At 10:00AM on Saturday September 21st 2013, local volunteers set out on a mission to learn about mushrooms and remove trash from Colusa’s Riverside Habitat.
The morning began with a 45 minute tour of Premier Mushroom’s farming operation. After the tour came to a close, participants caravanned to the state park and hiked 15 minutes to an ecological restoration site. Here, professional biologist Michael Rogner of River Partners discussed the reasoning behind the restoration project and why it’s so important. Initially, our plan was to drive on-site, but muddy conditions limited car access and enthusiastic volunteers showed no hesitation about making the trek on foot.
As 12:30 approached, everyone prepared for the cleanup in an effort to gather at least 67 lbs. of debris(last year’s number). With a total of 720 lbs. collected, our target was blown clear out of the water. Some memorable findings were abandoned tires, a wash machine and an old lazy boy chair. The buried washing machine proved most challenging and required a truck to free it from the levy basin. However, small items didn't go unnoticed as volunteers commandeered 204 cigarette butts and 113 small food wrappers.
Of that 720 lbs. there was 270lbs. of recyclable items. All cans/bottles were recycled through conventional channels while the metal washing machine and tires were recycled locally at NorCal Steel Recycling / Superior Tire Service.
Although Colusa’s 2nd Annual River Clean-Up was met with rain, it gradually subsided and allowed us to do our work uninterrupted.
Statewide, there were 51,000 volunteers who removed close to 500,000 pounds of debris from our beaches, streams, rivers, and lakes across California. Worldwide, there were over half a million volunteers who collected 10 million pounds of debris. This simply shows what an enormous impact a dedicated group of volunteers can have in creating a lasting change.
Here's one of our favorite quotes: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful people can change the world, it's the only thing that ever has."
To wrap things up, we’d also like to give special thanks to our sponsors, including; Steelhead Lodge, Central Valley Gas Storage and Tommy’s Market Street Grill. Steelhead was kind enough to barbeque hamburgers and hotdogs while Tommy’s provided an enormous macaroni salad. Each of them also donated gift cards which were awarded to volunteers who won our prize raffle. Additionally, Central Valley Gas Storage showed their support by helping to provide a clean-up t-shirt for each of the volunteers.
One last time, we’d like to give a huge thanks to all the dedicated volunteers who made this day possible. This WOULD NOT have been possible without you.
As promised last year, the 2nd Annual Colusa River Clean-Up was bigger and better in every way than the 1st. Now, we’re going to make the same pledge for 2014!
See you out on the river next year!
Enjoy The Sun, Run Your Heart Out, and Have a BLAST GETTING MUDDY!
Spending a Saturday morning running through the mud may not seem typical, but to many it was an opportunity to support a cause while having a blast with friends, families, and co-workers. Premier Mushrooms joined hundreds of runners on September 15th, getting down and dirty in the mud to support River Partners, a non-profit based out of Chico. Everybody showed up clean, ran through a course laced with multiple mud pits and obstacles, washed off in the Sacramento River, and enjoyed lunch soaking wet in the mid-morning sun.
Formerly known as Mudder Nature, Mud Blast is a series of trail races that are hosted along the Sacramento River. These 5k trails are fabricated with obstacles, the main attraction being large mud pits. The race started off relatively clean with a few skips and hops, however 1 mile out, this all began to change. Four mud pits were silently waiting in between bear crawls, pipe jumps, and hydration stations. The final stretch was a finish line that was placed just steps away from an entrance into the Sacramento River. The runners radiated a fresh coat of mud and anxiously entered the brisk water to wash off as they were welcomed by an energetic crowd. Pictures were taken, music was played, lunch was handed out, and feelings of joy were shown.
Throughout the trail, attitudes from Mud Blasters were quite diverse along with the participants. All the runners conveyed passion whether they were out there to have fun or to set a new record. As mud-caked runners approached the finish line, the sounds of cheering from friends, family and team members were relentless. Several of the runners had very admirable performances with top times in the range of 20-30 minutes.
Founded in 1998, River Partners helps the environment at low costs by combining farming practices with restoration ecology. The founders of River Partners created MudBlast to help support their mission of creating a wildlife habitat that allows both people and the environment to prosper.
Premier was thrilled to be a part of the River Partners’ Mud Blast, while enjoying the beautiful habitat in our own backyard. Premier would also like to thank Mud Blast for supporting our promotion of the California Coastal Cleanup. Premier was given space to set up an exhibit booth to educate participants on the River Cleanup taking place the following day. This exposure resulted in additional volunteers participating in the event which resulted in an even greater environmental impact.
We look forward to getting down and dirty at next year’s MudBlast event in support of keeping our local environment clean and healthy for years to come.
For more information on the event we've provided a link to the MudBlast website http://www.muddernaturechallenge.com/.
This past weekend, community volunteers and Premier Mushrooms Employees alike joined together in a noble effort to clean Colusa’s Greenbelt running along the Sacramento River. The result of this effort was 61.7 lbs. of trash and recyclables being removed from the local ecology. The cleanup was preceded by a morning tour of Premier Mushroom’s Farm and followed by a Sponsored lunch at Colusa’s own Steelhead Lodge.
Coastal cleanup day is a statewide event that brings people together from all over California in pursuit of a common goal. That goal is to help clean beaches and inland waterways that are frequently polluted with trash and debris that don’t belong. If left to sit, these effluents can be harmful or even fatal to all types of marine life and can also become a hazard to human health. Coastal Cleanup Day is one of California’s largest volunteer events in the world and had 82,500 participants in 2010 who removed a combined total of 1.2 million pounds. That’s the equivalent of roughly 18,341 64 gallon residential garbage bins filled to the top! To put this into perspective, simply pretend you were on a scavenger hunt along all of California’s Coastal Bodies searching for 18 thousand full garbage cans hidden in the landscape. It’s hard to imagine there’s that much waste just floating around in our ecosystem, but on the same token proves the effectiveness of values driven events such as this. We will be sharing the 2012 results on our facebook page as they become available.
This year, 55 of the 58 California Counties participated and we were proud to be the only group representing Colusa County. In Addition to California and the rest of the United States, 100 other countries across the globe have been taking active steps towards accomplishing this same goal.
Premier would like to give special thanks to its Co-Sponsor, The Steelhead Lodge for its adamant support of our cause. Without them, the event wouldn’t have been complete and it certainly wouldn’t have been as delicious. They were kind enough to provide two different types of mushroom appetizers along with a mouthwatering mushroom chicken alfredo entrée that nearly disappeared as soon as it arrived.
Premier would also like to thank all the dedicated volunteers who made this event possible by taking time out of their busy schedules to support this incredible cause. Without broad community support, events like this wouldn’t happen. To honor this year’s participants, we are planning on bringing the River Cleanup back to Colusa in 2013 and making it BIGGER AND BETTER in every way possible.
In the meantime, we have provided a link for those who wish to get more involved right now. The Coastal Stewardship Pledge is a great way to do so and we encourage everyone to check it out. You even get a free tote bag for following through with it.
Thanks again to everyone who made this event possible; we’ve provided a several pictures of the cleanup below for your enjoyment.
Business continues to grow as people continue demanding more of their versatile vegetable; also known as the “Mushroom”. As a result, Premier Mushrooms has found itself on the coveted Inc. 500|5000 list for a second time. This list is dedicated to a select number of private companies who are able to display unyielding growth from year to year. For 2012’s list, Premier sits among other honorable mentions including, but not limited to; Zappos, Jamba Juice, Clif Bar, Pandora and Microsoft.
The team at Premier Mushrooms is proud to once again be recognized for its achievements in the food and beverage industry. Premier has come a long ways since the first mushroom was grown and looks forward to continue providing customers with fresh and tasty mushrooms far into the 21st century.
For more information on the Inc 500|5000 please visit the following link……http://www.inc.com/inc5000/profile/premier-mushrooms
Educating the world’s youth about where our food comes from and how it’s grown is not only very rewarding, but extremely important. As our population continues to expand, the food supply will continue to be stretched and having this knowledge will be an effective tool in battling global food shortages. Premier Mushrooms eagerly played its part by joining forces with local students from Colusa, Williams, Arbuckle and Princeton on Friday, March 30 at Colusa’s 15th Annual Western Days. CEO John Ashbaugh spent the day answering questions and explaining the process in which mushrooms are grown, but with a unique twist. This workshop also included a hands-on activity where students expertly crafted mushrooms of all shapes and sizes using only toothpicks and clay.
We explained how to hold the clay as if you were holding an ice-cream cone, then proceed to smash the remaining clay(icecream at the top of the cone) using your free hand in order to create the mushroom cap. This step was vital to the finished product and there was no shortage of creativity as several of the students even began using the tabletop instead.
Although, It wasn’t all fun and games and we knew the day wouldn’t be complete without a quiz, so some time was set aside for mushroom trivia. Along with the clay artwork, this good humored competition proved to be a highlight of the day. However, the fact that several of the youngsters knew that it takes approximately two days for a baby bella to mature into a fullgrown portabella will forever remain a mystery to me.
In the picture below, John is explaining how to make the cap of the mushroom. The students focus and meticulous attention to detail reminds you just how important activities like these really are. What culminated from this action packed event was some old memories of art class, an enormous collection of nearly 300 clay mushrooms and a lot of smiling faces.
For more photos of the event, please visit our facebook page. Link….
Premier Mushrooms was honored to attend California State University Chico’s annual This Way To Sustainability VII Conference. This is an entirely student run conference inspired by and held for those interested in making a difference for future generations. It consisted of workshops, seminars and facilitated discussions addressing topics tied to economic, environmental, and social needs of the region, community, faculty, staff and students. Topics included; campus best practices, sustainable food practices and agriculture, water issues, energy/solar and sustainable lifestyles to name a few.
Premier Mushroom’s presentation fell under the category of “Sustainable Food Practices and Agriculture.” The discussion started by highlighting the basics and familiarizing the audience with some more fundamental aspects of mushroom farming. We then continued to discuss various technologies unique to the farm and how it inherently represents a “closed loop system.” Also discussed were the favorable results of the pilot recycling program which began last November and the plan for moving forward. The dialogue ended with an overview of Premier’s membership into the Climate Registry and some of the feasibility studies surrounding renewable energy applications.
It was a full house, and unfortunately some people were unable to join the discussion due to space limitations. However, this healthy attendance simply reinforces the fact that sustainability is a topic of growing importance. Change isn’t always easy and our culture is in many ways resistant to change. However, people, planet and profit are aligned much more closely than is often realized.
Please stay tuned for future blog installments which will explore several of Premier Mushroom’s other sustainable attributes/initiatives in further detail.
For more information about this exciting event, please visit the conference website.
“What’s white and black and red all over?” . You may have heard this silly riddle growing up, but let me ask you a riddle you may not have heard “What single food has the talent and ability to pass as both a fruit and a vegetable”? Ponder this thought for a minute, it’s quite alright if you don’t know.
If your answer was mushrooms, then you are right on the button (pun intended) However, if you had any doubt, you might enjoy reading why Mushrooms are moving to the center of the plate.
Mushrooms truly are a unique specimen given their combination of taste and texture. The variety of mushroom you’re most likely to encounter in local supermarkets will be the white button mushroom. Though slightly less hearty than its darker cousins, the white buttons are extremely versatile and can be sautéed into a rich entrée, or simply sliced over a garden salad. Generally they are sold at a discount from the brown varieties, making them both healthy and affordable.
Also a member of the A. bisporus family, Creminis and Portobello mushrooms are two of the more favored mushrooms. They have a rich texture that lends itself as a favorite for diners seeking to consume a heavy, satisfying meal without including “meat” as one of the ingredients. The Portobello can be cooked in place of a hamburger and topped with cheese and condiments, or even substitute for a pizza. That’s right, I said pizza and you can find an excellent recipe here. Another preferred method of consumption is to simply sauté them in an omelet or egg scramble with a handful of your favorite vegetables. The possibilities are endless; it just takes a little creativity and imagination.
In addition to serving as a hybrid between the world of meats and vegetables, mushrooms have many health benefits that few are aware of. They are rich in B vitamins, potassium, manganese and copper which are all essential nutrients to human health. An added plus is that the white button mushroom also contains vitamin C, more generally seen in oranges, apples and berries.
So next time you are craving a meat, or a vegetable…remember that mushrooms are the “meat of the vegetable world” as the Chicago Tribune eloquently wrote.
For those Mushroom Connoisseurs who didn’t have an opportunity to read A boom in 'shrooms, please give it a look, as it discusses some of the rarer varieties not mentioned in this post. You might just be inspired to move some more mushrooms to the center of your plate.
And in case you’re still pondering, the answer to riddle is a penguin with a sunburn….