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A young member of the Hofrichter family found this large Chicken of the Woods mushroom, some of which was sold at last Saturday’s Hodag Farmers Market.
Submitted photo

A young member of the Hofrichter family found this large Chicken of the Woods mushroom, some of which was sold at last Saturday’s Hodag Farmers Market.
7/13/2017 7:28:00 AM
Huge mushroom the highlight of latest Hodag Farmers Market
By Cassie Shefchik
Special to the River News

Saturday's market started out pretty much the same way it usually does with vendors lining up at their predetermined sites. Canopies were unloaded and set up. Display tables arranged in the stalls. Produce and products set out for display.

Last Saturday, the young lad from Hofrichter Farm​ spied a baby bunny hopping along and decided to investigate. With his mother's blessing, he headed off to watch the kit.

Hofrichter Farm is one of several main vegetable producers at the Hodag Farmers Market. The farm, located in Deerbrook, utilizes two large high tunnels for growing a variety of produce.

High tunnels look just like greenhouses but they are usually taller and use little or no added heat.

The main advantage of high tunnels is an expanded growing season. Temperatures inside a high tunnel will be warmer than outside. A grower can start vegetables much earlier, usually by a month or more, than someone who only grows in a regular garden; the growing season can be expanded an extra two to four months. High tunnels are not hindered as much by cooler or wetter than normal days or months, much like our recent June.

Like many vendors throughout the years at the Hodag Farmers Market, Hofrichter Farm raises their children to know that their help on the farm and at market(s) is needed, wanted and appreciated. Children raised in such a way have a deeper appreciation about where their food comes from. They learn early how to make correct change. They have a great curiosity about the natural world, ask a lot of questions, and retain facts.

As the youngster scampered off to look at a baby bunny he spied something under a large oak tree. As he headed closer to the tree he knew he had found a great treasure. A very large Chicken of the Woods mushroom was growing quite undisturbed. His family also raises mushrooms for market and he had been learning proper identification of other mushrooms for a few years.

He harvested the Chicken of the Woods and brought it back to his mother. All the other vendors congratulated him. The 11-pound mushroom was divided up and some of it was sold at the Hofrichter Farm booth, the rest was taken back home for supper.

The Hodag Farmers Market runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday through mid-October at Pioneer Park.

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