25
Jul

Are you interested in Agro-Forestry? Have you ever had a chance to learn about mushroom foraging? It is with great excitement to announce that West Greeley Conservation District is going to have a hands-on class! Join us August 16th, 2017!

This is a great hands-on educational opportunity to learn the basics of mushroom foraging and mushroom safety. We will also learn about a few edible, medicinal and poisonous plants along the way!

Spaces are limited and you are encouraged to call today! The cost to reserve a place is $30, but this money is refundable after you complete the class. Lunch and bags for mushroom collection are provided. Please bring a pocket knife for cutting mushrooms.

Please see flyer for additional details.

To RSVP please call Liz at 970-356-8097 x 142 or email at liz.schneider@wgcd.org

Click here to see the agroforestry mushroom flyer in PDF format

 

Orion Aon will be our teacher for this event. He works for Colorado State Forest Service Nursery and has also introduced CSFS Nursery into their own mushroom growing project. Here is some information from Orion:

The mushroom cultivation is a two-fold experiment and project. We are looking in using the product resulting from thinning windbreaks, as well as logs from a few ‘non-desirable’ tree species as a medium for growing shiitake and oyster mushrooms. The windbreak that we thinned and used for this project was bur oak because shiitake prefer oak wood in their native habitat in Japan. oysters aren’t very picky so we decided to include both species during the inoculation of the logs. For the ‘non-desirable’ species we used Russian olive, Siberian elm, and ash (ash is included in the ‘non-desirable’ list because of the recent invasion of emerald ash borer). The logs were inoculated in the Spring of 2016, the logs need a year or so to rest before the mushrooms will start fruiting. This gives the mycelium (the ‘roots’ of the mushrooms) time to spread through the log and start the decomposition process. Currently (Summer 2017) we’ve seen a few shiitake and oysters fruit, but I think the logs another season before they get going.

 

As the Field Production Manager I supervise and manage all of our bare root seedling production. Aside from simply planting, caring for, and growing the seedlings my position includes a myriad of other responsibilities, including pest management, production  and inventory estimations and management, procurement, vehicle maintenance, etc. I also head up the collection, processing, and storage of hardwood cuttings taken from willows and cottonwoods. The cuttings are mostly used for riparian restoration and are either cut into small sections and planted into soil and containers, or they are sold as ‘poles’ which are planted directly into the restoration site.

 

Finally, unrelated to the cultivation project or my position here at the Nursery, I have Forage Colorado as a side project. I started the Facebook page in 2015 as a place for me and others to share information relating to foraging for both mushrooms and plants in Colorado. I’ve always been passionate about the outdoors and had a great interest in foraging, especially for mushrooms – an interest that started when I was 11 or 12 and went with a family friend to pick porcini and chanterelle mushrooms in New Mexico where I grew up. I started offering a small group outing to teach people out Spring time morels, the demand for this class has grown so much that I had to increase it to two days this year, though I could have easily done a week worth of the class if I had time. I have also started offering private lessons and plan on continuing to offer those as I build a structure of foraging classes that I can offer in the future. The interest in foraging and self-sustainability has grown immensely in that last few years and I’m really happy to see all of the increased interest!

 

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