Friday, June 24, 2011

Flower planting day

Throughout the year, there are moments on the farm that our entire staff collaborates on a project. By working closely together to achieve a specific goal, it allows us to channel our positive energy and reconnect with each other. Getting our hands dirty is what we do best and so we decided that we would all plant flowers on Friday June 24th.

June 24 marks Saint John the Baptist Day as well as the Summer Solstice. The Summer Solstice is the day that the sun is at its zenith and the earth is at its most fertile, promising a bountiful harvest. We certainly love working in tandem with the earth to yield a bountiful harvest, as this is the pinnacle of our spiritual philosophy. In anticipation of this harvest, we have eagerly awaited this day to plant!

In Latin culture, it is good luck to plant on this day. A few of our staff members also informed us that St. John the Baptist Day is a good day to cut your hair! It is said that it encourages strong growth for your hair.

Wow, we planted over 7,200 seeds! It was a wonderful group effort and we are excited to see just how bountiful our harvest will be!

Trays filled with soil and ready for seeds

Planting nasturtium seeds

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The fun guy who grows the fungi

Our mushroom man, Shawn, has arrived and here is the proof!
With his help, we have spent a long time and put in a lot of hard work to prepare the farm for growing mushrooms. We have made many changes to the various stages of mushroom cultivation including the lab, incubation room, and grow room. Mushrooms are finicky organisms and all our hard efforts are finally starting to be realized!
Just as trees bear fruit and plants bear flowers, fungi bear mushrooms. The culinary delicacy we are familiar with - the mushroom - is the height of growth, just as the flower is on a plant. The body of the mushroom is actually the microscopically colonized substrate from which it grows. The mushroom body breaks down this substrate into nutritious food; in a sense it is similar to the soil that provides nutrients and holds water for a plant. Mushrooms are, believe it or not, more closely related to animals than plants. Wherever you may see them growing, it just may have been the result of the stars aligning, for they require just the right conditions to grow. Here at Paradise Farms, we are growing oyster mushrooms, a versatile mushroom delicious grilled, roasted, sautéed. . .so many ways!
Not only versatile in culinary dishes, it is a medicinal mushroom that has shown activity against cancer and high cholesterol. They can also break down petroleum products into harmless compounds (using fungi to clean up the environment is a field known as mycoremediation).
Shawn fruited this bag early. As they say, the proof is in the pudding and I can say that with a little butter, salt, onion and garlic, the “pudding” (in this case mushrooms) is delicious! Full production will shortly be underway! Our tummies and taste buds await anxiously.