One of the good things about an Edible Log Farm is that it can function at almost any size – from small (starting in the first year with 30 logs) up to several hundred logs at different ages at one location at one time. Every year the owner/manager can decide if the log farm should increase or decrease in number of logs according to the current on site situation and market developments. At the beginning of the season a decision can be made to switch the focus from the production of shii-take mushrooms to the sale of edible logs or the other way around. Selling a shii-take mushroom log within a year ensures a large margin and a relatively quick cashflow whilst keeping the logs for the production of mushrooms means more work but at least the same (and probably a little better) turnover spread over a number of years. The revenue will never be huge but it can certainly add to the total of a company / organisation with multiple forms of income.
The key to succes is to keep the log farm small and manageable with sales on a local level. The work can be carried out (under guidance) by individuals with a care or vulnerable background. A couple of hours each week is all that is needed to manage a small Edible Log Farm with peaks in the autumn and also in the beginning of the year if the owner/manager decides to incoculate his/her own logs. In the summer months there is not much to do which is fine for an agriculturally based care farm. During the autumn months consumers usually find their way to buy a log so that they can produce their own mushrooms and at the end of the year there can be a lot interest in the mushrooms themselves (mainly dried) or in the logs to give away as a present to somebody else.
Next week – an example of a care farm with Edible Logs.