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Know Your Farmer: Aravaipa Creekside Growers

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My name's Andrew Carhuff. I'm Nicole Devito. And we're Aravaipa Creekside Growers. We're located between Tucson and Winkleman. On 5 acres by Aravaipa Canyon. In 2013, we started out with just mushrooms. We were growing in a shed in our rental property in Tucson. And, we grew out of that within a year probably or even less. Okay we got a get out of here. So we searched around for land, we found 5 acres. That is perfect for growing other crops as well. So we decided to diversify and do all seasonal vegetables and fill the gaps in when we weren't doing mushrooms. When we're growing the mushrooms we like to keep it to more a diversified ecosystem. In terms if they're bugs in the green house or plants or whatever. Not trying to seal off certain types of life and allow other things to proliferate, because you can have a lot of problems, so we try to keep it its own ecosystem that takes care of itself. We like to use as much natural light instead of blocking it out. They found it elevates the level of vitamin D. It also makes the mushroom quality better and look better. The mushrooms are really just the straw, and the water. The grain that we use is organic, so we don't have to add any chemicals to that at all. The whole process with the mushrooms is we start with pasteurizing the straw, then we'll put it into the bags with the mycelium. Which is like the mushroom spores and that sits for a couple of weeks as the mushroom spores take over the straw and once they start to pop out and pin we stick them into the green house and we have mushrooms in what, 2 weeks or so? - Yup. We just started doing the mushrooms as a hobby and noticed there was a need in town, there wasn't nothing going on with mushrooms. So, we started doing the oysters and now we've grown into the shiitake as well. For the oysters, the best way to cook them is the simpler the better. Just stir fry them with a little garlic and butter, but they're really good in eggs and pasta dishes and things like that. The shiitakes are great in stir frys, they can be like a meat substitute, so they hold their shape a little bit better. But really, the simpler the better. We really want to show people that you don't need a lot to farm. You just need to put in time and have a lot of passion for it. And we won't to show people that its absolutely doable. If you told me that I'd be doing this 10 years ago I'd say you were absolutely crazy. [laughing] We're Aravaips Creekside Growers and you can find us at the Sunday Rillito Market every Sunday. [chuckling]

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Duration: 3 minutes and 15 seconds
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Language: English
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Views: 1
Posted by: heirloomfm on Feb 18, 2017

Do you know where your food comes from or know who your farmer is? Meet Nicole DeVito and Andrew Carhuff of Aravaipa Creekside Growers in Dudleyville, AZ (Pinal County) who specialize in growing mushrooms and have recently expanded into seasonal veggies. -- Pinal County Episode 4. You can meet Nicole and Andrew at the Sunday Rillito Park Farmers Market in Tucson, AZ.
As part of our 'Know Your Farmer' Series, Heirloom Farmers Markets is visiting its local farmers, ranchers, and food producers in the Baja Arizona Region.

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