I live in the Santa Cruz/Monterey area. Where can I purchase mushrooms?
Yes! We've opened a brand new store downtown Santa Cruz.
What is your return policy?
Our retail location accepts returns of non-perishable, unopened items accompanied by a receipt.
Which wild mushrooms do you sell?
Just like vegetables, different mushrooms have different seasons. We try to stock most widely eaten edible mushrooms when they are locally available. Call us at (650) 871-0786 to find out what's available today.
Are all of the mushrooms you sell edible?
Basically, yes. There are a few mushrooms we sell that have no culinary value and are instead made into teas or tinctures that are consumed for medicinal purposes.
Do you sell psilocybin or other psychoactive mushrooms or their spores?
No. It is illegal to possess or sell psilocybin mushrooms or their spores in the United States.
What are your business hours?
San Francisco Ferry Building: (Updated 12/09/2020)
Santa Cruz - Laurel Street:
I purchased reishi/chaga from your store but am unsure how to prepare it. What do you recommend?
Reishi and reishi tea can be prepared using 1/2 oz per 24 fl oz or 3 cups of water. Simmer for at least 30 minutes and strain. Drink hot or refrigerate and drink cold.
The same method can be used with about 3 tablespoons' worth of crushed chaga per 24 fl oz of water. Chaga can be used for infusion several times before losing its potency.
How long will dried mushrooms keep for?
We recommend storing dried mushrooms in the freezer in a sealed, airtight bag where they will keep for at least 1 year. After this point they can start to lose flavor, just like spices and dried herbs.
Do you lead mushroom ID/foraging classes or workshops?
No. If you are interested in learning more about mushrooms and fungi, please visit the Mycological Society of San Francisco.
What is a mushroom?
A mushroom is the fleshy fruiting body of a fungal organism. The organism is mostly underground and can be seen as mycelium-a thread-like structure. The mushroom is to mycelium what the apple is to its tree. When conditions are right, a primordial lump forms on the mycelial thread. This lump will eventually "fruit" into a mushroom and aid in the spreading of the fungus' microscopic spores which fall from the mushrooms gills and be carried through the air.
What does this mushroom taste like?
There are many different species of edible mushrooms and each species has distinct flavors and textures. Read more about different mushrooms and their flavors in our FungiPedia.
What do you do with spent mushroom blocks? Are they available for pickup?
In the past we've offered our spent mushroom blocks to the community. However, we are actively trying to minimize traffic to and from our farms in response to COVID-19. For your safety and ours, we cannot open our doors the the public.
This was a hard decision to make, however, it is safest path for everyone.
Mushroom Mini Farm/Craft Kits
How do I know when my mushrooms are ready for harvest?
Shiitake mushrooms are ready to harvest just after the "veil" separates from the stalk, revealing the gills. The cap should be very round and convex-it's edge curled down towards the middle. Once the edge of the cap flattens or becomes concave, the mushroom is considered "over-ripe".
Tree Oysters are ready to harvest basically when they stop growing. This usually happens when they measure about 2" across. As with the shiitake, they should be round, convex and fleshy.
I lost the instructions for my mini-farm. Can I view and print them here?
Yes. Please see the links below.
Shiitake Mushroom Mini-Farm Instructions
Can I bring/can you ship mini-farms overseas?
No. The mini-farm is considered an agricultural product and is not allowed into most foreign countries or Hawaii.
At your store you have mini-farms displayed under glass bell jars. Should I grow my mim-farm under a glass dome?
No. We use the glass bell jars for display. Mushrooms need oxygen and air circulation in order to grow. If kept under a bell jar, your mini farm will not grow.
What are ideal conditions for my mini-farm? Can it grow outside?
Each mini-farm comes with detailed instructions outlining the best conditions for growth. They are designed to be grown indoors and do best at temperatures below 70° Fahrenheit.
How many mushrooms will my mushroom mini-farm produce?
Both our shiitake and tree oyster mini-farms will produce about 1 1/2-2 pounds of mushrooms.
Can poisonous mushrooms begin to grow on my mini farm if their spores come in contact with the growing medium?
No. Our mini farms are inoculated so that the only mushroom that will grow will be the desired species you have selected.
How long can I store my mini farm before activating?
Our mini farms will hold well under refrigeration for up to one week.
How long will a truffle keep for?
Truffles are among the most highly perishable food products and their aroma and flavor fade rapidly after they are harvested. You should not expect more than 3-4 days of intense truffle flavor.
Is your truffle oil made from truffles or is it synthetic?
Our truffle oil is double-infused with real truffles but like 98% of truffle products on the market, it does contain 2,4-dithiapentane which is an organic compound known to be an important component of truffle flavor. It is used as a primary aromatic ingredient to intensify truffle products. We ourselves are working towards creating natural truffle products, we are quickly realizing why this compound is used. In choosing our truffle products, we prefer the most natural products that contain the least amount of 2,4-dithiapentane possible. Our own Far West Fungi brand of truffle oil contains a very small amount of this compound.
How do I know that you're not selling "Chinese" truffles?
Actually, we do! When available, we sell truffles imported from the Himalayan Steppes of China and label them as such. Different species of truffles occur in different places around the world. Some are more desirable than others, but they all have individual, distinct characteristics, flavors and aromas. To the untrained eye, they all may look rather similar but you can trust that our fresh truffles are packaged and labeled accurately.
What is a truffle and why are they so expensive?
Truffles are basically mushrooms that form below ground rather than above ground. They have so far eluded cultivation and are usually located with the assistance of trained dogs or muzzled pigs which are attracted to their strong, earthy aroma. The most choice specimens come from small regions of France, Italy, Oregon, Australia and the Himalayan Steppes. All of these factors combined with their international reputation as delicacies create a large demand for this natural, highly perishable product.
When should I place my order to arrive before Christmas/New Year's Eve?
Orders should be shipped before December 15 and December 21 to arrive before Christmas and New Years Eve.
I would like my order to arrive quickly. Can it be expedited?
If you would like your order to be expedited to arrive earlier than ground shipping would allow, please call our office at (650)-871-0786 and arrangements can be made for overnight, 2nd or 3rd day shipping via UPS.
How much is shipping?
Shipping charges are calculated and charged by UPS and vary depending on distance and weight. You will be able to see the shipping cost of each order before it is placed.
Do you ship truffles and other fresh mushrooms?
Yes. We can ship fresh products including mushrooms and truffles only domestically and overnight. Keep in mind that next day air shipping is costly and the price of shipping can sometimes be greater than the price of the product itself.
Fresh, overnight orders are special orders that must be placed through our retail store in San Francisco. You can call us at (650) 871-0786 for more info.
Do you ship internationally? What about Hawaii?
Unfortunately, we do not ship internationally at this time. We can ship dried or processed mushroom products to Hawaii, bur our growing kits and fresh mushrooms are considered agricultural products and are not allowed in the state.
Do you deliver?
Far West Fungi will deliver to wholesale accounts in San Francisco with a $100 minimum order.
Do you sell wholesale?
Yes. Far West Fungi mushrooms are served at some of the finest Bay Area restaurants. To request a wholesale account please fill out an intake form and return it to email@example.com