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August 26, 2012

Mushroom, ginseng workshops offered

Almost all forest landowners view their land as a potential source of income from the sale of standing timber. Unfortunately, many are unaware of the harmful, long-term environmental and financial impacts that can come from poorly planned timber harvesting.

They are also unaware of the many available income-producing opportunities that don’t compromise the quality of timber stands or put habitat, watershed, beauty, recreation or the spiritual renewal that forests offers, at risk.

If you are a forest or small-woodlot landowner considering alternative ways to use your resources, you may attend two forest-farming workshops being offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension. They are designed to introduce the techniques used for inoculating and cultivating delicious, healthy, shiitake mushrooms on logs in outdoor environments and growing “wild simulated” American ginseng in the forested environments found in the Adirondack region.

On Sept. 8, a Shiitake Mushroom Cultivation workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to noon and a Growing Ginseng workshop will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Cornell Uihlein Forest and Extension Sugar Maple Research Station, 157 Bear Cub Lane, Lake Placid. For registration and Information, call 483-7403 or email rlg24@cornell.edu. The cost to attend one workshop is $15 and $25 for both.

Associate Professor of Horticulture Ken Mudge of Cornell University describes forest farming as “an approach to forest management that combines some of the management practices of conventional forestry with those of farming or gardening to achieve an environmentally and economically sustainable land-use system.”

Releasing crop trees by thinning or removing low-grade or excess small-diameter trees (culls) from timber stands has long been considered an important management practice. But conventional hardwood markets have offered little incentive for the removal of low-quality hardwood trees. In fact, they are commonly left behind after a timber harvest, a practice known as high grading, which results in unproductive land where a future return from saw timber can take 50 to 75 years or more.

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