Shiitake and Firewood Harvesting

This last week we enjoyed two unusual harvests – one was an abundance of shiitake mushrooms from the logs we innoculated two summers ago. It was a great surprise after two dry summers to see our logs exploding with mushrooms. With the recent rain, we expect to see some wild mushrooms coming up soon – oysters and morels!

Paul with first shiitake harvest

We continue to “harvest” our firewood as we remove trees from our two terraces in preparation for the orchard, or what we like to call our “edible savannah” since it will be growing in the middle of a prairie. Paul’s been keeping up with the stacking, coming up with a new arrangement he found on the Internet. If you have ingenious ideas for stacking firewood let us know. We enjoyed this post from Penn State extension. Great work!

Firewood stacks and circle

We burn firewood in a high-efficiency fireplace. We have more wood than we can use, though unfortunately from this project much of it is box elder, which we’ll be lucky to burn before it rots. Our fireplace helps supplement our geothermal system, which works extremely well until we hit the single digits or below zero. Then we must resort to wood or emergency electric heat, the latter of which is quite expensive.

This coming week we’re looking forward to some new WWOOFers coming to visit, and the week after we’ll be hosting a class from Scattergood Friends School. If you know a teacher who’d like to use Draco Hill for an educational experience, please send him or her here to check us out – we love visitors!

We’ll be starting our Draco Hill Writing Workshop series beginning Aug. 2. Please see our Writers section for details. We will be limiting the size of the workshops so if you’re interested, sign up soon!


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