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New publication is comprehensive guide for shiitake mushroom growers

Screen shot 2014-01-17 at 10.57.21 AMVia the Northeast Forest Mushroom Growers Network:

Best Management Practices for Log-Based Shiitake Cultivation in the Northeastern United States is a new guide for growers published by Cornell Cooperative Extension in collaboration with the University of Vermont’s Center for Sustainable Agriculture and a team of farm advisors. The book and related publications are available for free download at: http://blogs.cornell.edu/mushrooms/factsheets/

Shiitakes are the second-most cultivated mushroom variety in the world, and the demand for locally produced, log-grown shiitakes is high among chefs and consumers alike. According to the guide, “Forest cultivation of shiitake mushrooms can generate income, diversify farm and forestry enterprises, add value to forestry by-products and create opportunities for timber stand improvement.”   At publication time, these mushrooms sell for $10-$18 per pound across the Northeast.

The guide is the culmination of a three-year research and education project funded by a grant from USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program. The project was led by Ken Mudge, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University, and included Ben Waterman  and Bridgett Jamison Hilshey  (University of Vermont) and Allen Matthews (Chatham University). The project was informed by the experiences of more than twenty shiitake growers producing for market in the Northeast, led by four farm advisors:  Steve Sierigk, Hawk Meadow Farm, Trumansburg, N.Y., Nick Laskovski, Dana Forest Farm, Waitsfield, Vt., Steve and Julie Rockcastle, of Green Heron Growers, Panama, N.Y. and Steve Gabriel, Wellspring Forest Farm, Mecklenburg, N.Y.

The Northeast Forest Mushroom Growers Network is a resource site for growers of all scales featuring factsheets, videos, a Northeast grower directory and listings of events and classes.

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