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New Mushroom Project Partnership Sails Logs Downstream to NYC

On July 24 our Specialty Mushroom project’s Logs to NYC effort held a kickoff event with The Mushroom Shed at the Hudson River Maritime Museum to teach 25 participants how to grow shiitake mushrooms on logs and oyster mushrooms on cardboard and coffee grounds. Participants also helped load about 275 oak and maple logs onto the Schooner Apollonia, a carbon-neutral sailing vessel that took the logs about 70 miles downstream along with other New York farm goods to New York City. The logs were provided by Tim Lindtveit of Woodsman Forest Products. 

Youth farmers from Red Hook Community Farms helped unload logs.
Jamie Johnson / Cornell Small Farms Program

After its trip downriver, the Schooner Apollonia docked at the RETI Center in Red Hook, Brooklyn on July 29, and with the help of the youth farmers from Red Hook Community Farms, the logs were unloaded and moved by bike and trailer to the main farm site, just down the street. With the help of over over 50 volunteers on July 30 and 31, all the logs were inoculated with shiitake mushrooms and are being distributed to 12 amazing projects around the city, and over the coming years should produce over 1000 pounds of mushrooms.

This workshop was the kickoff event of a new 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.

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.

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.