Meet Your Farmer: Forest Farmacy

The Forest Farmacy is a 30 acre forest farm nestled in Madison County, NC in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Kat Houghton and Chris Parker bring together their passions for fungus, food sovereignty, healing, soul, myth, mystery, mycelium and re-culturing.

The best part of being a farmer for Kat is “being so close to the natural world all the time. We are very dependent on what the weather is doing or what the animals are doing, how the plants and mushrooms are doing. I really enjoy that.”

The Magnificent Mushroom

Safety First:

  • Mushrooms must be stored immediately in the refrigerator between 34-38°F.
  • They have a shelf life of around 10 days under optimal conditions and should be thrown out after that.
  • Mushrooms can be consumed for the most part either raw or cooked.
  • It is strongly discouraged that consumers forage and consume wild mushrooms for safety reasons.

Health Benifits for Kiddos:

  • A recent study shows that by adding raw white, crimini, portobello, and oyster mushrooms had increased important micronutrients for children and adolescent’s development, while not increasing energy, sodium, or fat.
  • By adding a serving of 84 grams of mushrooms, that had been exposed to UV light, increased child and adolescent ages 9-18 years their vitamin D levels by 98% and 104% for adults ages 19+ years.
  • A serving of mushrooms also includes important antioxidants of about 2.2 mg ergothioneine and 3.5 mg glutatione.

Fun Fact: Researchers estimate there are 3,000 different species of mushrooms that grow in North Carolina.


Enjoying garden pizzas with Chef William Dissen. Chef Dissen brought along lots of ingredients to choose from, and Hall Fletcher Elementary students piled their English muffins high with local trumpet mushrooms, local arugula, pepperoni, cheese, onions, and tomato sauce. 

Viewing comprehension questions:

  • Where did Kat grow up?
  • How did Christopher learn about mushroom cultivation?
  • What is log cultivation?
  • What is the vision for their farm?
  • What do Christopher and Kat trade their mushrooms for?
  • Have you ever eaten a mushroom? If so what kind?
  • If you haven’t tried mushrooms yet are you more willing to try now that you know more about them?

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