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 www.GrowOakRidge.org.