Hello everyone! First, please let me say that our project would never exist without the support from several people within our little company and also our customers, who have been enjoying great food for more than 5 seasons. Thank you!
Now please let me share my little story. My name is Dalibor Sýkorovský. I graduated from the Faculty of Tropical Agriculture at the University of Life Sciences in Prague with a master's degree and I started the project True Shiitake in 2015. Since I was a little kid I had a really close connection with nature, which started probably in the deserts of Syria, where I spent about 6 years of my childhood, running around chasing geckos and agamas. Then growing up in Prague, I had my snakes and frogs as pets and later moved to orchids. However, the lack of knowledge and skills didn't get me very far. As a teenager I started to really get into fly fishing, which has been my great passion ever since.
Throughout the university studies, me and my wife (we know each other since we were 15 ;)) had the great privilege to travel and work in various places and, driven by hunger for exploration, we’ve been able to explore some of the most fascinating ecosystems remaining on this planet, from deep cloud forest of the Pacific Rim to the highlands with its remaining Atlantic forest. As time was flying, it was about time to settle and start taking the adulthood life a little more seriously so we moved back to our home town in Prague. On one of my last trips I had a chance to help my great friend starting his log grown shiitake operation on the East Coast of the United States.
Work wasn't easy, but I sensed that there is meaning in drilling logs, but I still didn’t understand. I was looking at my future, how to make myself useful to people and to nature as well. An ambitious and unique wish these days, but 2015 still seems to me like a year of many good ideas, so I gave it a shot. I remember I thought of myself as well educated in the field, a hard working, disciplined person so what could go wrong? Well, life is interesting, full of surprises and many things are not as they seem.
Briefly summarized our project faced and is still facing plenty of challenges. For me the major factor is connecting the conservative forestry industry with the food industry. Other challenges are the amount of bureaucracy, regulations and limitations we are facing. We’ve learned to approach this as a challenge that we need to overcome. I was obviously wrong on 99 percent of things, but I was very right about one: making food out of raw wood is a part of our decent future on this planet.
I am really thankful CrowdFarming is giving us a chance to connect us with people and customers, which look at the world in similar ways, cherishing their food and purchasing it from people producing it. Our main goal is to incorporate shiitake cultivation into forestry. We would like to selectively cut trees, grow shiitakes and then spend substrate incorporated in forest biomass, which would enhance the biomass' overall productivity, increase resistance to upcoming climate changes and lock several tons of carbon by doing it! Ambitious again, but possibly we can make it happen. Thank you for reading this and I hope you enjoy our product.