News Posts by Year and Month

Viewing posts published in May 2014.

Pickens County farmer explores new uses for mushrooms

Published: May 30, 2014

Pickens County farmer explores new uses for mushrooms

Amy Clarke Burns, The Greenville News 11:17 a.m. EDT May 28, 2014

Tradd Cotter, owner of Mushroom Mountain, gives a tour of his new production and research facility to Greenville Technical College students and teachers studying at The Culinary Institute of the Carolinas.

Tradd Cotter is a little like a preacher holding up a prayer book to the choir when he lifts a plump morel mushroom from a basket.

The gathered chefs-in-training, students at Greenville Tech’s Culinary Institute of the Carolinas, murmur appreciatively at the mushroom with its pocked, coral-like surface and light ochre coloring.

These visitors to Mushroom Mountain farm in Pickens County know Cotter has a rare find and joke about surreptitiously pocketing the delicacy.

But Cotter has bigger plans for this one than just lunch.

A mushroom researcher and cultivator for two decades, Cotter recently moved his business into a massive new facility where he can not only grow mushrooms by the ton but also immerse himself in the science of his beloved fungi.

He’s growing edible varieties coveted by chefs and home cooks alike. He’s developing new products like mushroom-infused beers with medicinal properties. He’s exploring what mushrooms can do for their environments, like cleaning up plastic waste and oil spills. He’s using mushrooms to replace some of the work of pesticides. He’s unearthing new varieties that may yet hold a wealth of knowledge for humans.

Bakin’ with bacon

Published: May 30, 2014

Bakin’ with bacon

Francine Bryson putting Pickens on the baking map

By Olivia Fowler, Courier Staff

Pickens resident Francine Bryson was standing in the kitchen cooking pork chops on a Wednesday night when the phone call came.

She didn’t pay any attention to it. When she saw the California area code, she assumed it was a telemarketer and said, “Don’t need any, already have some.”

But when the phone rang again, she answered and found out she was being asked to try out for a new national TV show, “America’s Next Great Baker.”

They wanted her to go to Nashville on Saturday and bake her first-place winner from the National Pie Competition.

And so that’s just what Francine did.