Know Your Farmer: Agape Organic Farm
A chance trip to the Ohio State Fair in 2013 completely altered the course of Shara Trierweiler’s life. After wandering the fair, she found herself in deep conversation with a female livestock farmer.
“She was so knowledgeable and impressive that we ended up chatting for hours and that was the impetus of my interest in, and my falling in love with, farming,” Trierweiler said. “I had never met a woman livestock farmer before and what she was doing to improve the health of her pigs and how it improved the meat quality was fascinating to me. I was drawn to both the science and potential to improve my family’s health.”
Three years later, Trierweiler took the plunge and began farming. She started with pigs, a few mushrooms, turkeys and goats. And then, in 2018, she started Agape Organic Farm and shifted her focus to pigs and mushrooms. Today, Agape Organic Farm offers organic Berkshire pork, mushrooms (foraged and cultivated), microgreens and a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program.
Shara’s interest in fungi grew out of time spent trekking the woods with her grand uncle, an environmentalist. From an early age, she became fascinated with mycology, the scientific study of mushrooms, and the important role fungi play in environmental and human health. This interest ultimately led Shara to become a Michigan Certified Mushroom identification specialist which means she is licensed to identify and sell wild foraged mushrooms. As a result, her farm’s mushroom offerings are unique and include hard to find delicacies such as Lion’s Mane, Chicken of the Woods, Lobster, and Chanterelle.
When asked what her favorite mushrooms are, Trierweiler said it’s a bit like choosing a favorite of her children. “That’s very hard, but if I had to choose I would say it would be the beech mushrooms and a strain of shiitake that I grow called 3790.”
Shara and her mushrooms, pork, and other farm offerings can be found every week at the Mason Farmers Market or via home delivery in the greater Lansing area.
Learn more about Agape Organic Farm and place your order here.
All photos credited to Agape Organic Farm’s Facebook page.
Kelly Wilson, RDN, is the Director of Community Partners for Taste the Local Difference. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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