Sunday, April 2, 2017

Spring News: Free Article on Wild Leeks, New Farm Video, and Upcoming Classes

News from the Woods

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

MARCH 2017 (yes, we know it’s April!)


We are a little late getting the news out this month due to a busy maple sugaring season. Thanks for your patience and there will be another update later in April in addition to this one.

This month, we offer another FREE article download about Wild Leeks, or Ramps; which many love to forage from the woods. Enjoy this spring treat but harvest with care!

Also excited to share our new FARM VIDEO now live on the homepage of the website and on our YouTube channel. The video is under 5 minutes and gives a brief overview of our farm and school, with some great shots from former apprentice Costa.

We encourage you to immerse yourself in one of our summer programs, which get you out into the woods and give you skills to better steward the forested lands around you. This month we feature the Farming the Forest 3- day workshop in June, which we are running with Edible Acres owner and plant guru Sean Dembrosky. Read on and consider joining us this summer! Sign up by May 1 and get 10% off tuition by using the code: ENEWSMARCH

Also in June, Steve will teach a weekend workshop called “Gifts from the Forest” at the OMEGA Institute June 9 - 11 in Rhinebeck, NY. Read more about that course here:

For the trees,

Steve & Elizabeth

In the Woods


Wild Leeks Welcome Us to Spring, but Need Careful Harvesting

“Anyone who has come across the ramp, or Wild Leek, Allium tricoccum, likely cannot help but feel a sense of abundance; these amazing plants often show up in clusters that can range from a few square feet to a solid quarter acre or more of green. It’s a welcome gift of the forest in this time of year, as the forest wakes up from a long winter’s nap.”


On the Farm

We have a new video about our farm!

Our deep thanks to former apprentice and talented filmmaker Costa Boustikaris for making this.

 Costa is currently traveling around the world documenting forest cultures in a series of short videos called “Woodlanders” which you can view here:

Upcoming Events

See all our programs at:

Farming the Forest
3 day Short Course - JUNE 23 - 25
with Sean Dembrosky and Steve Gabriel

Discover the possibilities of growing a range of food and medicine in marginal woodlands, hedgerows, and wet places. Explore growing edible mushrooms, elderberry, perennial vegetables, berries, and nuts in temperate woodlands on both a homestead and farm scale.

This course is facilitated by Steve Gabriel of Wellspring Forest Farm, along with Sean Dembrosky of Edible Acres. Both have over a decade experience in managing productive small scale agroforestry systems and share their land projects with participants as a living classroom.

Topics covered include:

    •    nursery techniques
    •    low-tech tree propagation
    •    mushroom cultivation
    •    biochar production
    •    integrating animals in the woods

This course is designed for woodland owners, famers, extension professionals, permaculturists, and homesteaders who want to gain a better understanding of the intricacies of forest management and build their skills in the management of productive woodlands.

$300 includes lunch each day
$50 to camp onsite, 

or book our spacious yurt on the farm

SIGN UP BY MAY 1 and get 10% off!


Gifts From the Forest
Growing Food & Medicine While Tending the Woods
June 09, 2017 – June 11, 2017
Rhinebeck, NY

Take a stroll through the woods and you may find berries for your smoothie,

mushrooms for your stir fry, syrup for your pancakes, and bark for a medicinal tea—all in your own backyard.

Walking the aisles of nature’s supermarket isn’t as easy as going to the grocery store, but you can learn how to harvest and grow a range of trees, plants, and mushrooms right outside your door to supplement your diet and support your health.

Guided by Steve Gabriel, coauthor of Farming the Woods, we learn to observe the forest to find natural patterns to replicate in our own farms, gardens, or yards. We explore the trees, plants, and mushrooms that support human health and the health of the woods. We learn proper planting techniques and how to inoculate logs with shiitake mushrooms.

As we connect more deeply with the place we call home, we regenerate the forest ecosystem of which we’re all a part.

Learn more and register:


Quote of the Month:

“Eat leeks in March and wild garlic in May

And all year after physicians may play.”


- Old Welsh Rhyme


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

Wellspring Forest Farm & School

leaving forests in our footsteps

Steve & Elizabeth Gabriel

Mecklenburg, NY

To subscribe, please visit and simply enter your email. Or you can email 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

Saturday, February 18, 2017

February News from the Woods: Article on Maple Sap, Announcing 2017 Programs

February 2017

Greetings and Happy February, the SAP IS FLOWING!

This month we offer another FREE article encouraging you to tap even just a few trees, and embark on a journey humans have participated in for thousands of years; drinking tree sap as a nutritious, delicious, and refreshing way to welcome spring.

Also this month, we are excited to announce our 2017 lineup of workshops and events! You can visit the farm during maple weekend, take an online forestry foundations course, or plan a summer trip to the beautiful Finger Lakes region to attend one of our courses on farming the forest, knife and tool sharpening, and more.

We also highlight the amazing work of a previous farm apprentice, Costa Boutsikaris, who has come out with a new series of short films as part of his “Woodlanders” project. You can view these videos for FREE and consider helping support their production.

And finally, we are now taking applications for our Summer Agroforestry Apprentice Training Program, which happens from June – October. Each summer a small group experiences hands-on learning and build their farm and forestry skills, all while participating in our day-to-day activities and attending all of the workshops we offer.


For the trees,
Steve & Elizabeth

In the Woods

NEW ARTICLE: Tapping for Sap

Tree saps have long been viewed as a spring tonic by many cultures around the globe. They are loaded with minerals, nutrients, enzymes, antioxidants, phenolic compounds, and more.

Sap can be drank straight from the tree of course, but can also be used to make a wonderful carbonated beverage with a home soda-maker.

Simply replace the water with sap, adding as much or as little carbonation as you'd like. It can also be utilized for cooking in soup, stews, and other recipes that call for water. It also makes a wonderful base for brewing beers and coffee beverages.


On the Farm

Come visit us! We will be open for the New York State Maple Producer’s Association during the annual event celebrating the state’s maple farms:

MAPLE WEEKEND – March 18 & 19

Join us for tours of the farm and sugarshack, taste sap and syrup, and take home our special maple flight!

Saturday features tours at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, and 2:30pm, live music, a local farm and craft market, and delicious wood-fired pizzas from our friends at The Rusty Oven.

Sunday is open for casual visitors to the sugarshack and will feature an Introduction to Log-Grown Shiitake class from 11am - 1pm. For $40 per person, learn how to make your own mushroom logs, and take one home

Announcing our 2017 Workshops!

In offering educational opportunities, we aim to build students knowledge and relationship to the forested landscape, empowering them with skills and tools so they can become better stewards of woodlands and trees.

We are blessed to have an incredible lineup of guest teachers joining us for the following hikes and workshops:

 The Forest Talks , A series of Guided Hikes
1st Wednesdays from May through October 5:00 - 8:00pm

Farming the Forest , 3 day Short Course
JUNE 23 – 25 with Sean Dembrosky of Edible Acres and Steve Gabriel

Knife and Tool Sharpening Skills Weekend Workshop
July 8 & 9 with Wolf Eric Bravo

Forest Ecology & Management, 3 day Short Course
August 19 – 20 with Mike Demunn (Da’ Ha’ da’ nyah) and Steve Gabriel

Fungi Cultivation & Foraging , 3-day Short Course
September 22 – 24 with Olga Tzogas and Steve Gabriel

Each of our short courses includes access to our online course, which can also be taken as a stand alone experience from anywhere in the world:

Foundations of Forest Stewardship Online Course
Course is available beginning May 1, 2017


Resource Spotlight: “Woodlanders” Video Series

WOODLANDERS is a new online film series that seeks to document the work of people who care for and depend on forests for their livelihood and well-being throughout the world. The films are created by former farm apprentice Costa Boutsikaris, who is a remarkable filmmaker.

The first episode features forester Mike DeMunn, who is a close friend and leads many of our hikes and our short course:

The second film features our amazing basket maker friend and neighbor, Jamin Uticone, who creates "baskets of time":

Check out these amazing shorts (under 20 minutes) and consider supporting this great project through a subscription. Costa tells us he plans on traveling to England to document woodland practices if he can reach his fundraising goal.

Quote of the Month:


I have never seen a reason why every farmer should not have a  sugar orchard, as well as an apple orchard. “

-- Thomas Jefferson


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

Wellspring Forest Farm & School

leaving forests in our footsteps

Steve & Elizabeth Gabriel

Mecklenburg, NY

To subscribe, please visit and simply enter your email. Or you can email 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

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Now taking applications for our Summer Apprenticeship Training Program

Our apprenticeship training program is designed to train participants in the art and science of forest ecology, and equip them with practical skills and experience in management of productive agroforestry systems as they learn from experienced foresters and farmers.

We focus on taking the time to support individual learning and skill building in this four-month experiential educational program.

“This program is a completely immersive experience into the world of agroforestry. Time spent cultivating mushrooms, learning proper chainsaw use, rotationally grazing sheep, and learning forestry principles left a profound impact on my life. I learned and grew more than I ever could have hoped.”  -- Wyatt, 2016 Participant

During the summer program, trainees live on-farm or commute to the site two days a week and learn by engaging in the production of mushrooms, duck eggs, pastured lamb, and small fruits. 


Apprentices also participate in all our educational programming and learn skills, including chainsaw safety and use of a scythe and other hand tools.


Learning on a working forest farm broadens understanding of forest farming, agroforestry, permaculture, and forest gardening systems, providing training in the technical and business skills required to run a small farm or homestead.

The Summer session runs June 1 - October 1 with work days on Mondays and Thursdays each week. End date is flexible.

Learn more:

Friday, January 6, 2017

2016 Recap: News from the Woods

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

2016 in Review

Past articles and issues at:

Rather than offer brand new content this month, we thought we would revisit the range stories we shared with you this year, in case you missed a resource we shared or want to revisit a topic that interested you.

In 2016, we offered articles on a number of topics including harvesting wild leeks, navigating the complex world of medicinal fungi, mushroom foraging tips, and the amazing ability of dried mushrooms to accumulate vitamin D from sunlight. Find links to these, and more, below.

Our goal with this newsletter, which just started this past May, is to provide useful and relevant information in the areas of farming, forestry, and agroforesry, along with updates on the offerings of Wellspring Forest Farm & School. Let us know how we are doing!

We offer this monthly through email, though you can view the newsletter at our website anytime, with a bit more flair (pretty pictures) at:

In the coming year, we are excited to share stories on small scale logging, maple syrup (and sap) production, and of course, much more on mushrooms, as well as an exciting round of workshops and events we are currently planning.

We want to wish you and yours a safe and happy year ahead, and hope that together we can work to improve the health of the environment, the dignity of all people, and the viability of farming and homesteading for all. 

For the trees,
Steve & Elizabeth

2016 Recap


We talked about the properties of Ephemeral plants in the woods, including Wild Leeks, or Ramps (Allium tricoccum).  We have an article on the Farming the Woods blog about the dangers in overharvesting these amazing plants:

Our 14-week Mushroom CSA was launched, where local residents to the Ithaca/Trumansburg/Watkins Glen areas of the finger lakes in New York can access fresh shiitake, oyster, and other mushrooms from our farm and forage from the newby woods. We are taking orders for our 2017 season, now!


We shared some basic tips on Wild Foraging Mushrooms in a post, which is now a free downloadable PDF article available at

We announced our series of 3-day short courses, which will return in 2017. We cover topics such as forestry, fungi, and agroforestry, and plan to announce dates and themes for this year in late January 2017, so stay tuned!

For now, we are accepting applications for our 2017 apprenticeship training program and have also posted the dates for our Maple Weekend, March 18 & 19 


Our newsletter explored the popular questions around invasive species:


We shared about our experience with the historic drought, in an article called: “40% of New York is in Drought, What do the trees have to say?”

We released an article to help explain the complicated world of medicinal mushrooms, to help others navigate the decision making process.

And we explored the benefits of dehydrating mushrooms in the sun in an article titled, “Storing Sunlight for Winter: The Amazing Ability of Mushrooms to Accumulate Vitamin D

Get these articles FREE at

Also in OCTOBER…

We announced the writing of Steve’s new book, Silvopasture, which explores the beneficial ways animals and trees can work together.

Read more at:


We reflected on the common values and beliefs that our country must agree on to move forward; recommitting to the work we do as one part of the solution.  

Our ONLINE STORE opened for the season, with offerings of our products including dried shiitake, shiitake seasoning, elderberry extract, maple syrup, books, and sheep hides. Still some items left from our 2016 harvest!

Quote of the Month:

To cherish what remains of the Earth and

 to foster its renewal is our only legitimate
 hope of survival.

― Wendell Berry

News from the Woods” is brought to you by:

Wellspring Forest Farm & School
leaving forests in our footsteps

Steve & Elizabeth Gabriel
Mecklenburg, NY

Let us know what you think!

To subscribe, please visit and simply enter your email. Or you can email 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