LA Farmers’ Market Report: Clearwater Farms Mushrooms
Clearwater Farms has satisfied Los Angeles’ growing appetite for high-quality, wild mushrooms, since 1995. In fact, owner David West tells me that his customers have become more serious about their fungi than ever before.
Clearwater Farms grows their own shiitake and mitakis, and through a trusted network of pickers offer a tantalizing selection of farmed and wild mushrooms found growing along the central and northern coast of California on up into southern Oregon.
Depending on the time of year, you’ll find boxes filled with unique varieties such as black trumpets, hedgehogs, and fried chicken mushrooms, rich lobster mushrooms which grow out of the soft fallen logs that litter the forest floor, and lacy Cauliflower mushrooms that look as though they’ve been harvested on a deep sea expedition. Fall is particularly busy, when sweet, mild chanterelles come into season and come spring it’s all about morels.
Clearwater Farms has stands at the Wednesday and Saturday Farmers’ Market in Santa Monica and on Sundays in Hollywood, although I’m told Wednesday is the best day. The stand sells a lot to local restaurants and Wednesdays are when they have the biggest and best selections.