Community Mushroom Educator Training

This course is the online portion for people accepted into the 2020 CME program

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Cultures around the world have long valued mushrooms as a vital source of nutrition and healing for centuries. Both a food and a medicine, mushrooms are easy to grow at home and on gardens and farms, with minimal startup costs and materials that many may already have on hand.

For contemporary farmers and gardeners in both urban and rural settings, mushrooms can be much more than an emerging and lucrative niche crop; they offer communities opportunities to address issues of unequal access to land, infrastructure, and capital, which are all identified barriers to equity and justice in community food production

With support from USDA-SARE and USDA-AFRI, Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Cornell Small Farms Program is partnering with Just Food, Farm School NYC, and Grow NYC to offer a two-year Community Mushroom Educator (CME) Training that aims to build a cohort of 60 educators from urban and rural centers throughout the Northeast. Join our network to learn how to grow and sell mushrooms and teach these skills in the community you serve.

Through technical training and project-based learning grounded in Popular Education methodology and principles, CMEs will gain valuable knowledge and benefit from the collective experience of the mushroom educator cohort. Watch the short video at left to meet our team and learn more about this program.

This course is only for accepted participants in the 2020 Community Mushroom Educator Cohort:


Your Instructor

Steve Gabriel and Yolanda Gonzalez
Steve Gabriel and Yolanda Gonzalez

Steve grew up in the Finger Lakes Region and graduated from Empire State College with a BS in Environmental Science, an educational path which incorporated aspects of forestry, ecology, and permaculture. He co-founded the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute in 2005 and began working at Cornell in 2009 in the Department of Horticulture, focusing on permaculture and agroforestry research and education. Along with his wife Elizabeth, he operates Wellspring Forest Farm in Mecklenburg NY where they produce shiitake mushrooms, duck eggs, pastured lamb, and maple syrup. He has co-authored a book called Farming the Woods with Cornell professor Ken Mudge, published in Fall 2014, and the book Silvopasture: A Guide to Managing Grazing Animals, Forage Crops, and Trees in a Temperate Farm Ecosystem in 2018.

Yolanda Gonzalez is an Urban Agriculture Specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension. She holds a dual degree in Master of Science in Environmental and Community Land Planning from SUNY ESF and Master of Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies and Spanish Literature from SUNY Geneseo. Yolanda's most recent experience as an Excelsior Fellow at the NYS Office of General Services in the Organizational and Workforce Development Unit has given her process improvement skills that will help urban growers maximize efficiency and profitability in limited spaces. Her background is mostly in small-scale production, working on a number of small farms in Maine, Pennsylvania, and Long Island.

Course Curriculum

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course officially starts and ends on the dates given above, when the instructors get involved and begin hosting live weekly webinars. If you are registering after the webinars have concluded for the year, you will have immediate access to all the course materials, and will be able to participate in the next year's webinars if you choose to.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

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