05/31/2011 11:31 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Is Too Much "Local" Harmful?

I found Curly and Carole Anne the same way I find a lot of the stories for The Perennial Plate, searching the internet. When I stumbled upon banjo playing mushroom farmers, I immediately fell in love. Then I learned that their operation is all organic, and the farm is way out in the Ozarks -- even more of a reason to make the drive. And oh what a drive! It took us on all types of dirt roads, over several streams and to the land where GPS and cell phones cease to exist. Even though we had only spoke on the phone briefly, we were greeted like old friends, and what followed was three days of shiitake talking, cooking and eating. But what really struck me was less about their innovative style of growing mushrooms on logs in quantity all year round, and more about their discussions about what "local" means and how that can affect sustainable family farms. Watch the video to enter into Carole Anne and Curly's banjo plucking and mushroom picking lives.

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