Hi, my name is Lawrence and my farm is Highline Mushrooms in Leamington, Ontario. Highline Mushrooms is a family company, founded in 1961 by Dr. Murray O’Neil. In 1961, a small eight-room structure was built at what is now Leamington’s East Farm. Highline Mushrooms has four farms, of which two are located in Leamington, one in Kingsville and one in Wellington, Ontario. 

How long have you been a mushroom farmer?

My parents have been in the business for over 50 years, and I have been with Highline for 47 years. Actually the founder of Highline Mushrooms was my delivering doctor at my birth, so I have a very close connection with the company.

I have been directly involved in the day to day operations of growing the mushroom at Highline for over 30 years, so it has very much become a part of my life. In fact, my son just started a summer job here at Highline, so you can see that the farm is very close to our family.

What is your favourite mushroom recipe? 
My favourite mushroom recipe happens to be with portabella mushrooms. It is very simple, take a portabella mushroom and remove the stem, rinse the mushroom under cold running water on both sides, and then I marinate it with either Italian salad dressing or roasted red pepper. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minuntes, and then just throw it on the grill, gills up for about 7 minutes on one side and the 5-6 on the other. It’s wonderful it has the texture of being a meat like a steak, but the flavour of the mushroom and the salad dressing is just wonderful!

Watch this video to learn about how mushrooms are grown and harvested.

Mushrooms Facts:

  • Mushrooms are a fungus, and unlike plants, mushrooms do not require sunlight to make energy for themselves.
  • A single Portabella mushroom can contain more potassium than a banana.
  • Mushrooms are made up of around 90% water.
  • The mushroom is used in many cuisines throughout the world and it is known as the “meat” of the vegetable world.
  • There are a few mushroom varieties found in the wild that are highly poisonous. A number of these look like common edible species, therefore it can be risky collecting wild mushrooms without good knowledge for identifying mushrooms.
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