Friday, September 23, 2016

September News: Storing Vitamin D for Winter, Radical Mycology Convergence

News from the Woods
a monthly digest of resources, events, and people in forestry & agroforestry



September 2016



Welcome to the September news from Wellspring Forest Farm and School. Each month, we share useful information about methods for improving forest health and increasing productivity and diversity, along with the happenings of our farm and educational programs.

This month – read about how fall colors may be affected by the drought, consider the science of storing sunlight in dried shiitake mushrooms, and join us at the Radical Mycology Convergence October 6 – 10.


For the trees,
Steve & Elizabeth




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In the Woods
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While it may not be a surprise, given the drought, that fall colors will probably be delayed, short in their display, and muted in their brilliance, we can nevertheless glean some useful lessons from this challenging season.

Pay attention to the trees in your woods that change color and drop eariliest – these indeed are likely signs of stress and can help you identify which trees might be best to consider thinning. The sprectrum of health in a woods will become incredibly prominent in the coming weeks, and its useful information for an observant steward. Consider marking stressed trees with flagging, so you can revist them in the winter as you consider candidates for thinning.
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/fid/august97/08259704.html


Still, if you are aching to see good colors, you might be advised to scout for cooler areas that were not as affected by drought conditions. This guide by Donald Leopold from SUNY ESF is a good summary of some of the best spots in Central NY.
http://www.esf.edu/ecenter/CNY%20Fall%20Colors.pdf



Long term, its uncertain what fates the beloved fall colors of the Northeast will experience from climate change. An interesting series of articles looks at the research of this question, highly recommended reading for those interested.
http://biology.appstate.edu/fall-colors/update-whether-climate-change-will-affect-fall-leaf-color-displays




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On the Farm
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We have released a FREE article at our website, called “Storing Sunlight for Winter: The Amazing Ability of Mushrooms to Accumulate Vitamin D.”


In it, we explore the science of solar dehydration of mushrooms, which can increase their vitamin D content tremendously.


This is key for many of us in the northern half of the US, as our ability to synthesize D from the sun is eliminated once we get into the winter months.



DOWNLOAD the article at our website "MEDIA" Page




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Upcoming Events
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On October 6-10, 2016, the 4th Radical Mycology Convergence (RMC) will commence on a land trust in Wingdale to teach participants how mycology (the science of fungi) can address various social and environmental issues.

The schedule has just been released! Steve will be presenting on Friday afternoon, on woodland mushroom production and forest health.

A donation-based, volunteer-run gathering, the RMC is unlike any other mushroom-based event in both its scope of information and grassroots ethos.

By bringing together hundreds of mycologists, fungal enthusiasts, activists, and sustainability advocates, the RMC seeks to spread awareness around how fungi can strengthen the personal, social, and ecological systems of the world in a positive and proactive way.


Check it out at:

http://www.radicalmycologyconvergence.com



---- 


Steve is again teaching the popular online course BF 151: Woodland Mushroom Cultivation through the Cornell Small Farm Program, running November 8 – December 13, with Webinars on Tuesday evenings from 6 – 7:30pm EST.

Learn more at: http://www.nebeginningfarmers.org/online-courses/all-courses/woodland-mushroom-cultivation-bf-151/

He will also co-teach an online course in Oyster Production in Barns, High Tunnels, and Greenhouses with Willie Crosby from Fungi Ally in MA, March 1 – April 5 2017:

http://www.nebeginningfarmers.org/online-courses/all-courses/oyster-mushroom-cultivation/
 


 ----

Finally, we will be appearing at several conferences this fall and winter, to share our experience with mushrooms, agroforestry, and ducks:


October 7 at the Radical Mycology Convergence
"Growing Woodland Mushrooms for Forest Health"

November 11 at NESAWG's It Takes a Region Conference
Panelist on Agroforestry in the Northeast

December 8 at Stone Barn's Young Farmer Conference
"Profitable Shiitake Mushroom Production: What does it take?"

January 20 - 22 at the NOFA-NY Winter Conference
"Profitable Log-Grown Shiitake Production" and "Raising Ducks for Multiple Functions"


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Quote of the Month:
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“You expected to be sad in the fall.


Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light.



But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen..”



― Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast




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“News from the Woods” is brought to you by:



Wellspring Forest Farm & School
leaving forests in our footsteps


Steve & Elizabeth Gabriel
Mecklenburg, NY
www.WellspringForestFarm.com
farmers@wellspringforestfarmcom



Let us know what you think!


To subscribe, please visit news.wellspringforestfarm.com and simply enter your email. Or you can email stevegabrielfarmer@gmail.com with “SUBSCRIBE” as the subject line, and we will add you to the list!


To unsubscribe, please send an email with the subject “UNSUBSCRIBE ME” to stevegabrielfarmer@gmail.com




Wednesday, August 24, 2016

AUGUST NEWS: Medicinal Mushrooms, Fungi Course & Permaculture Tours

News from the Woods

a monthly digest of resources, events, and people in forestry & agroforestry

August 2016


View it online: http://news.wellspringforestfarm.com/


Greetings!

Welcome to the August news from Wellspring Forest Farm and School. Each month, we share useful information about methods for improving forest health and increasing productivity and diversity, along with the happenings of our farm and educational programs


This month – lots on the mushroom front! We’ve released a free article on medicinal mushrooms, and are still taking registrations for our Fungi Cultivation & Foraging Short Course (September 16 – 18) and also an exciting regional fungi convergence coming to New York in October.

Read on for more…



For the trees,
Steve & Elizabeth



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In the Woods
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More and more, people are curious about the medicinal properties of mushrooms. We’ve learned a lot over the past year as we dealt with a cancer diagnosis and wanted to share our findings with the greater world:

“The medical “supplement” world, reserved in the US at least for all those treatments and products without verification from the medical establishments, is full of stories from vendors trying to sell you a product. Each has a special process, f ormula, and belief system that led to their product. Unfortunately, much of it is convoluted sales talk, and it’s hard for the consumer to know what is truth”

Download the full article at our “Media” page


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On the Farm
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THIS WEEKEND: We are one of the stops for the Finger Lakes Permaculture Site Tours and Convergence. Steve will also be speaking about mushroom cuultivation on Sunday.

Friday includes a showing of the film INHABIT, which our farm appears in. On Saturday there are over 20 sites open for tours. And Sunday there will be presentations, a plant sale, and more at the Schuyler County Cooperative Extension.

See the schedule and learn more at:
http://fingerlakespermaculture.org/flxpermaculture-tour-weekend-updates/



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Upcoming Events
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Our fungi course is now just three days and $300! Join us to learn about how you can cultivate and partner with mushrooms for food, medicene, and ecological health on your landscape:


Fungi Cultivation & Foraging Short Course
September 16 – 18
Mecklenburg, NY

Explore the wondrous world of fungi and learn how to grow and forage mushrooms with Farming the Woods co-author Steve Gabriel and special guest Olga Trozgos from Smugtown Mushrooms.

During this 3-day course participants will identify wild mushrooms and learn tree ID and forest ecology, inoculate logs, straw, and grain, learn low-tech propagation techniques, build a stormwater biofilter, make medicine and, of course, cook and eat mushrooms.

Overall, the class seeks to engage participants with the fungal world and through an understanding of it see the positive potential in continued learning and engagement. Each of these practices is framed in the context of eastern forest ecology and ultimately as our role to steward the health of the forested landscape.

SEE THE COURSE SCHEDULE AND REGISTER: http://events.wellspringforestfarm.com/


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Radical Mycology Convergence comes to New York
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On October 6-10, 2016, the 4th Radical Mycology Convergence (RMC) will commence on a land trust in Wingdale to teach participants how mycology (the science of fungi) can address various social and environmental issues.

A donation-based, volunteer-run gathering, the RMC is unlike any other mushroom-based event in both its scope of information and grassroots ethos. By bringing together hundreds of mycologists, fungal enthusiasts, activists, and sustainability advocates, the RMC seeks to spread awareness around how fungi can strengthen the personal, social, and ecological systems of the world in a positive and proactive way.

Started in 2011 by a small group of friends, the RMC has grown over the last 5 years to become the main gathering for an international cadre of mushroom activists and advocates. Unlike most other mycology events that focus on safely identifying and cooking mushrooms, the RMC covers a wealth of largely inaccessible information around mycology.

The five days of presentations, hands-on workshops, and discussions cover low-cost mushroom cultivation, cleaning up pollution with fungi, medicinal mushrooms, mushroom art, fungal ecology, and teaching fungi to children. These powerful tools, normally hard to access, are all taught by the RMC organizers and international presenters.

http://www.radicalmycologyconvergence.com




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Quote of the Month:
---------------------------------------

There are old mushroom hunters, and bold mushroom hunters,

But there are no old bold mushroom hunters!


- unknown

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“News from the Woods” is brought to you by:


Wellspring Forest Farm & School
leaving forests in our footsteps

Steve & Elizabeth Gabriel
Mecklenburg, NY
www.WellspringForestFarm.com


Let us know what you think!


To subscribe, please visit news.wellspringforestfarm.com and simply enter your email. Or you can email stevegabrielfarmer@gmail.com with “SUBSCRIBE” as the subject line, and we will add you to the list!


To unsubscribe, please send an email with the subject “UNSUBSCRIBE ME” to stevegabrielfarmer@gmail.com





Saturday, July 23, 2016

JULY "News from the Woods": Invasive species, Learn forestry & fungi, Tradd Cotter


News from the Woods
a monthly digest of resources, events, and people
in forestry & agroforestry

July 2016



Greetings!

Welcome to the July edition from Wellspring Forest Farm and School. Each month, we share useful information about methods for improving forest health and increasing productivity and diversity, along with the happenings of our farm and educational programs.

What a dry summer it’s been! We in fact are in severe drought, and our little town is the driest in all of New York. We’ve had a very poor year in the mushroom yard, and our sheep have been working hard for their forage.

We have gotten a lot of interest from folks in our short courses and we were hearing that many found the price and timing challenging – so we’ve responded by shortening our Forestry & Agroforestry course to be three days (August 13 – 15) and just $300.  This is a chance to learn from some of the most experienced foresters in the Northeast. See the schedule, posted below!

Our Fungi Cultivation & Foraging Short Course (September 16 – 20) will still be the full five days, as we want to accommodate the travel of the amazing and talented Tradd Cotter. This is one of the only appearances he is making in the Northeast, so don’t miss out!

Tradd was recently featured in a National Geographic video disussing the wide range of ways fungi can help solve some of the worlds most pressing challenges.

For the trees,
Steve & Elizabeth


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In the Woods
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As we teach and continue to learn from the woods, a common question that arises from students is, “what about invasive species?”

This is a complex and complicated issue, one that requires a multitude of approaches specific to a given place and time in the development of a forest. But, was is intriguing is that many scientists are starting to see that pesky plants and critters may achieve a balance over time, even the one many forest owners love to hate, Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata):


These new discoveries encourage us to pause and take a longer view of ecological succession over time. Forest decisions happen over multiple generations, not over a few years. Its part of a much larger cycle.

A highly recommended book toward a deeper understanding of these concepts is called A New Wild by Fred Pearce, which draws upon scientific research along with many real-world examples of how the dynamics so-called “invasive” species change and find balance over time.

Part of the conversation has to do with how we construct out views of what is “natural” and “native” to the forest. With all the changes in the land that have taken place (many at the hands of humans and through climate change), there is really no “original” or “primeval” forest type we can seek to exemplify.

Instead, one might consider the concept of novel ecosystems – which better describes the composition of so many of the landscapes around the world. Novel ecosystems according to one paper are, “…a unique assemblage of biota and environmental conditions that is the direct result of intentional or unintentional alteration by humans… sufficient to cross an ecological threshold that facilitates a new ecosystem trajectory and inhibits its return to a previous trajectory regardless of additional human intervention.”

Access the full paper here:
www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol19/iss2/art12/ES-2013-6192.pdf


In other words, “there ain’t no going back!” – much of invasive species talk, and forest management is considered in terms of the original species, composition, and structure of what was – instead, we might do better to look forward to what could be, as we manage forests for the future. 


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On the Farm
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In dealing with the incredibly dry conditions, we’ve been getting our sheep into the woods, and this month ask the question on our blog:

“40% of New York is in Drought, What do the trees have to say?”

READ the article here:


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Upcoming Events
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Forestry & Agroforestry Short Course
August 13 – 15
Mecklenburg, NY

3-day course - Learn forest ecology and management techniques for eastern woodlands by exploring old growth forests and visiting farms and nurseries practicing agroforestry, forest farming, and silvopasture in the Finger Lakes Region of New York.

Our instructors have spent decades studying forest & fungi ecology and developing skills to share with students through woods walks, hands-on demonstrations, and storytelling:

Steve Gabriel, co-author of Farming the Woods, will present forestry principles, tree assessment/measurements, and mushroom cultivation

Mike Demunn, renowned forester and conservationist for over thirty will lead forest walks share the ecology, history, and managing for wildlife.

Sean Dembrosky of Edible Acres nursery will teach us how to grow and maintain the next forest through tree planting, seed saving, and propagation techniques

Brett Chedzoy, extension forester and beef farmer will demonstrate methods to integrate regenerate livestock and forest management

Cost: $300 plus $50 if you wish to camp onsite, includes lunch each day.

SEE THE COURSE SCHEDULE AND REGISTER: http://events.wellspringforestfarm.com/

###

Fungi Cultivation & Foraging Short Course
September 16 – 20
Mecklenburg, NY

With Tradd Cotter and Steve Gabriel

Sign up by Friday, August 5 for a $50 discount on tuition

Explore the wondrous world of fungi and learn how to grow and forage mushrooms with Farming the Woods co-author Steve Gabriel and special guest instructor Tradd Cotter of Mushroom Mountain and author of Organic Mushrooms Farming & Mycoremediation.

During this 5-day intensive course participants will identify wild mushrooms and learn tree ID and forest ecology, inoculate logs, straw, and grain, learn low-tech propagation techniques, build a stormwater biofilter, create a styrofoam substitute, and, of course, cook and eat mushrooms.


SEE THE COURSE SCHEDULE AND REGISTER: http://events.wellspringforestfarm.com/

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Featured Steward
------------------------

The steward of the month is Tradd Cotter, a visionary mycologist who spends his time growing, researching, and teaching others about the wonders of fungi. Tradd is a passionate person whose love for mushrooms and enthusiasm make learning about fungi both enjoyable and accessible.

Tradd began like many mushroom growers, fascinated by the beauty and allure of fungi and interested mostly in culinary and edible uses. This started a learning journey over the last several decades where Tradd has perfected his craft in many aspects of cultivation and use, including developing new products like mushroom-infused beers, exploring the ways mushrooms can help clean our environment, and using mushrooms instead of pesticides in treating pests like fire ants.

He and his wife Olga run Mushroom Mountain, which in the past few years moved to a new facility and offers a variety of mushroom products and classes. He grows and sells edible mushrooms, mostly to help fund the research he really wants to do. He is constantly curious and playing with fungi, seeking new discoveries and new answers


Watch Tradd give a TED Talk about mushrooms: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14q2gMd9txE

Tradd will be the featured teacher of our Fungi Cultivation & Foraging Short Course from September 16 - 20.

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Quote of the Month:
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"Mushrooms are miniature pharmaceutical factories, and of the thousands of mushroom species in nature, our ancestors and modern scientists have identified several dozen that have a unique combination of talents that improve our health."

Paul Stamets

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“News from the Woods” is brought to you by:

Wellspring Forest Farm & School
leaving forests in our footsteps
Steve & Elizabeth Gabriel
Mecklenburg, NY
farmers@wellspringforestfarmcom


Let us know what you think!


To subscribe, please visit news.wellspringforestfarm.com and simply enter your email. Or you can email stevegabrielfarmer@gmail.com with “SUBSCRIBE” as the subject line, and we will add you to the list!

To unsubscribe, please send an email with the subject “UNSUBSCRIBE ME” to stevegabrielfarmer@gmail.com



Tuesday, July 12, 2016

40% of New York is in a Drought: What do the trees have to say?

Areas in brown are classified "moderate drought"

Drought conditions really shine a light in the dark corners of the farm, illuminating the aspects of our systems that are most vulnerable. At our best, we can learn from the lessons presented before us, and at our worst we crumble in fear and let our daily anxiety overwhelm us.

Droughts, floods, and crop failure are nothing new for humanity and especially not for farmers. The choice we have is to be better prepared to anticipate these inevitable extremes the next time around. With all the incredible and innovative people getting into farming I have a lot of hope – yet we must have the difficult conversations and daylight our weaknesses and vulnerabilities as well as celebrate our strengths.

Farming teaches us that there can’t be a single catch-all solution to a problem, but instead we must draw up a range of strategies to keep things moving ahead. And while our farm has its fair share of tanks, pumps, and infrastructure to store, hold, and move water where we need it, we always go back to the biological systems, to examine and explore the stories they have to tell us.


It’s remarkable that trees and woody plants hardly look different this year. Sure, there is sometimes some wilting, and new growth is certainly diminished – but overall the trees, and especially the forest, look remarkably the same whether it’s a dry, normal, or wet year.

There is a lot of research, along with human experience, to back up the benefits of trees and forested ecosystems in the context of a more dynamic climate, and one has to go no further than their local woodlot or preserve to see it firsthand. Our fields are brown and parched, our gardens wilting were it not for the irrigation, and yet the forest stands true and tall, doing its thing.

We planted trees in our pasture when we first arrived four years ago. We’ve seen over decades of tree planting that a proper hole, along with more intensive care (water, reducing weed pressure, nutrients) during the first three years gives most trees a foothold to thrive and take care of themselves. Considering that these trees could live for decades if not hundreds of years makes the investment a good one.

This season, the Willows, Red Alders, and Black Locust were finally above browse height so the sheep could graze amongst them. The trees were like a magnet; the sheep spend time digesting their forages in their shade, and they put extra effort into grabbing onto the lower branches and stripping the leaves with their teeth. The woody plants provide good nutrients and extra tannins, which can help reduce parasite issues in our flock. 

Trees and woody vegetation, though, have a slower recovery time. We certainly need pasture with its fast growing grasses and forbs as the mainstay of our sheep’s diet. Yet as we make our second rotation around the farm, those forages are almost non-existent in these conditions. We’ve taken to carving paths through our field edges and hedgerows- mostly packed with thick shrubby vegetation like honeysuckle and multi-flora rose – and the sheep love it! Most remarkable is the mutual offering of food and shade these marginal spaces offer. Plus there is a labor savings for us – we haven’t moved our portable shade shelter in six weeks, because the sheep don’t need it.

There are even more unseen benefits of trees and woodlands on our farm – most notably in this dry time the difference in air humidity from pasture to forest. Mature trees cycle hundreds of gallons of water per day, though their roots and our their shoots, a necessary release that is part of the photosynthetic process. Our sheep shelter doesn’t provide an ambient cooling system.

In a time of stress and vulnerability, trees are showing us the way, and providing our animals shelter, food, and air conditioning. They offer us a signpost of a way forward; we just have to figure out the kinks of how trees can be integrated into our farm in a way that still allows us to move fence, machinery, and animals efficiently.  For instance, we began planting trees on contoured rows about 30 feet apart – only to realize that our sheep prefer wider alleys more like 45 – 60 feet apart. Part of planting trees is letting some go – recognizing that this process of growing, dying, changing is all part of the dance.

As we evaluate our choices, systems, and preparedness in the wake of this very hard year for land and farming, one element has become clear; trees and wooded areas will continue to become more and more a part of the farm. We continue to see the benefits, not only in dry times but also in times of excessive rain – the climate change phenomenon some say we are more likely to experience.

Related to all this is a discovery that the marginal edges of the farm – the overgrown hedgerows and thickets of thorny brush – offer respite and a largely undervalued resource. These areas haven’t been maintained in the past because the land was managed with a tractor – and this vegetation persists where it’s awkward or unfeasible for the tractor to go. When we traced the lines of these spaces in Google Earth we found that we have several more acres of pasture available – we just have to begin managing it.

The intentional management of trees in a farm setting is known as Agroforestry.

As we continue investing in trees, we are expanding our palette of species, to match the various areas of the farm and continue our process of reforesting the farm for the multitude of benefits offered. IN addition to the early success stories of the locust, alder, and willow, we are bringing Hybrid Poplar, Sycamore, Birch, Elderberry, Aronia, Paw Paw, and more into the wet riparian areas of the farm, so that we can support healthy water ecology both in times of dry and wet.  We are clearing brush and leaving behind the native White Pines, Hawthornes, Maples, Oaks, and Hickories that persist, thinning them only enough so that we can establish and understory of grazing forages on the woodland floor.

In this way, each time we experience extreme weather, our farm will be more ready to respond. Each year, as the systems grow, there is more invested in that stable, reliable character the forests and its trees offer. And we are confident that any farm producing any range of products would benefit from the addition of trees to its layout – we just have to work out the details.

See agroforestry systems in action at several farms, along with an in-depth study of forest ecology in some of the most diverse forests in North America during the Forestry & Agroforestry Short Course at Wellspring Forest Farm August 12 – 16. 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Forestry & Agroforestry Short Course Aug 13 - 15



Wellspring Forest Farm & School in Mecklenburg, NY is pleased to offer a 5-day short course in Forestry &Agroforestry this August 13 - 15 in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York.

Our instructors have spent decades studying forest & fungi ecology and developing management skills to share with students through woods walks, hands-on demonstrations, and storytelling.

Students will learn the overarching patterns and processes of forests and fungi, as well as take home practical skills they can immediately use on their own acreage or projects.

Courses are hosted at Wellspring Forest Farm & School, a living example of productive and restorative agroforestry farming that features forest and indoor mushroom production, rotational grazing of ducks and sheep, and production of forest products including maple and elderberry syrup.


SEE THE COURSE SCHEDULE & REGISTER at events.wellspringforestfarm.com

Friday, June 17, 2016

June "News from the Woods"


News from the Woods

a monthly digest of resources, events, and people

in forestry & agroforestry



June 2016








Greetings!



Welcome to the June edition from Wellspring Forest Farm and School. Each month, we share useful information about methods for improving forest health and increasing productivity and diversity, along with the happenings of our farm and educational programs.



We are excited to announce our short courses for this season – each of these workshops offer a 5-day immersion into the topic and feature hands-on experiential learning on our farm and in a number of incredible forests in the Finger Lakes region of New York



Scroll down to learn more about these offerings:


Forestry & Agroforestry Short Course
       August 12 - 16

Fungi Cultivation & Foraging Short Course       September 16 - 20





For the trees,

Steve & Elizabeth





-------------------

In the Woods

-------------------



June begins the season for wild mushrooms, which will show up as the weather warms. Wild mushroom foraging is an wonderful way to get to know the woods, as it requires careful attention to forest ecology, as well as the awareness of the subtleties of the forested landscape where mushrooms find a home.



While it can initially feel overwhelming to learn the proper identification of mushrooms, you don’t need to learn EVERY mushroom you encounter. Most mushrooms you encounter in the woods are neither edible/medicinal nor poisonous. So while there are literally thousands of species out there, to become a competent and safe forage, one has to really only get to know a few dozen species.



Here are a few tips to get started:



1. Start by learning the best edible and medicinal species in your area. A few good ones commonly found in the Northeast US include Morels, Chicken-of-The-Woods, Maitake, Chanterelle’s, Reishi (pictured above), Puffballs, and Oyster. There are others, but this list is a good starting point.



2. Then learn the potential look-alikes that could be harmful.

Some species include the “Death Angel” and other Aminita mushrooms, Jack O’ Lantern mushrooms, and several of the Russula species.



Of the list above, Morels, Chanterelles, and Oysters are the ones you are mostly likely get confused with another species.



3. Pay careful attention to not just “what” you find, but “where”.

Many beginners just grab mushrooms and don’t use their observation skills to capture all the clues needed to properly ID a mushroom. Consider the following when you find a mushroom:



-       Was the mushroom growing on the ground, or in wood?

-       What tree species was it growing on or around?

-       What forest type was it found in?

-       Was it growing by itself or in clusters?

-       What is the color of the cap? Gills? Stem?

-       Does the mushroom have a ring (aka annulus)?



Proper collection, storage, and documentation is important if you want to get a good ID on a mushroom. Read more here: www.mushroomexpert.com/collecting.html



Use a key like this one from MushroomExpert.com to figure out the possible species: http://mushroomexpert.com/major_groups.html





4. Learn from Others.

Mushroom foraging is not an activity to do alone. Find others who have been learning the language and learn from them.



Several expects around the Northeast offer walks and help you learn how to do proper identification. Some of my favorite folks include:



Catskill Fungi – John is a wonderful guy and knowledgeable forager and leads a lot of walks in the Catskill region of New York: www.catskillfungi.com



The Mushroom Forager  – Based in VT, Ari and Jenna offer a wonderful blog and photo library, as well as guided walks around the region. I love their “forage cast” which comes with their blog posts and helps update foragers on the species we are most likely to find in   given time of year. http://themushroomforager.com/



The North American Mycological Association (NAMA) has many chapters of folks around that get together to find and identity fungi: http://www.namyco.org/





Also, see our events page: events.wellspringforestfarm.com for several events that include foraging walks, including:



-       Our July 26th “Forest Talks” hike, which will feature a foraging class with Olga Tzogas from Smugtown Mushrooms (http://www.smugtownmushrooms.com/)



-       The 5-day Fungi Cultivation & Foraging Short Course from September 16 -20 will offer several forays with Steve and Tradd Cotter from Mushroom Mountain .http://mushroommountain.com/



-       Steve will lead a Fall Fungi Walk with the Finger Lakes Land Trust on September 24: http://fllt.org/events/fall-fungi-walk-with-steve-gabriel/





More can be found about these events at: events.wellspringforestfarm.com





DISCLAIMER:

Of course, when in doubt – throw it out! Articles, books, and advice are not perfect – you need to be absolutely sure you know what you have before consuming a mushroom!





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On the Farm

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Shiitake log soaking is underway! A great companion to wild foraging mushrooms as discussed above is to grow your own. Of the mushrooms one can grow, log shiitake has proven to be the most reliable, as one could produce mushrooms weekly from June  - October in the Northeast US. The process that allows for this to occur is known as “shocking” or “forcing” inoculated hardwood logs in order to get them to fruit.



We soak about 120 logs each week and produce anywhere from 20- 40 lbs which we deliver to CSA members and restaurants. Our ability to reliably fruit shiitake on logs is the cornerstone of our forest farm business.



Here is a link for a youtube video more about forcing logs. You’ll notice that the page offers a list of several videos to help you get starting in shiitake growing on your own:







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Upcoming Events

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We are pleased to announce two short courses for the summer that will enhance your understanding of forest ecology and equip farmers, landowners, and educators with the tools to manage their forested lands for productivity and sustainability.



**SPECIAL OFFERS**



Sign up for either course by July 8 and receive a free copy of Farming the Woods.



Sign up for both courses anytime and save $150 and receive free camping, and a free copy of Farming the Woods.





Forestry & Agroforestry Short Course

August 12 - 16

Learn forest ecology and management techniques for eastern woodlands from Farming the Woods co-author Steve Gabriel and renowned forester Mike Demunn along with tree propagation and nursery techniques from Sean Dembrosky of Edible Acres.

Visit local old growth and heritage forests and farms and practice tree ID, stand assessment, marking, and felling techniques. Learn about forest medicinals, and visit farms practicing silvopasture and mushroom cultivation.

This course is designed for woodland owners, famers, extension professionals, Permaculturists, and homesteaders who want to gain a better understanding of the intricacies of management in northeastern woodlands and build their skills in forest mapping, stand assessment, tree selection, and removal of trees with minimal damage.



Cost: $550 includes lunch each day, plus $50 if camping onsite









Fungi Cultivation & Foraging Short Course

September

16 - 20

Explore the wondrous world of fungi and learn how to grow and forage mushrooms with Farming the Woods co-author Steve Gabriel and special guest instructor Tradd Cotter of Mushroom Mountain and author of Organic Mushrooms Farming & Mycoremediation.

During this 5-day intensive course participants will identify wild mushrooms and learn tree ID and forest ecology, inoculate logs, straw, and grain, learn low-tech propagation techniques, build a stormwater biofilter, create a styrofoam substitute, and, of course, cook and eat mushrooms.

Participants will build their skills in mushroom identification, cultivation, and propagation and leave the course with mushrooms to grow at home.

Cost: $600 includes lunch each day and lots of fungi to take home, plus $50 if camping onsite (optional)








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Quote of the Month:

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“The clearest way into the Universe

is through a forest wilderness.”
John Muir



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“News from the Woods” is brought to you by:



Wellspring Forest Farm & School

leaving forests in our footsteps

Steve & Elizabeth Gabriel

Mecklenburg, NY


farmers@wellspringforestfarmcom





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