participants preparing the laying beds which included de-

limbing alders and cutting them into lengths.The first week in March, growers innoculated drill holes in the logs;

filled them with spawn; and sealed them with hot cheese wax.Moorhead explained that mushrooms feed off the

lignin in the alder logs.Participants will return later this year to tend the logs as well as water them; erect a

shade cloth canopy; maintain deer fence, and whatever else is necessary. (Both deer and slugs are predators

for mushrooms.)”For the North Island, it is the perfect food crop”, because “they require shade and moisture,”

Moorhead said. In the end, ‘mushroom cooperative’ participants will share in the harvest.Pam and Jim McIntee,

from Hyde Creek, are two of the people taking advantage of the program.”Pam and I are into food security and

producing our own food, rather than having it trucked in,” Jim said.In addition to being just plain delicious,

mushrooms have solid nutritional and medicinal value and their cultivation supports management for forest

health. Mushrooms are a high-value niche crop, especially when compared to mushrooms grown indoors, and

there is money to be made.”Starting a commercial mushroom enterprise requires low investment for high

return. Growing mushrooms is accessible – we have the forests, the space, the alders,” Moorhead said. Not

only can it be a sustainable livelihood and advance food sovereignty on the North Island, growing mushrooms

is compatible with lowering carbon footprints and minimizing climate change.Production of these mushrooms

can also help the North Island hospitality industry by providing fresh produce to restaurants and hosting

tours. The Grassroots Learning Centre’s forest farm is about one acre in size. It includes cultivated

huckleberries, salal, a shiitake mushroom laying yard, elderberries, forest strawberries, rice root, comfrey and

several experimental crops such as wasabi.The term “forest farm” refers to an area that is based on

permaculture (a system of agriculture centred around using the patterns and features observed in natural

ecosystems), but brings plants to the forest instead of the forest to the farm or garden.Next on the agenda will

be fruit – on dates to be determined.

Just Posted

Find out what the tax increase will be in your area of the Tri-Port

The Gazette reached out to all three communities financial departments requesting numbers to crunch

Tree falls inches away from Port Hardy home

The tree narrowly missed the residence on Wolleson Street

Port Hardy firefighters to earn money for calls

Council has approved a Fire Department Remuneration policy

A memorial mural will be painted in Port Hardy

The mural will honour lives lost to substance abuse and mental health

VIDEO: North Island Local Hero Awards 2018

On the North Island, we are blessed with many different kinds of heroes.

Trans Mountain pipeline: How we got here

A look at the Kinder Morgan expansion, decades in the making

Passersby help rescue occupants of home as fire breaks out in Courtenay

Coffee run turns into fire rescue for pair of men

Giant beer tanks arrive in new B.C. home city

Molson Coors tanks finish river journey and move to overland trip in Chilliwack

VIDEO: Pipeline supporters rally across B.C.

Five simultaneous events organized by month-old Suits and Boots lobby group

VIDEO: B.C. woman praises burn fund after boat explosion in 1978

White Rock woman was 16 years old when she was left with second- and third-degree burns

B.C.’s Ryan Craig, Vegas Golden Knights chase history

Local product behind bench for expansion team’s incredible championship run

CP rail workers give strike notice

Employees could walk out as early as Tuesday at 7 p.m. PT

RCMP investigating after gunshots fired in Courtenay

Comox Valley RCMP officers are investigating after gunshots rang out in Courtenay… Continue reading

Vancouver Island wife brings husband back to life with CPR, thanks to 911 dispatcher

‘The dispatcher literally taught me CPR over the phone’

Most Read