During the month of March and the first couple of weeks of April all of the logs have to be innoculated and there are too many logs to do on my own. About two thirds of the thousand logs are innoculated by partners and colleagues on their own properties. The remaining one third of the logs are innoculated on the Edible Wood Farms with the help of a small number of volunteers spread out over a number of days. In these days dominated by the corona-virus people are happy to jump at the chance to do something else than working at home and are even prepared to drive hundreds of kilometers for a couple of hours of work in the forest.
Usually I am the one to wield the drill, making about 40 holes in each log. My temporary assistents consistently feed me logs and remove them once they are looking like unhappy sieves. The holy logs are then placed on a trailer with multiple work places (at a safe distance) so that everyone can work and chat at the same time. All sorts of people get to know each other whilst using a hammer to tick the plugs into the holes: owners of old castles in France exchange pleasantries with teachers, young adults with dreadlocks get to chat with well fed pensioners and sharply dressed city dwellers mix with clog wearing kitchen garden zealots.
During the tea and coffee break there is time for a short tour of the Edible Wood Farm and I can answer a number of the many inevitable questions. At the end of the morning or afternoon session everyone can choose a small log and innoculate it themselves as a thank-you for helping me out in the forest.