This morning (9/16/12), The Flagstaff EcoRanch loaded up pounds of washed and cut lobster mushrooms to sell at the Flagstaff Community Market. On Saturday I spent four hours with some student volunteers from the Social and Environmental Change course at NAU, part of the First Year Learning Initiative. Although it seemed I lost the students for an hour, they were safely walking in the woods collecting around 35 lbs of mushrooms. Apparently I was the one lost, running through the woods, hollering names, thinking about my next plan of attack in rescuing these poor, lost souls.
We returned home, picked out the good from the bad, cleaned them in buckets with toothbrushes, and packaged them up. Our day was followed by a delicious BBQ, some baked potatoes, and a load of fresh lobster mushrooms sauteed in a bit of olive oil and butter with a sprinkling of cayenne pepper. Quite the savory treat.
Despite only selling a few pounds, there was much to be learned from the perspective of a seller. Trying to figure out what draws the crowd in and makes your product look more attractive is a skill that will develop with more experience. With the mushroom season coming to a close, The Flagstaff EcoRanch will begin to prepare for next year and return with many more locally produced products.
A couple of recent updates. EcoRanch will close on the property within the week only to be followed be an influx of WWOOFers (you can find EcoRanch on the WWOOF website) coming to live at the EcoRanch for a brief time period in exchange for their hard labor while they travel North America. I can’t wait to meet them all and I am excited to see how they incorporate their skills and life experiences at the EcoRanch.