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Serving Lacey & All Surrounding Areas
Serving Lacey & All Surrounding Areas
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Just east of the city limits of Lacey, Washington, is the headquarters for one of the top mushroom growers in the state. Ostrom’s Mushrooms produces fifteen million pounds of mushrooms each year and distributes them throughout the Pacific Northwest. The company has been successfully growing mushrooms since 1928, handpicking them every day of the year.
Ostrom’s works hard to promote the health benefits from eating mushrooms. Considered a super food, mushrooms are a great source of selenium, potassium, copper, iron, phosphorus, five B vitamins, and vitamin D. As a matter of fact, Ostrom’s was one of the first growers to boost its mushrooms’ vitamin D content with exposure to ultraviolet light. That’s a good thing, because sunlight is sometimes a rare commodity in the Pacific Northwest, and humans’ natural method of making vitamin D, essential for healthy bones, teeth, and immune systems, requires sunlight. Mushrooms are the only produce containing vitamin D and are especially important in the diets of vegans or people on restricted diets. One three-ounce serving of Ostrom’s white or Crimini mushrooms provides 400 IUs of vitamin D, 100% of the daily requirement.
Because mushrooms grow in the dark and have no chlorophyll, the organic matter they grow in are their only source of nutrients. Ostrom’s makes its own compost from Pacific Northwest ingredients: wheat straw, dried poultry litter, gypsum, canola meal, and Sugar Beet lime, all agricultural waste products that would otherwise have been discarded or burned. The compost is then pasteurized to convert ammonia into a form of nitrogen the mushrooms can use. The compost-making process takes four weeks. Ostrom’s sells spent compost to a soil company that uses it for soil amendments.
Ostrom’s invests in many local programs in appreciation of the community that has made it so successful. The company has contributed to the Hands On Children’s Museum in Olympia, the Thurston County Boy’s and Girl’s Club, the South Sound YMCA, the Sounders women’s soccer franchise, and the City of Hope, which is conducting research on the breast-cancer-fighting potential of mushrooms. The company also supports North Thurston School District’s Partners in Education project by mentoring elementary-school kids, possibly motivating them to stay on track with school, which is easier with the services of a Lacey tutor.
Ostrom’s also is a sponsor of the annual Pacific Northwest Mushroom Festival, a family-friendly event that aims to educate the public about the health benefits of mushrooms. The event includes a fun run, seminars on mushrooms, cooking demonstrations and tastings, a tour of the mushroom farm, a kids’ mushroom hunt, live music, a wine and beer tent, and a kids’ zone with a bounce house, arts and crafts, and a root-beer-float garden. Proceeds support local youth programs and scholarships. The festival is fun for the whole family, but especially for students who work with a Lacey tutor to get ahead in school.
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