Time for logging! Every year in January and February (and sometimes a little in December and/or March) we head out to the woods to cut new logs for our log grown mushrooms. The logs will grow mushrooms for a number of years, but not forever. The logs we cut and inoculate in the next few months won't be growing mushrooms till next year. (Actually, some of the oysters will grow as early as this summer, but just a few.) The shiitake logs will fruit for us in 2023 and 2024, and then in 2025 they'll be "fourth year logs," available for anyone who wants some shiitake logs for garden borders!
One of our first loads back, last week.
As someone who grew up in Oregon during the battles between loggers and environmentalists (save the spotted owls!), I used to feel a bit of concern about logging. I've come to see the importance of forest management though - which does involve cutting trees and thinning. Never clear-cutting! It takes a lot of work to manage forests. I feel really good about the work we are doing to keep the woods thinned out in one relatively small area. (I ran across this great article that talks about those "timber wars" in Oregon and how one town figured out how to compromise. It's very inspirational!) We've been logging on the same property for a couple years; this might be the last year so we'll need to find another property owner to work with.
Our goal this year is 4,000 logs. We've got about 550 so far - so here's what you've been waiting for: the log harvesting progress thermometer!
If all goes well, we hope to be done by the end of February, and most likely earlier. We're logging three days a week, so it depends on how many days we have to take off. We already skipped logging on the 7th when it was -27 degrees! Brr!!
The chickens have been laying eggs for just over a month now. It has been a slow increase, day after day, but we're up to almost a dozen a day some days! There is usually a period of "figuring it out" when chickens first start laying. You're more likely to get weird looking eggs, double-yolk eggs, and little tiny eggs.