Shiitake Mushrooms & Permaculture

Steve Gabriel (of the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute) has been busy designing, creating, teaching and writing about log-grown shiitake mushroom culture.

Using permaculture analysis and design for his work on behalf of small forest lot owners has inspired his blog, (AgroforestrySolutions.com) as has his shiitake logs and ducks! A review of recent posts shows his focus on how the production of a few specialized forestry products benefits from a big-picture, ecological framework. His projects and writing reflect a small farmer struggling to earn a right livelihood while fully embracing the ecological realities. He writes:

 “Permaculture is a design system that focuses on the production of food, fiber, and energy while restoring degraded ecosystems. While designs are often focused around plants, it is essential to include animals, fungi, bacteria, and algae as members of five distinct kingdoms, which all have a unique role to play in a healthy ecosystem.

Mushrooms are but one part in this whole systems approach to gardening, farming, and forestry. Our efforts as gardeners, farmers, and land stewards must all be based in the cultivation of healthy soils, which fungi have a unique role in; they are the only organisms that can digest the tough and fibrous lignin in wood, which then makes the material available for other organisms, whether they be bacteria or animal-based.”

via Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute

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