Shiitake Mushroom Inoculation Station at Winter Farmers’ Market, March 7

New shiitake mushrooms sprout on an oak log in the back yard of Jason Schmidt, a local gardener. Schmidt will be leading a “Mushroom Inoculation Station” on Sat., March 7, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Winter Farmers’ Market, in which participants will be making their own mushroom logs to take home. Spaces are sold out, but visitors to the market are encouraged to stop and watch the event. It will be held at the main entrance of the market, which is in the gym at St. Mary’s School, 323 Vermont Ave., Oak Ridge. 

The Winter Farmers’ Market will be conducting a “Mushroom Inoculation Station,” on Saturday, March 7, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. While spaces in the station are sold out, shoppers are encouraged to stop and watch the activity at the entrance to the farmers’ market in the gym of St. Mary’s School, 323 Vermont Avenue, Oak Ridge

“Shiitake mushrooms grow on oak trees, so it’s no surprise that Oak RIdge is an excellent place for growing these and other types of mushrooms,” said Jason Schmidt, coordinator of the project. “We will be drilling holes in 4-foot oak logs early in the morning, injecting them with shiitake spawn, and then sealing the holes with locally sourced bees wax. In about six months, the spawn should fruit and produce a harvest of shiitake mushrooms that will continue in a cycle for several years.” The workshop is sponsored by Davenport Tree Service, which provided a freshly cut oak tree for the event. 

The Winter Farmers’ Market is open every Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., through March 28. It features 30 farmers, bakers and artisans who bring locally grown vegetables, meats, fish, eggs, and more.  

A weekly free children’s program called the Power of Produce (POP) Club offers nutrition education and a tasting challenge each week. Kids who take 2 bites of a vegetable get $2 in market tokens to spend on produce in the market. 

The Winter Farmers’ Market is the only one in Anderson County that accepts SNAP/EBT benefits (food stamps), and it doubles them for fresh fruits and vegetables, up to $20 per day, at the Welcome Desk.

The market is produced by Grow Oak Ridge, a local 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to improving health in Anderson County by connecting local farmers and locally grown foods to the public. The Mushroom Inoculation Station is the organization’s first effort at community gardening. 

For more information about the Winter Farmers’ Market, please visit

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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