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Shiitake Mushroom Logs Headed to NYC via the Schooner Apollonia Sailboat

For thousands of years, mushrooms have been grown on hardwood logs from sustainably managed forest lands. Their origins trace to parts of China, Korea, and Japan. Shiitake cultivation on logs is one of the oldest known forms of agriculture. Today, log cultivation is increasingly rare, replaced by technology and now many shiitake in the US come from synthetic sawdust “logs” often manufactured in China and shipped over 7,000 miles to New York City.

Yet just upstream from the city are the abundant forests of New York, in need of stewardship, and logs sourced from upstate forests support the livelihoods of foresters and loggers. Species such as Oak and Sugar Maple in small diameters offer little market value but are perfect materials for mushroom cultivation. Many community farms and gardens in New York would benefit from the ability to grow their own mushrooms. 

A partnership between the Cornell Small Farms Program, Woodsman Forest Products, Schooner Apollonia, Hudson River Maritime Museum, RETI Center, and Red Hook Community Farms is piloting the carbon-neutral transport of logs from upstate forests to community farms and gardens in New York City. 

Join us for a kick-off workshop in Kingston, NY, and support the project as we send logs downriver!

The organizations working together to bring logs from upstate forests down to mushroom growers in New York City.

Learn to Grow Mushrooms Workshops at the Hudson River Maritime Museum 

Saturday, July 24, at 9 a.m.

This workshop introduces participants to the wonderful world of fungi and engages them in hands-on inoculations of shiitake logs and oyster straw bags to learn the successful techniques for growing mushrooms at home. The class will also touch on the uses of mushrooms including cooking, drying, and medicine.

Limited spaces are available for: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

The class fee is $50, which includes a shiitake log and an oyster kit to to take home. Participants also get access to an online site with further resources. One class fee helps support us to get 3 additional logs to a community project in NYC — so your support helps others grow mushrooms, too! 

This workshop is led by Steve Gabriel from Cornell Small Farms Program’s Specialty Mushrooms project, and members of the Mushroom Shed in New Paltz, NY.

REGISTER HERE: https://smallfarmcourses.com/p/intro-to-mushroom-growing-workshops-july-24-kingston-ny


Support Our Journey to NYC with Mushroom Kits Fundraiser

You can also order mushroom kits for pick up in Kingston, Newburgh, Ossining, Red Hook Brooklyn, or Manhattan to help support our journey to NYC. These are being sold as a fundraiser for this project and the work of the Mushroom Shed.

A limited number of kits are available with the following options and must be pre-ordered.  

Shiitake Logs cost $40 and include a hardwood log, plug spawn, wax, and full instructions. You can inoculate this year and enjoy fruiting mushrooms in 2022!

Order your mushroom kits now using our purchase form.


Learn More About Our Logs to NYC Project

This project seeks to engage education and dialogue around making materials for mushroom cultivation more accessible to communities in the city. The Cornell Small Farms Program is assessing the costs and environmental impacts of the journey, and we hope to develop feasible methods for redistributing resources for mushroom growing. Keep up with the project on our Logs to NYC project webpage.

A partnership between the Cornell Small Farms Program, Woodsman Forest Products, Schooner Apollonia, Hudson River Maritime Museum, RETI Center, and Red Hook Community Farms is piloting the carbon-neutral transport of logs from upstate forests to agricultural projects around New York City. After transport on the Schooner Apollonia and delivery by bike trailer to Red Hook Community Farm, community volunteers will inoculate around 275 logs over two days. This will provide over 1,000 pounds of fresh mushrooms over the next several years!

Steve Gabriel

Steve is an Extension Specialist focused on specialty mushroom production and agroforestry. Throughout his career, Steve has taught thousands of people about the ways farming and forestry can be combined to both benefit the ecology and economies of small farms.  He is also a farmer, author, hiker, and musician.