In the News: Our Agroforestry Educator Featured in “Sweet Talk” Podcast

In the latest episode of “Sweet Talk: All Things Maple,” a podcast by the Cornell Maple Program, the Cornell Small Farms Program’s specialty mushroom and agroforestry extension specialist, Steve Gabriel, shared his expertise on diversifying maple production through forest farming. 

This was the eighth episode of the podcast, which focuses on the latest research, news, and trends in the maple industry. 

Harvesting for maple syrup production does not happen in the summer months like other crops; it happens in the late winter, leaving the warm growing season open for other types of products. Gabriel, who also runs Wellspring Forest Farm & School, explained how shiitake mushrooms, high-value medicinals, and nursery crop production can be seamlessly integrated to support syrup production and diversify revenue streams. 

“There are ways to fit them in so that you are not stacking work during the busiest times of the year,” Gabriel said. “Specifically with sugar operation, mushroom logs support forest thinning and a lot of the high-value medicinals are naturally found there, so we can think about not only production, but also conservation.”

Learn more about the  “Sweet Talk: All Things Maple” episode on AnchorFM.

Stephen Stresow

Stephen is a junior in CALS studying Plant Sciences with a concentration in Organic Agriculture and minors in Soil Science and Crop Management. He managed a vegetable garden as a Master Gardener in high school and has now scaled up that passion to sustainable vegetable production on small-scale farms. He is interested in improving agroecological practices and making them more accessible to farmers with the overarching goal of creating a more resilient food system. After a primarily virtual semester, Stephen is excited to get his hands dirty at the Research Farm this summer!
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