Last Saturday, a group of about 15 people came out to Eden Hall for a workshop on forest grown shiitake mushroom production led by Allen Matthews. It was a gorgeous spring day, and it was nice to be able to work outside and look forward to a harvest of tasty mushrooms as the weather continues to warm.
The workshop included a presentation on the ins and outs of forest grown shiitake production, based on Allen’s years of research with UVM, Cornell University, and shiitake producers throughout the northeast. (If you are interested, you can go here to view and download the “Best Management Practices for Log-Based Shiitake Cultivation in the Northeastern United States” that Allen helped create.)
After the presentation, we went outside where Allen demonstrated how to inoculate logs with shiitake spores, and then everyone jumped in and tried their hand at it.
It was a great day at the farm, and hopefully some participants will try growing their own log-grown shiitakes at home. Next time you’re at the farm, check out our shiitake laying yard if you haven’t yet! Maybe you’ll get lucky and get to take a log-grown shiitake or two home for dinner.
Allen demonstrates drilling the holes
Allen demonstrates packing the spores into the holes
Participants seals the holes with wax
Participants pack the holes in the logs with spores
Participants pack the holes in the logs with spores
Amber assists Carol as she drills holes in a log
Noah from Soergel Orchards leads a fruit tree pruning workshop in the student garden.
Katie checks with the group to see if she’s got the right branch to prune.
Katie trims a fruit tree in the permaculture section of the garden.
Last week students and farm staff got some tips on fruit tree pruning from Noah – on loan from Soergel Orchards. We put what we learned to use in the permaculture orchard in the student garden.
a bounty of turnips from the solar high tunnel
Stephanie cuts spinach in the solar high tunnel.
A huge haul of greens from the solar high tunnel.
With the increased daylight and temps staying on the nicer side of freezing, the greens in the solar high tunnel have been really taking off.
Spring is the time of plans and projects.
Pictured above: Matt planting snow peas in the solar high tunnel, and the moveable high tunnel being moved.
Gone. Finally, the coldest February in recent memory is done, and here we are at the end of March on the fast track to April! It’s officially spring – and the action is picking up all around the farm.
Before we close the door on winter though, it’s worth noting that our first year of winter production in the solar high tunnel totaled approximately 340 lbs. of greens!
the Solar High Tunnel churning out greens
Or, another way of thinking about it – we harvested an average of almost 4 lbs. per day all winter long.
We’ve been delivering 50-60 lbs of greens & radishes a week to the Chatham’s dining services this winter. Follow us on a day of harvesting, cleaning, packing, and putting the greens to bed here!
On this day, we delivered 55 lbs of lettuce, arugula, tatsoi, and spinach, along with 28 bunches of radishes to dining services. (Click on the images for captions)
Carrying tubs from the greenhouse across the street to the high tunnel
Walking across the street with the tubs to harvest in the solar high tunnel
Beautiful snow-covered farm views
Snow covered high tunnel under blue skies
Steph Box harvesting radishes in the solar high tunnel
Amber Webb harvesting baby lettuce in the solar high tunnel
Melissa Nobbe, Matt Kelterborn, and Allen Matthews harvest greens in the solar high tunnel
Freshly harvested beautiful pink radishes!
Melissa Nobbe and Steph Box pack up the greens to take to the kitchen
Harvesting in the solar high tunnel is nice warm work, but we have to bundle up to head back out in the cold and carry the greens across the street to wash and pack.
Melissa Nobbe and Cassandra Malis exit the solar high tunnel carrying tubs of freshly harvested greens, heading across the street to wash and pack them in the kitchen.
Steph Box, Amber Webb, and Matt Kelterborn carry tubs filled with freshly harvested greens back across the street from the solar high tunnel to the kitchen to be washed and packed.
Steph Box, Amber Webb, and Matt Kelterborn carry tubs filled with freshly harvested greens back across the street to the kitchen to be washed and packed.
Cassandra Malis washes and dries spinach
Dry spinach ready to be packed
55 lbs of lettuce, arugula, tatsoi & spinach, along with 28 bunches of radishes, ready for delivery to Chatham’s dining services!
Matt Kelterborn, Cassandra Malis, and Katie Walker cover the plants with row covers. These sheets of plastic and cloth will help the plants stay warmer overnight.
Amber Webb, Matt Kelterborn, and Cassandra Malis cover the plants with row covers. These sheets of plastic and cloth will help the plants stay warmer overnight.
Goodnight plants! These sheets of plastic and cloth will help the plants stay warmer overnight.
It’s mid February and we’re continuing to produce plenty of greens in our Solar High Tunnel. We also harvested our first bunches of bright red and white radishes!
Katie preps our new salad spinner.
Katie washing greens.
into salad spinner
Amber Webb weighs and records produce.
Red and white radishes.