Mushroom PO are delighted to welcome our latest member to the Group, Jemmy McCann of J McCann Ltd.
Jemmy grows fantastic shiitake mushrooms from his farm in the rolling Drumlins of Silverbridge, Co. Armagh. Mushroom farming is in the family business, Jemmy’s parents owned a mushroom farm for three decades, and he grew up in the business. When they retired in 2018, he took over the farm and put his stamp and expertise on it, by moving into the world of specialty mushrooms. He now uses organic farming methods to grow Shiitake and Oyster mushrooms.
Jemmy’s experiences from the family farm and his time living in Australia and England let him to this interest. He visited many farms where he saw growers being in control of the entire process, from making their own compost, through to packing the mushrooms for customers.
Shiitake mushrooms can be difficult to grow and require different conditions from white or chestnuts. They also require very careful cultivation. Finding success in the damp climate of Northern Ireland had its challenges, but Jemmy has managed to find a way to make it successful.
There’s a strong market for Ard Mhacha mushrooms, with chefs throughout Ireland delighting in the unique dishes they can make for their customers. Shiitakes have a distinct, woody taste and aroma that adds a richness and depth of flavour to any meal.
Traditionally used in Asian cuisine, there is clearly an appetite for shiitake and oyster mushrooms amongst diners and home cooks alike.
In an interview with the Irish Independent regarding the changes to the market due to Covid-19, Jemmy said:
“My sales direction had to be changed very fast as these mushrooms don’t stop growing. Since March, the little 150g Shitake and 200g Grey Oyster retail boxes have come on the scene and done so well that I can’t keep up with orders. I cannot thank the general public enough. They’ve got behind Irish producers during the pandemic and made all the work – seven days a week – worthwhile.”
With both foodservice and retailers keen to get their hands on Shiitakes, Jemmy will be increasing his production and expanding his sales.