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Dupont Circle FreshFarm market no longer selling foraged mushrooms

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Sad news. Went to farmer's market this past Sunday and asked about morels. We were told that even though the Mushroom Stand has morels currently and they are in season, they're not allowed to sell "wild" mushrooms anymore at that market. Oh no! Anyone know where else I can find fresh morels within the District? Or should I just trek out to VA and MD?

I don't want to miss out on this season's morels!

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  1. I came across this Sunday as well and am quite Bummed....Whole foods looked at me like I had 2 heads when I asked, and Balduccis said they would be in yesterday - But today they said they are still waiting for them to come from Turkey (I am hoping that this was just a gross miscommunication).

    On a related note - I forgot to ask, but since Ramps are foraged as well, does that mean they are also banned? And is this a FM rule or something to do with DC law?

    Oh, the HORROR!

    -----
    Balducci's
    600 Franklin St, Alexandria, VA 22314

    2 Replies
    1. re: tommyskitchen

      Turkey?! What on earth?

      I have no idea about ramps, though I did note their absence... I understand the season is on us, but maybe none are out at this FF yet? Didn't ask anyone.

      Totally agree with scarlettb that this is a bonehead ruling... I am too lazy to go to Arlington, and it's not like any poisonous things look anything like morels... I might have to write an indignant email.

      1. re: SandyCat

        False morels are occasionaly confused with morels; possibility for distress in misidentification of mushrooms is real

    2. This is such a disappointment. I spoke with someone at the Mushroom Stand who told me they would be selling them in Arlington, but not Dupont Circle (they also will not be selling Chanterelles or Porcinis at the Dupont Market. This seems like such a boneheaded ruling, since these mushrooms sell at high prices (and they do sell)!

      1. What was the reasoning behind this?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Elyssa

          Wrote the market. We'll see what they say!

        2. Hey, actually got a quick response to my email to them, and it seemed reasonable, though I'm still a bit sad about it...

          "Hi Sandy,

          Thanks for your email. You ask a good question that deserves a bit of a longer explanation.

          As you may know, the mission of our markets is to support agriculture in the Chesapeake Bay Region, as such we only allow crops that are grown in the Chesapeake Bay Region to be sold at our markets. Our markets are also producer-only which means that the farmer/producer must be growing or making what they sell. The Mushroom Stand at Dupont is a long standing exception to the producer-only requirement, because mushrooms are a prized and desirable product. These mushrooms are not grown by the owner of The Mushroom Stand, but are sourced from two farms in Pennsylvania, Mother Earth Mushrooms and Phillips Mushroom Farm. Phillips Mushroom Farm is also a distributor for wild harvested and cultivated mushrooms from around the world. Recently, we noticed that The Mushroom Stand had mushrooms at market that were not grown at Phillips or Mother Earth, including hedgehog and blue foot mushrooms. Conversations with Phillips Mushroom Farm revealed that these mushrooms were from the Pacific Northwest. Phillips distributes many wild mushroom varieties, however, even with those such as morels that can grow locally, they work primarily with foragers in the Pacific Northwest. When The Mushroom Stand picks up their mushrooms from Phillips Mushroom Farm it is very difficult for them to trace the origin of the mushrooms. It became a reoccurring problem that we were seeing out of region mushrooms at The Mushroom Stand, and in order to maintain our markets as local food only markets, we decided, along with the owner of The Mushroom Stand, that it would be best if they were to bring only mushrooms that were grown at Phillips Mushroom Farm or Mother Earth Mushrooms. This unfortunately excludes morels.

          While we are committed to providing customers with a diverse and quality products, we are also very committed to ensuring that our markets uphold our central mission of supporting regional agriculture and food production. We have nothing against wild-foraged foods, and in fact, we have some other farmers who do forage morels and ramps from their own land and will be bringing them to market. In fact, Spring Valley Farm and Orchard had ramps last week.

          I hope that helps answer your question.
          Best,
          Laura"

          4 Replies
          1. re: SandyCat

            Kudos to Laura for giving you an honest and well-explained answer.

            1. re: reiflame

              Yeah, it was really awesome, and I can totally understand the reasoning. Keeping to a reasonable foodshed is a cause I can get behind for a farmer's market. Gotta support the locals.

              She also gave me this handy tip: "I know Spring Valley Farm and Orchard forages morels. You might also try Next Step Produce or Tree and Leaf. Once they come into season, I would recommend coming to market early to get them before they sell out"

              I guess I'll be shoving and pushing with you guys in the morning on Sunday at these stands! haha

            2. re: SandyCat

              Thanks for getting to the bottom of this! And good news for RAMPS!!!!

              1. re: SandyCat

                Maybe they should ban all the agricultural products that are produced outside of the district.

              2. Has anyone ever bought them on the internet and had them shipped to their home?