It’s spring peeper season, which unofficially signals the end of log harvesting season for this year’s shiitake logs. Richard went out yesterday afternoon and harvested the last few logs that we need for this year. Oak trees typically leaf out a little later than other species, so that buys us a little more time when we are short on logs and time, as we were this year. We now have a large pile of mostly sugar maple logs, and a few oak, sitting in the barn and ready to inoculate. Richard put the inoculation table together yesterday, and once I get our back room organized for wax melting and tool maintenance, we’ll be ready to roll. With both the boys working with us, it takes us about 1.5 to 2 hours to go through one large bag of shiitake spawn. That usually takes care of about 22 logs for us, on average. Last year we learned that we really do not want to move those log around any more than we have to, so we’ve modified our procedure to have all of the logs in one stack next to the inoculation table. Our other modification for this year will be to get the inoculated logs directly to the laying yard in our hemlock grove. We are looking forward to getting started this week, and will look forward even more to getting this done, hopefully by the end of the month! We will also be monitoring our cold-weather shiitake varieties from last year’s inoculation, as the generally warming spring temperatures should trigger those to fruit sometime in the next month. Once temperatures are consistently in the upper 50’s to low 60’s (oF), the real work of forcing production of last year’s primary logs will begin!
Wintonbury Farm is a small, family-owned operation dedicated to producing high quality, naturally-grown forest shiitake mushrooms for health-conscious consumers and high-end restaurants through direct restaurant sales, local food markets, and farmer’s markets in northern New York State. Our mission is to cultivate a high-demand product that is regionally recognized for superior quality and reliable supply while sharing our passion for local food, organic principles, and sustainable farm and forest management practices.