Newsletter Article
September 1995

Oak Forest Mushroom Association

(Bruno Pretto's contact information updated March 23, 2009)

The Oak Forest Mushroom Association is a non-profit co-operative of farmers cultivating outdoor, log-grown (oak), shiitake mushrooms. Most of the 25 members are located in southern Ontario on the shores of Lake Erie. A couple are located near Toronto. To be a member you must grow your shiitake on natural logs and be certified organic by OCIA. There is a one-time fee of $750 for membership and voting members must have at least 5,000 logs. The Association helps with promotion and marketing. Fresh shiitake is sold through distributors. They also market sliced, powdered and whole dry shiitake under the 'Oak Forest Shiitake' name.

Secretary Bruno Pretto notes some difficulty in getting North American consumers to understand how quality varies in shiitake mushrooms. He says the Association's members produce a far superior product in comparison to most sawdust grown shiitake, but consumers don't understand and therefore don't demand this quality. The result is that most supermarket buyers simply purchase the lower quality and cheaper products. Bruno is looking into the possibility of marketing the Association's dried products in Japan. At the moment the Association is producing plenty of mushrooms for their established markets, but not enough to fulfill container orders for Japan. The group has not quite decided whether or not they want to recruit more members to get enough volume to service this new market. For more information, contact:

     Bruno Pretto
     Fun Guy Farm
     21 Maple Avenue
     Toronto, Ontario M4W 2TS
Voice: 416-963-5520
Cell: 416-402-9755