Fresh From the Farmer: Nick Pora of Continental Mushrooms
In this new Blog Feature we will get to know the family farmers who grow your mushrooms as they tell you the story of their farms, explain the growing process, address common myths, and share their favourite mushroom recipes.
2. Where are you located?
Metcalfe, Ontario. About 20 minutes south of Ottawa.
3. Tell us about your farm.
Continental Mushroom is a family owned and operated business. It was founded in 1972 and has continued to “mushroom” since. We employ approximately 260 people from the National Capital region.
Family is important to us and many of our executive staff started their careers at Continental, as part-time workers while attending high school. Many returned after finishing their education and some even met their future partners here. Now their children are working here part-time while completing their educations.
4. How long have you been a mushroom farmer?
I have been in the mushroom industry since I was a little kid. My parents owned the farm before my two sister and I purchased it from them several years ago. It is now run by myself and my brother-in-law.
5. What do you like most about mushroom farming?
I was happy to join the family business with my sisters. I love seeing the crop, watching it mature – and when it’s harvested and shipped to grocery stores in our area for people to enjoy that’s my greatest reward.
6. What is your favourite mushroom recipe?
Grilled crimini mushrooms.
Remove the stem and put the mushrooms gill side up on the BBQ. Place a dab of real butter in the center, sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder and thyme, and then grill for 5-7 minutes. When the butter has melted and the mushrooms have softened they are done. You can then serve them as an appetizer or even with a nice steak. I also enjoy our famous Greek Mushroom Pita Pizza Recipe.
7. What do you do for fun at the farm?
We actually have a very active social committee who hold various functions throughout the year. During the summer we enjoy barbecued hot dogs, hamburgers, and steak luncheons with all the trimmings. The summer finale is everyone’s favourite, the August corn roast. Almost every holiday the committee plans something special and we all look forward to these events. During lunch breaks, some of our more athletic employees can be found on the soccer field, in intense competition, until lunch is over and together they return to work.
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