Chow Town

Mushrooms for this grower is a passion

Updated: 2013-09-21T17:47:16Z

By RENEE KELLY

They are remarkably similar to a ruffled hoop skirt from the days of Scarlett O’Hara.

Soft flowing edges with a delicate texture of the finest silk, the mushrooms are more than an eye catcher — they are a showstopper.

Trammell Treasures Farm is aptly named. Each fungus has edges delicately weaving in and out creating a crease waiting for nuances of golden flavor to nestle into each micro crevasse.

My eyes glanced over at the Overland Park Farmer’s Market one Wednesday morning only to find the tiniest table full of these cloth like beauties. I immediately buy one of every type — white, pink and brown oyster, and poplar mushrooms.

They were gently tucked into a brown lunch sack and I plunged my nose into inhale the nutty earthiness of perfectly cared for mushrooms.

My senses completely satisfied. “These could add so much to the plate,” I thought to myself. But these mushrooms from Trammell Treasures deserve more than just being in a recipe. They deserve to be a showpiece.

A few more visits to the small booth and I was introduced to Matt Trammell, the owner and grower of the treasures. Not only is he a grower, but he is passionate about food. Good food and growing in a sustainable way.

It dawned on me, this is why the mushrooms look, feel and taste fabulous. It’s the passion.

Trammell started growing mushrooms after noticing mushrooms peeking through some cracks in their apartment. After some research he stumbled upon Mycelium by Paul Stamets. A book on how mushrooms can save the world. “We were hooked after that.”

In their two-bedroom apartment, with extremely limited space, Matt, his wife Nora and toddler David decided to start growing on their patio. But they also made the decision to have a positive impact on their food.

Soon enough they had plenty for themselves and others. They started to sell at farmers’ markets this past July. Beyond making a chef do the happy dance because of their outstanding flavor and beauty, they believe in sustainability. This makes me do cartwheels.

Trammell Treasures not only sells their mushrooms, but also offers starter kits with detailed how to instructions for anyone to start growing. It seems to be relatively easy, but I trust this expert any day to turn out these beauties.

Eventually Trammell hopes to sell to a few more restaurants, possibly get into local stores, but feels the one-on-one connection with the consumer is imperative.

They would like to have an aquaponics greenhouse where they would grow vegetables and raise fish using mushrooms for micro filtration. Possibly in the future, impacting agricultural areas with microfiltration systems to prevent contaminated runoff.

To experience the most boldly flavored and beautifully grown oyster mushrooms, Trammell Treasures Farm sells on Saturdays at the Overland Park Market and Sundays at the City Market in downtown Kansas City.

You can find Trammell Treasures Farm online at its Facebook page or visit their website.

Easy Roasted Mushrooms

This recipe is to merely bring in the forefront the different flavors of mushrooms. Plus you can add these roasted mushrooms to any dish, salads, risotto, soup steaks, etc. Pink mushrooms are a bit stronger and resemble a shrimp like flavor.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 1/2 pounds pink and brown oyster mushrooms, picked

1 clove garlic crushed

1 tablespoon shallot minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

Pinch ground pepper

2 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Toss all ingredients together reserving the freshly chopped herbs. Roast mushrooms on a sheet pan for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh herbs and enjoy.

Renee Kelly is the owner of Renee Kelly’s Harvest in Johnson County. Her passion lies in changing the food system, one plate at a time. Her inspiration is Mother nature and the many growers in the Kansas City area.

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