July 10, 2023

Far West Fungi and Live Oak Farms Featured on PBS’s “America’s Heartland”

Season 17 of “America’s Heartland” – PBS’s stalwart TV show that goes behind-the-scenes on how farmers work to feed the world – is dedicated to specialty crop growers, and a number of Western Growers members will be featured in the coming weeks!

The premiere episode of the season, which debuted last week, featured Western Growers members Far West Fungi, based in San Bruno, Calif., and Live Oak Farms, based in Le Grand, Calif.

“America’s Heartland” details the career journey of Far West Fungi Owner John Garrone to his current position as one of the country’s pre-eminent mushroom farmers. “When I started working in the mushroom business, I was still a member of the communications staff of the San Francisco Police Department,” Garrone said. “Basically I was dispatching police cars at night and selling mushrooms in the morning.”

The episode also visits the Central Valley to focus on Live Oak’s bell pepper production. “You can look for [our peppers] in grocery stores and I’m sure you’re eating them at restaurants,” says Live Oak’s head of Marketing and Product Innovation Briana Giampaoli. “It’s really great for me, as a farmer, to know that we are helping feed America.”

Check out the episode by clicking here.

Episodes of “America’s Heartland” can be viewed on your area’s PBS station – check your local listings for exact date and time; more than 90 percent of all PBS stations in the country carry the show – as well as on PBS.org; the PBS standalone app; “America’s Heartland’s” website and YouTube; as well as weekly on RFD-TV. “America’s Heartland” is a production of Sacramento’s PBS KVIE.