Desert Grown Mushrooms and Beyond

andrewAndrew Carhuff and his partner Nicole Devito grow mushrooms, beautiful velvet oyster mushrooms.  Growing mushrooms in the desert?  According to Andrew, October through March, Arizona temperatures are perfect for growing mushrooms.  Andrew of Aravaipa Creekside Growers has been growing mushrooms for years, and came to sell at the Heirloom Farmers Market in 2013.  As their customer base expanded, he and Nicole needed more space, ultimately moving their operation from Tucson to Oro Valley where they now work on a friend’s ranch in a little casita alongside the creek they are busy cultivating a diversified farm.  “Its a fun place filled with horses, chickens, a hysterical goose named Edgar & a bunch of cool people living in equally quirky adobes.” says Nicole.nicole

It is a natural fit, the mushrooms create a natural compost that can be used in their farming practices.   With the help of volunteers, who by the way can stay overnight at the farm, Andrew and Nicole have expanded their summer market offerings to pole beans,  tomatoes, crenshaw melons, farm flowers like zinnias and sunflowers and coming soon, pumpkins.

Photo Credits: Nicole DeVito


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Our days have been filled with analyzing the weather patterns, obsessing over the barometric pressure and crossing our fingers for daily monsoons. When the sky darkens and the clouds open up we breath a sigh of relief that we do not have to water! [Read more here]

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