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The Cornell Small Farms Program is offering a one-day workshop this winter in eight locations around New York State titled:

Log-Grown Shiitake: Economics and Management for a Profitable Crop

The cultivation of shiitake mushrooms offers farmers and woodlot owners a good opportunity to utilize their forested lands while turning a profit. Start up costs are low, and previous Cornell research indicates that profitability can be achieved in the second or third year of dedicated production. As with any farming venture, viability is achieved with good business planning and attention to strategies which minimize costs and optimize efficiency.

Anyone who a resident of New York State or who farms in New York  and is growing commercially, starting a new enterprise, or considering commercial production is welcome to attend. The workshop content will cover aspects of production important to selling mushrooms in New York, including safety, sanitation, marketing, and regulations. Learn more about cultivation at: http://cornellmushrooms.org/factsheets

Those who attend one of the workshops or the online livestream are eligible to participate in an advanced training group and receive one-on-one support for the 2018 growing season. Details of this opportunity will be provided at the workshop.

DATES & LOCATIONS:

Friday, January 19 at the Wyoming County Extension, 36 Center St. Suite B, Warsaw, NY 14569

Saturday, January 20 at the Schuyler County Extension, 323 Owego St, Montour Falls, New York 14865

Friday, January 26 at Clearpool Model Forest, 33 Clearpool Rd, Carmel Hamlet, NY 10512

Saturday, January 27 at Project Farmhouse, 76 East 13th Street, New York, NY 10003

Friday, February 2 at NYS Fairgrounds, 581 State Fair Blvd; Syracuse, New York 13209

Saturday, February 3 at Jefferson County Cooperative Extension, 203 N Hamilton St, Watertown, NY 13601

Friday, February 16 at the Agroforestry Resource Center, 6055 NY-23, Acra, NY 12405

Saturday, February 17 at the Whallonsburg Grange Hall, 1610 NY-22, Essex, NY 12936

LIVE WEBINAR TRAINING: Friday, March 2nd online (access anywhere with a high-speed connection)

See a Map of the locations: https://www.easymapmaker.com/map/2018LogShiitakeWorkshops

Workshops run from 9am to 4pm, with a catered lunch included.

To Register: visit www.cornellmushrooms.org/viability

Cost: $30/person includes lunch and handouts. (online livestream 3/2 is $20)
(no person turned away for lack of funds- contact sfg53@cornell.edu for info.)

Funding for this project is provided by the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant and administered through the New York Farm Viability Institute.

CONTACT:
Steve Gabriel
Agroforestry Extension Specialist
Cornell Small Farms Program
sfg53@cornell.edu

The Cornell Small Farms Program is seeking feedback from farmers for a proposal they have drafted in cooperation with New York Farm Bureau to change laws governing the legal dehydration of farm and home-grown mushrooms in the state. Currently, growers must obtain a 20C food processing license in order to process and sell mushrooms legally. The proposal seeks to add “home and farm-grown mushrooms” to the list of approved foods under New York’s Home Processing law: http://www.agriculture.ny.gov/fs/consumer/processor.html

Farmers as asked to register their interest and support, as well as comment on the language of the proposal through a short survey. Farmers can access the survey at:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VD62JL8

 

The proposal currently reads:

 

PROPOSAL TO AMEND AG & MARKETS LAW REGARDING MUSHROOM DEHYDRATION

 

WHEREAS, the cultivation of mushrooms on logs, straw, and other agricultural materials is becoming an important niche crop for farmers in New York.

WHEREAS, dried mushrooms are a high-value product that offers the farmer an additional product for sale and relief of the pressure to sell an entire crop fresh

WHEREAS, research has shown that mushrooms exposed to UV radiation (sunlight) for at last five hours increase in Vitamin D content 200 – 300%

WHEREAS, currently New York Regulations prohibit dehydration of mushrooms in home kitchens and require that growers use a 20C kitchen for this activity

WHEREAS, the risks of contamination from dehydrating mushrooms are very low to non-existent

WHEREAS, Cornell Small Farms Program and the northeast Food Venture Center are developing clear protocols for the safe harvest, processing, and dehydration of home and farm-grown mushrooms

 

THEREFORE, it is proposed that Section 276.3 of the New York State Agriculture and Markets regulations is amended to include “home and farm-grown dried mushrooms” as an eligible home processed food.

 

 

Questions can be directed to Steve Gabriel, Extension Agroforestry Specialist at sfg53@cornell.edu

shiitakesmallFor many growers, 2016 is turning out to be a tough year for growing mushrooms.
 
We would like to ask that active mushroom growers take 10 – 15 minutes to share your experience via our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TZK57QB
 
By sharing, you help us better learn about the concerns and considerations for growers in dry and drought conditions. We all benefit from sharing our experience with one another.
 
We will compile responses received by AUGUST 1, 2016 and share them via an article on www.CornellMushrooms.org. Each person who completes a survey will be emailed the results directly.
 
Please share the survey with any growers you know!
 

DSCN4343June 3 – 4
Hidden Valley Camp, Watkins Glen NY
Friday 5 – 9pm, Saturday 9 am – 4pm

Camp Mushroom is Cornell University’s annual two-day event for farmers, woodlot owners, and hobby growers who want to cultivate their own shiitake, oyster, lions mane, and stropharia mushrooms. This year marks the 11th year of the course, as forest mushroom cultivation blossoms in the northeast as a new small farm industry. You can read more about mushroom cultivation at www.CornellMushrooms.org.

This course is geared for those interest in the commercial production of mushrooms. Participants will be trained in four methods of mushroom cultivation; shiitake on bolts, lions mane/oyster on totems, oysters on straw, and stropharia in woodchip beds. In addition, laying yard and management considerations along with the economics of production will be covered. Each participant will also inoculate a shiitake bolt to take home. Anyone who wants to get into mushroom growing as a serious pursuit should not miss out on this opportunity to learn from experienced growers and researchers who will present for this event.

The workshop will take place at the Hidden Valley Camp, nestled in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of NY and adjacent to the world-renowned Watkins Glen State Park.

Participants can choose to set up a tent or use a cabin (bunk beds) on site or commute from their locale or a motel. For any extra $25/person, participants are welcome to stay at the camp Saturday night and enjoy the scenic areas on their own Sunday. (no meals)

Schedule:


Friday: 6pm Dinner, Program from 7 – 10pm
Saturday: 8am Breakfast, Program from 9 – 3pm (with lunch)
Saturday afternoon: depart or stay at the camp on your own and explore the area Sunday.

COST: $125 for overnight guests (primitive cabin or tent), $75 for commuters: Includes Friday dinner and breakfast and lunch on Saturday, featuring mushrooms and local farm foods.

REGISTRATION LINK

Note: You will be sent to a registration form to fill out. Once this is complete you will get a link for payment. YOU ARE NOT CONSIDERED REGISTERED WITHOUT SUBMITTING PAYMENT.

The Cornell Small Farms Program, in partnership with the eXtension Forest Farming network, announce a new series of short videos that detail forest cultivation of lions mane, oyster, and wine cap stropharia mushrooms.

The videos detail two methods of cultivation in a series of short clips. The first is known as the “totem” method, where logs are cut in short sections and mushroom mycelium is layered between sections of log:

Introduction

Totem Inoculation Procedure

Totem Colonization and Fruiting

The second series outlines “bed” inoculation, where mushroom mycelium of the wine cap stropharia are layered along with sawdust, woodchips, or straw. This is one of the easier forms of cultivation that can be integrated with other plantings in the forest or garden:

Strohpharia Intro

Stropharia Inoculation

These videos are a companion to the previously published series where Cornell professor emeritus Ken Mudge details log-grown shiitake production, the most potentially profitable of the three from a commercial standpoint:

Cornell University also offers free printable factsheets on totem and strophaia cultivation, as well as a comprehensive guidebook on shiitake cultivation, all available at CornellMushrooms.org.

In addition to mushrooms, the eXtension Forest Farming network also has a vast array of videos on the cultivation of other forest products such as maple syrup, ginseng, wasabi, and much more. These videos can be easily viewed through their YouTube website.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 30, 2015

 

ITHACA, NY – The Cornell Small Farms Program announces a new development in the emerging log-grown mushroom industry; New York State has officially designated “actively managed log-grown woodland mushrooms” within the meaning of the term “crops, livestock and livestock products,” for purposes of provisions of law relating to agricultural districts.

The bill, introduced by Bill Magee in the Assembly and sponsored by Senator Patricia Ritchie in the Senate, was signed by Governor Cuomo in September and means that farmers will be able to designate lands used for cultivation as agricultural, leading to tax breaks and other benefits. The provision further clarifies that mushrooms are seen as a significant agricultural crop and designates the intentional farming of mushrooms from wild harvesting.

Forest mushroom cultivation has recently been growing in popularity among farmers, due to the abundance of forest resources and the relative low-cost of startup operations. Cornell University has led an effort to develop both cultivation procedures as well as look at the economics of production. A 2009 – 2012 research grant, where Cornell partnered with University of Vermont and Chatham University, found that farmers could make a profit in year two and make $9,000 in profit with a 500 log operation over five years.

The legislative effort was led by Steve Sierigk of Hawk Meadow Farms in Hector NY, Steve Gabriel, Agroforestry Specialist for Cornell Small Farms Program, and Lindsay Wickham, Area Field Supervisor for New York Farm Bureau. The Farm Bureau drafted language and worked with assembly members to introduce and ultimately pass the bill.

“Our deep appreciation goes to the NY Farm Bureau for their continued efforts on behalf of farmers, “ notes Gabriel, “Along with the economic and environmental benefits of log-grown mushrooms, we can now offer further benefit to New York farmers in the form of tax incentives for growing.”

The Cornell Small Farms Program offers research and outreach on cultivation strategies and policy work, including factsheets, videos, and an online course in mushroom cultivation. These items can be found at www.cornellmushrooms.org.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Steve Gabriel

Extension Agroforestry Specialist

Cornell Small Farms Program

www.CornellMushrooms.org

607.342.2825

sfg53@cornell.edu

 

Lindsay Wickham

Area Field Supervisor

New York Farm Bureau

3348 Coykendall Rd. Watkins Glen, NY 14891

607-535-3072

www.nyfb.org

LWickham@NYFB.org

 

CSFP_logo_v3a_windmill_chix NYFB_logo1_R_lg copy

Nationwide

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 15, 2015

ITHACA, NY – The Cornell Small Farms Program announces a new development specific to the emerging industry of forest mushroom cultivation, where work between Small Farms, New York Farm Bureau, and Nationwide Insurance has confirmed that insurance policies are available immediately to outdoor, forest mushroom farmers in temperate regions of the United States.

Forest mushroom cultivation has recently been growing in popularity in these regions, due to the abundance of forest resources and the relative low-cost of startup operations. Forest cultivated mushrooms offer an excellent quality and high nutritional value food crop and are gaining popularity around the temperate regions of the US.

Growers interested in cultivation have sometimes found one major hurdle; insurance companies would deny or drop coverage upon learning the farm was planning on mushroom cultivation, mostly over fears of the liability incurred with wrongful identification of a mushroom species or with the sanitary conditions associated with cultivation.

Steve Gabriel, Agroforestry specialist for Cornell Small Farms, began conversations with Lindsay Wickham, who is area field supervisor for New York Farm Bureau. Wickham and Gabriel then approached Michael Reisinger, with Nationwide Insurance, to discuss the issue. In conversations it became apparent that the major hurdle was simply that insurance carriers were unfamiliar with the crop, and once informed of the process could see that forest mushroom cultivation is no more risky than any other vegetable or fruit crop. Further, any concerns about incorrect identification of a species can be easily alleviated with a simple test, called spore printing.

“We are very appreciative of the willingness of NY Farm Bureau, Michael, and Nationwide in their work to understand the specifics of the operation,” says Gabriel. “Their support is a valuable asset to the development of this niche crop. Growers around the Eastern and Midwestern US are breathing a collective sign of relief as they are now better able to develop this sustainable farming operation.”

This effort offers an example of how industry, extension, advocacy organizations, and private business can come together in the spirit of supporting the development of small diversified farming and niche crops. Growers interested in obtaining insurance for forest mushroom cultivation are encouraged to contact Michael directly, who services much of the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states. Michael is able to meet any producers on their farm to assess their needs and insurability or refer growers to an agent locally if necessary.

The Cornell Small Farms Program offers research and outreach on cultivation strategies and policy work. The program plans to offer an online tutorial in 2015 to train growers in the basics of mushroom identification and sanitary cultivation. Like a defensive driving course, this training will offer more assurance that forest grown mushrooms will remain a crop safe for consumption. More information can be found at www.cornellmushrooms.org under “policy.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Steve Gabriel
Extension Agroforestry Specialist
Cornell Small Farms Program
www.CornellMushrooms.org
607.342.2825
sfg53@cornell.edu

Michael Reisinger
Rebecca Reisinger Insurance
Nationwide, Grove F&A
2233 Shermans Valley Rd
Elliottsburg,  PA 17024
(717) 582-7457
877-397-3138
Michael.Reisinger@rarinsurance.com

 

Lindsay Wickham
Area Field Supervisor
New York Farm Bureau
3348 Coykendall Rd. Watkins Glen, NY 14891
607-535-3072
www.nyfb.org
LWickham@NYFB.org

DSCN3961

SOLD OUT – email sfg53@cornell.edu with subject “camp mushroom waitlist” to be placed on the list for cancellations, or another offering in 2015.

Camp Mushroom #2

Sunday, June 7 from 10:00am to 4:00pm
Cornell Campus & MacDaniels Nut Grove

 

Due to popular demand for Camp Mushroom (see below), which is SOLD OUT, we are offering an additional, one-day class which will cover the same cultivation methods as the original offering.

The main difference is we won’t be serving meals (bring your own lunch) or having the course at the Arnot Forest. We also will not be able to offer logs to take home. (sorry)

Participants will be trained in three methods of mushroom cultivation; shiitake on bolts, lions mane/oyster on totems, and stropharia in woodchip beds. In addition, laying yard and management considerations and economics of growing mushrooms as a small farm enterprise will be covered.

Anyone who wants to get into mushroom growing as a serious pursuit should not miss out on this opportunity to learn from experienced growers and researchers who will present for this event.

COST: $50 includes handouts and instruction

SOLD OUT – email sfg53@cornell.edu with subject “camp mushroom waitlist” to be placed on the list for cancellations, or another offering in 2015.

####

 

10th Annual Camp Mushroom

April 24 – 25

ITHACA, NY — Camp Mushroom is Cornell University’s annual two-day event for farmers, woodlot owners, and hobby growers who want to cultivate their own shiitake, oyster, lions mane, and stropharia mushrooms.

The workshop is a unique beginner/intermediate level workshop for those interested in small-scale forest mushroom cultivation.

The class runs April 24 – 25 at Cornell’s Arnot Teaching and Research Forest located about 20 miles south of Ithaca, NY (DIRECTIONS)

This year marks the 10th year of the course, as forest mushroom cultivation blossoms in the northeast as a new small farm industry. Research on active farms, facilitated by Cornell, University of Vermont, and Chatham University has found that growers are able to begin making a profit in year two. It is projected that a small 500-log operation could gross $9,000 over a five-year period.

A recent article in the Small Farms Quarterly describes the economics in more detail: http://smallfarms.cornell.edu/2015/01/12/mushrooms/

DSCN0900Shiitakes in particular provide a profitable method of diversifying farm income by utilizing the by-products of sound forest management. Freshly cut hardwood logs are inoculated and fruit annually for 4 – 5 growing seasons. Log-grown shiitakes enjoy strong demand and are higher in quality and value than mass-produced indoor-grown shiitakes. 89% of respondents in a 2014 survey indicated demand consistently exceeds supply in their region.

Participants will be trained in three methods of mushroom cultivation; shiitake on bolts, lions mane/oyster on totems, and stropharia in woodchip beds. In addition, laying yard and management considerations will be covered. Each participant will also inoculate two shiitake blots to take home. Anyone who wants to get into mushroom growing as a serious pursuit should not miss out on this opportunity to learn from experienced growers and researchers who will present for this event.

 

COST: $100 for overnight guests (primitive cabin with heat), $70 for commuters.

Includes Friday dinner and breakfast and lunch on Saturday, featuring mushrooms and local, organic foods.

 

Schedule:
Friday-  6pm Dinner, Program from 7 – 10pm

Saturday – 8am Breakfast, Program from 9 – 3pm (with lunch)

 

SOLD OUT – email sfg53@cornell.edu with subject “camp mushroom waitlist” to be placed on the list for cancellations, or a second offering in 2015.

 

 

CONTACT:

Steve Gabriel

Agroforestry Specialist

Cornell Small Farms Program

sfg53@cornell.edu

607.342.2825

How to Grow Shiitake Mushrooms from Developing Pictures on Vimeo.

DSCN0900

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 12, 2015

CONTACT:
Steve Gabriel
Agroforestry Specialist
Cornell Small Farms Program
sfg53@cornell.edu
607.342.2825

Cornell University, Ithaca NY — a new survey has been released by the Cornell Small Farms program to assess the current state and future prospects for active and beginning mushrooms growers in the temperate regions of North America. The survey can be accessed through Forest Mushroom Cultivation Website: http://blogs.cornell.edu/mushrooms/survey/

Recent work by Cornell, University of Vermont, and Chatham University in the Northeastern US resulted in the Temperate Forest Mushroom Growers Network, which provides growers with resources for the successful cultivation and marketing of log and forest grown mushrooms including shiitake, oyster, lions mane, and stropharia. Shiitake mushrooms have proven to be the most reliable and profitable of the four species.

This effort follows almost a decade of research by Professor Emeritus Ken Mudge of Cornell on cultivation practices, most notably for shiitake and lions mane. In 2012, the three institutions initiated an on-farm research trial where 25 growers inoculated 100 shiitake logs and kept data on costs, revenue, labor, and other factors. Researchers found that growers were able to begin making a profit in year two, and projected that a small 500-log operation could gross $9,000 over a five year period. A recent article in the Small Farms Quarterly describes the results in more detail: http://smallfarms.cornell.edu/2015/01/12/mushrooms/

A 2014 marketing survey by Chatham University found there are currently 57 growers in the Northeast US, of which 51 are currently marketing log-grown shiitake off of 17,968 inoculated bolts, which represents a total gross revenue of $287,488, or an average of $5,637 for each farmer. The 57 growers alone are projecting an increase of inoculated bolts to 59,575 by 2018, which would result in revenue of $655,352. This does not include the prospect of new growers. Chatham University is continuing to research marketing issues this year, led by Director of Sustainable Agriculture Allen Matthews.

In the last four years, classes and workshops facilitated by university extension educators have been overflowing with interest, with Cornell alone educating over 1,000 farmers and landowners in the practice of forest mushroom cultivation.

Shiitakes in particular provide a profitable method of diversifying farm income by utilizing the by-products of sound forest management. Freshly cut hardwood logs are inoculated and fruit annually for 4 – 5 growing seasons. Log-grown shiitakes enjoy strong demand and are higher in quality and value than mass-produced indoor-grown shiitakes. 89% of respondents in the 2014 survey indicated demand consistently exceeds supply in their region.

As the industry grows, many issues have emerged, ranging from concerns about proper mushroom identification, value-added products, the transport and sale of logs, and verification of sustainable practices. Cornell Small Farms is currently engaged with the Farm Bureau, state regulators like the New York State Agriculture & Markets and Eastern Plant Board, and others to address these emerging issues to benefit growers as well as the environment and food safety concerns.

The new survey, released in February 2015, seeks to collect a comprehensive set of data from commercial growers in New York, the Northeast, and beyond to better understand production trends, issues that growers feel are important and emerging, and items needing further research and development.

Any farm currently producing woodland mushrooms as a commercial crop, as well as those planning to do so, is encouraged to fill out the survey at:
http://blogs.cornell.edu/mushrooms/survey/

CONTACT:
Steve Gabriel
Agroforestry Specialist
Cornell Small Farms Program
sfg53@cornell.edu
607.342.2825

Layout 1 (Page 1)A new article from Agroforestry Specialist Steve Gabriel in the Small Farms Quarterly discusses the profitability of shiitake cultivation, based on a three year research study by Cornell University and University of Vermont. The article provides good information for anyone interested in shiitake cultivation as a small farm enterprise.

Link to Article: http://smallfarms.cornell.edu/2015/01/12/mushrooms-turning-a-profit-for-forest-farmers-in-the-northeast/

Link to entire Winter 2015 Issue: http://smallfarms.cornell.edu/quarterly/archive-2/winter-2015/

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