In early December 2019, Conservation students cut hardwood logs from the OHM BOCES woodlot to use for growing shiitake mushrooms. With guidance from science teacher Mr. Frantz, the students inoculated the logs with shiitake mushroom spores and then placed them back in the forest with the hopes for a harvest in spring 2020. School building closures delayed the student’s harvest, but the mushroom spores continued to spread into the logs.
At the beginning of this school year, the logs were removed from the forest and placed in an ice water pond in the Conservation greenhouse for a long weekend soak. The process triggered the mushroom spores to begin fruiting and creating edible shiitake mushrooms.
Two weeks later, the students harvested 26 pounds of organic shiitake mushrooms which were given to the Culinary Arts and Food Service programs to use in their cooking!