Groomin’ shrooms: Local farm shows off fabulous fungi

The owners of Chaporond Farm in Clarendon show off some of their wares. From left: Jaël St-Louis, Tiziana Rompelburg-Fortin, Matis Fortin, and Dany Fortin.
Dany Fortin stands in one of the two grow rooms at Chaporond Farm, where he produces pounds of mushrooms for local restaurants and customers.
Some of Chaporond Farm’s King Oyster mushrooms.
Blue Oyster mushrooms are one of the two varieties of mushrooms produced by Chaporond Farm in Clarendon.

Photos and story by CALEB NICKERSON
When most people think of sustainable, organic agriculture, they usually think of fruit and veggie stalls at the local farmers’ market, or a stand at the end of the laneway.
But one business in Clarendon is breaking into the market a slightly different way, by harvesting crops of mushrooms rather than plants.
Dany Fortin and his wife Tiziana Rompelburg-Fortin moved to the region five years ago and their farm currently sits on the 11th Concession in Clarendon. Fortin is originally from the Lac St. Jean region and had worked as a forestry technician. A government program provided him the opportunity to learn about foraging for wild mushrooms and plants, and kept at the trade when he moved to the Pontiac.
“I find the area very good for mushrooms,” he said. “The challenge here is to find a market for mushrooms.”
For several years, he sold the wild fungi at various markets in Ottawa, but the off-seasons were tough. That’s why he decided to build his growing facility in 2016.

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