A Little More About Mayapple Farms
We're the Felumlees - Rick, Jan, Elijah and Emma
Along with our two loyal farm dogs, we own, operate, and inhabit Mayapple Farms,
a small forest farm in Muskingum County, Ohio - right on the edge of Appalachia.
We're Committed To:
providing a unique variety of healthy, organic mushrooms, herbs & vegetables to the local community at an affordable price
practicing small-scale, sustainable, organic farming using low-input, low-impact tools and techniques
conserving and restoring at-risk native plants by harvesting sustainably and by actively planting, propagating and promoting them
supporting the local food community that supports us through volunteer efforts, local collaborations, and educational outreach
We like to think outside the box and try new things. And what we grow on the farm reflects that. We offer wild ramps in the spring, along with a variety of fresh mushrooms, including shiitake, wine cap, nameko, lion’s mane and others throughout the season. This year we’re introducing Grow-Your-Own shiitake mushroom logs, pre-inoculated with organic spawn and ready to go, so you can grow your own organic shiitakes at home! We also offer rare native plants like trilliums, bloodroot and blue cohosh so you can enjoy these incredible plants in your own landscape, and help conserve an at-risk native species in the process! In addition, we offer a large variety of fresh herbs, garlic, peppers, and flowers. Brand new for this season are fresh ginger and turmeric roots, available later in the season. Truly something for everyone.
When we make decisions about how and where to grow our crops, we start with a really simple idea - nature knows best - and everything else just sort of flows from there. For starters, everything on our farm is grown organically, and we never use chemical pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers on our crops. And we do our best to mimic natural growing conditions for our plants and mushrooms whenever possible. Our mushrooms grow outdoors on hardwood logs under natural forest shade, along with our native medicinal plants, and we grow our herbs and vegetables in permanent raised beds, and use light hand-cultivation rather than tilling the fields every season. We focus on building healthy soils all around the farm, and that keeps fertilizer needs to a minimum. We work with hand tools and small power equipment to reduce impacts on the soil, and to minimize our use of fossil fuels. We use thick organic mulch on our beds to retain soil moisture, suppress weeds and moderate soil temperature swings. The mulch also promotes earthworm activity and adds organic matter to the soil as it breaks down. We incorporate permaculture techniques too, like grouping perennial plant crops into ‘guilds,’ or groups of mutually beneficial plants arranged to mimic the different layers of vegetation found in nature. One example is our apple trees which are surrounded by daffodils to repel voles & gophers, nasturtiums to deter coddling moths, and oregano to attract pollinators. We also make every attempt to keep our product packaging to a minimum, and what packaging we do use is made from sustainable materials that are completely compostable and recyclable.
Sustainable also means continuous improvement and we have some big plans and projects coming up this season. Right now we’re working our way through the organic certification process through the Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association. Fingers crossed, we hope to be certified organic sometime during the early part of the 2019 season. Meantime we’ll be busy installing rainwater collectors, and digging swales this spring to help conserve water around our growing areas.
In addition to protecting the soil and water quality on our farm, we're also dedicated to planting, propagating and promoting threatened and at-risk native plants like ginseng, goldenseal, black cohosh and bloodroot. We believe these plants are part of our Appalachian heritage and deserve to be protected for their own sake. Due to over harvesting in the wild over many generations, all of the plants listed above, and many others we grow, are now considered ‘At-Risk’ by United Plant Savers, a non-profit organization dedicated to medicinal plant conservation. We are actively rebuilding populations of these plants on our own farm, and we offer them for sale to enjoy in your own shade garden or woodlot. By sustainably cultivating, managing, and harvesting these plants, we can replace an unsustainable wild resource with a sustainable cultivated one, and hopefully alleviate at least a little bit of the harvest pressure on wild populations.
It’s important to us to support the local food community that supports us. We’re still very much in start-up mode but we’re already planning some local collaboration and outreach efforts for the coming year. Stay tuned for more details as things develop!
We’re always looking for opportunities to collaborate with local businesses, organizations, artists and educators. If you’ve got an idea, we’d love to talk about it!
Thanks for visiting! See you at the market!