Bob Engel, Chef Liaison of Gourmet Mushrooms, shows off a bottle filled with sawdust and mycelium while giving a tour of the farm.
Terry McCarthy

On this week's show, we're looking at farming across the state and the Americas.

We begin on the West Coast, with a tour of Gourmet Mushrooms in Sonoma County, California, where they are mimicking natural growing conditions to cultivate specialty mushrooms indoors. This farm harvests eight different varieties of organic mushrooms for food wholesalers, gourmet grocers, and restaurants all across America.

Taylor Williams
Mark Reynolds

Between overgrown vines, prickly thorns, and bugs of all kinds, the Louisiana environment presents a formidable challenge for any landscaper. No one knows this better than horticulturist Taylor Williams, who comes armed with pruning shears wherever he goes. On the eve of this year’s harvest, Kelley Crawford spoke with Taylor about his experiences in the weeds and wilds of Louisiana’s backyard.

Visit NolaVie's website for a related article written by Kelley Crawford. 

Cookie Coleman, Poppy Tooker and Chef Hardette Harris in Shreveport
Chris Jay

From community gardens in North Louisiana to village farms in Sub-Saharan Africa, local leaders are cultivating a passion for regional cuisine and sustainable agriculture. On this week's Louisiana Eats!, we learn about the push for community-driven food policy and meet some advocates who are inspiring people to think differently about how they eat.

Robert and Talbot Trudeau / Flickr

The LSU AgCenter fosters agricultural, engineering and scientific programs across the state. On this week's Louisiana Eats!, we go across the state to hear how Ag agent Grace Peterson is connecting Shreveport residents with regional food.

We'll also cultivate tomatoes with Bobby Fletcher near the Mississippi River and float downstream with Dr. John Bell to learn how the Louisiana oyster can help rebuild coastal wetlands. We travel from the Gulf of Mexico to Shreveport's urban farms on this week's Louisiana Eats!

If you don't mind the possibility of some chilly weather, you can go out and get some planting done in your vegetable garden now.

Abigail Feldman

You see it in your neighborhood or on your way to work: an abandoned house or empty lot — a small piece of New Orleans which once belonged to someone, but now, is sagging or overgrown or both.

Mastering the art of Southern gardening isn't something you can learn overnight. It takes time, training, and patience. But the payoff is something an entire community can enjoy. So perhaps that's why membership in Louisiana's Master Gardener's organization is... growing.

Sharon Litwin speaks with a leader from the region's local chapter on this week's Notes from New Orleans.


Tomorrow is Earth Day. While I risk sounding cliché, every day should be Earth Day. Instead, we treat the planet like trash. So, what is to be done?

For those of you who are discovering the joys of growing and cooking with fresh ingredients, might composting serve as one small step towards ecological responsibility? I know that sticking out of my market bags are voluminous carrot tops and leek greens. And that’s only that which I couldn’t fit inside the bag. Sometimes, I make stock with this excess fiber. Other times, I cut and disregard.