Vendor: John and Toby Garrone
Location: Moss Landing, CA
Looking for tasty mushrooms? Then look no further than Far West Fungi at the Market. Owners John and Toby Garrone, with the help of their four sons, have been bringing specialty mushrooms to PAFM for over twenty years.
Originally, Far West Fungi was a mail-order company, and John worked with partner Jim Hammond, of Hazel Dell Mushrooms, to market mushrooms. Hammond started Hazel Dell in his garage in 1980 but soon bought land in Moss Landing, where he expanded the business.
In 2003, Hammond decided to move to Colorado, and the Garrones bought Hazel Dell and changed the name of the whole operation to Far West Fungi. They have been growing and selling certified organic mushrooms since then.
Far West is located on a bluff above the Pajaro River, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The cool ocean breeze allows the farm to grow mushrooms year-round. The farm uses a balance of modern and traditional growing techniques in order to maintain high quality mushrooms while ensuring minimal impact on the environment. Though John is always experimenting with different mushroom varieties, the Garrones mainly grow Shiitake, Tree Oysters, King Trumpets, Lion’s Mane, and Maitake mushrooms.
What keeps customers returning to the Garrones’ stand? The Garrones think it’s their unique product. “We grow certified organic specialty mushrooms – no one else does that.” They also point to the varieties they have that no one else has. And finally, it’s the freshness of their product, “which is very important with mushrooms.”