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dscn5223The Cornell Small Farms Program, with support from the USDA Specialty Crop Grant Program and New York Farm Viability Institute, is engaged in a two year project to elevate development of a new niche crop in the New York; log-grown shiitake mushrooms.

Research and development at Cornell over the past decade, along with several partnerships and research projects has enabled greater understanding of the technical and business aspects of a small farm log-grown shiitake enterprise. Woodland log-grown mushrooms are a relatively new, niche crop and are low-input, high output enterprise that can also offset land taxes.




Where do I start?

Building a viable farm enterprise requires two major parts; the technical aspects of how to successfully produce shiitake mushrooms, and the business planning aspects including marketing, budgeting, and legal requirements.

LEARN TO GROW: Consult our guidebook and videos and learn about Cornell research to improve profitability at our “How to Grow” page.

DEVELOP A BUSINESS:  Walk through the short lessons below to learn about critical aspects of planning for a viable shiitake business.


Mini Business Lessons

These are being released Summer 2018, check back for more and join the listserv below to receive updates.


Lesson 1: Goals and The Mini Business Plan


DOWNLOAD: Mini-Business Plan Worksheet

WANT MORE? Visit our Goals, Skills, and Resources Tutorial at the Plan Your Farm Hub.


Lesson 2: Managing Healthy Forests to Acquire Logs

ACTIVITY: Learn how to make a forest stand map in Google Earth

Learn about Google Earth basics here:      VIDEO 1     VIDEO 2

WANT MORE? Visit the Cornell ForestConnect Website and YouTube Channel for more great forestry info.


Lesson 3: Optimizing Production & Record Keeping

This presentation highlights the aspects of planning critical to success:

Review best practices for inoculation:

ACTIVITY: Complete a log soaking calendar for your farm to help in decision making.

WANT MORE? Review Best Management Practices for Log-Based Shiitake Cultivation at our downloads page.

Lesson 4: Budgeting & Cash Flow

Budget Template (XLS)

Best Management Practices Manual PDF (where numbers for budget came from!)


Lesson 5: Market Channel Assessment

DOWNLOAD the Market Channel Assessment Guide from CCE Tompkins County



View Past Workshop Materials

We offered several one-day workshops this past winter in eight locations around New York State this winter focused on farm viability. This is achieved with good business planning and attention to strategies which minimize costs and optimize efficiency. You can view the recordings of presentations given by Agroforestry Extension Specialist Steve Gabriel below:



Lesson One: Strategies for Efficient Cultivation


Lesson Two: From Harvest to Market


Lesson Three: When am I a farm?



Developing a Viable Log-Grown Shiitake Farming Enterprise (PDF)

Shiitake Enterprise Budget (XLS)


Steve Gabriel
Agroforestry Extension Specialist
Cornell Small Farms Program

Project Team

Cornell Small Farms Program

Steve Gabriel, Project Leader
Anu Rangarajan, PI

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Marilyn Wyman, CCE Greene
Tracey Testo, CCE Greene

Sarah Carlson, CCE Wyoming
Don Gasiewicz, CCE Wyoming

Brett Chedzoy, CCE Schuyler
Roger Ort, CCE Schuyler

Rick LeVitre, CCE Franklin
Richard Gast, CCE Franklin

Jennifer Stengle, CCE Putnam

Peter Smallidge, NYS Extension Forester


Consultant Growers

KC Mangine, Fruit of the Fungi, Madison Co

Bob Wagner, Northwoods Shiitake, St Lawrence Co

Steve Sierigk, Hawk Meadow Farm, Schuyler Co


Supporting Organizations

Lindsay Wickham, NY Farm Bureau

Christopher Wayne, Grow NYC

Brendan Murphy, NYC Watershed Ag Council

Tom Pavlesich, NYC Watershed Ag Council

Goals, Skills and Resources Tutorial

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