HDT and Agroforestry

On June 19th, fifteen forestry, conservation, and agricultural professionals gathered at the U of M Southwest Research and Outreach Center in Lamberton, MN. This lucky gardener, from a plucky little non-profit in North Central MN with a mission in sustainability, was excited to be among them. We were all ready for a 3-day intensive workshop on agroforestry.

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Community food forest in Mountain Lake

Agroforestry: Intensive land-use management that optimizes the benefits (physical, biological, ecological, economic, social) from biophysical interactions created when trees and/or shrubs are deliberately combined with crops and/or livestock.  

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Forest Farming shiitake mushrooms

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Turtle Talks Podcast – Episode 6: Covering Your Soil

Well, we did it! We got through all four principles of Soil Health. We talked about maximizing biodiversity, we dug into minimizing soil disturbances, and we needed to let everyone know how important it is to keep roots in the ground.

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There’s so many reasons to keep your soil covered!

We also begin with our Garden Update as Dave W. talks about a little mice problem he’s seen in the hoop house and what he’s done to help resolve pests. The garden crew has also spent time marking and cutting logs for mushroom cultivation.

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CSA Update – Shiitake, Broccoli & Peas

Shiitake Mushrooms!

Shitake mushrooms taste good in almost anything.

Like the rest of the produce, make sure you rinse your mushrooms. The stems can be tough, but they add awesome flavor to your stock. You can add these mushrooms to most dishes, one comment was not to baked ham. You can even dry the mushrooms and store them in a glass container for later use.

The Chinese were the first to cultivate these mushrooms. Japanese scientists developed a method of inserting pencil-shaped plugs of mycelial spawn grown from specially selected varieties of Lentinus edodes (Shiitake) into holes bored in oak logs. Extracts have been used in treating cancer, and claims have been made that they reduce cholesterol, prolong life, kill viruses, and improve circulation.

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