Shiitake Speakeasy!

A gathering in the woods for those who love gourmet mushrooms and agroforestry…

  • Tuesdays: July 11 and 18th, & August 8 and 15th
  • 6 to 11 p.m. 

Enjoy a summer tradition at our forest farm: we inoculate logs with shiitake spawn while barbecuing victuals, swaying to beats, and enjoying good company. Bring your own brew, snacks and friends to share.  

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Cayuta Sun Farm Celebrates the Finger Lakes Permaculture Tour Weekend with Camping, BBQ, & Farm Tours.


Visitors, volunteers, and
Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute alumni are welcomed.


Cayuta Sun Farm is proud to be a sponsor of the Permaculture Tour Weekend’s activities and we’re looking forward to hosting visitors. Our site has promoted permaculture for over a decade through community education events, including the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute’s courses.

Spend the weekend on a small forest farm.

We would like to support this celebration of our permaculture community by opening up our woods to campers visiting from out of town. A limited number of rustic camping sites will be available Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. A simple low-pressure water supply, hot shower, and composting toilets will be available. You will need to supply your own tent. Coffee and tea will be available in the morning.


The nightly fee will be $20 per person or $50 per carload of visitors. Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute alumni and those willing to volunteer at least four hours during weekend’s events may stay for free. All campers are encouraged to register using the form at the bottom of this post as soon as possible to ensure a campsite.

Enjoy a homegrown lunch.

Cayuta Sun Farm is proud of our pastured poultry and pork and would like you to taste why. Upon arriving for the Saturday tour, make an order for our pork sausage sandwich. Enjoy your freshly grilled Italian style sausage at a picnic table in the cool shade of our shiitake mushroom yard. We begin grilling at 11 a.m. Cold non-alcoholic drinks will also be sold.


Meet the farmer.

A guided tour will be conducted in a continuous loop from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Join in at anytime. Led by Michael Burns, the presentation will highlight the development of a permaculture-inspired farmstead that has in recent years become a small woodland farm. Highlights include the octagonal classroom built of black locust logs with a reciprocal rafter roof, shiitake mushroom production, chickens and pigs raised on grass and under the canopy of trees, plus off-grid energy systems.


A decade’s worth of permaculture students, teachers, and practitioners have passed through Cayuta Sun Farm working, learning, and connecting with others. We feel lucky to be part of it all, are proud of our local permaculture scene, and look forward to sharing the promise of permaculture and ecological design with all our guests this August 26th through the 28th.

Register to camp:


flpcitranslogo1Learn more about the Finger Lakes Permaculture Tour Weekend at

Permaculture Practicum

Join a small-farm crew for this series of practicum classes on permaculture design skills and principles.

During nine afternoons and evenings this summer, teacher and farmer Michael Burns instructs farm apprentices and others in the basics of permaculture design. Presentations, activities and design work focus on specific goals and challenges of this 14-year old, off-grid farmstead as it transitions to a working forest farm.

Michael Burns has been teaching permaculture for over a decade and is a cofounder of the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute. He teaches permaculture at the high school and college level and with community-based organizations.

Join us when you can.
Sign up for as many classes as you wish or the whole season.
Come for just the evening instruction or join us in the field during the afternoon.
We meet Mondays:
June 13 & 27,
July 18 & 25,
August 1, 15, & 22, and
September 5 & 19.


Hands-on: 2 – 4:30 p.m.

Students are welcome to come early to give labor in exchange for tuition. Our activities will demonstrate the implementation of permaculture design on the farm’s landscape. Hands-on students are not required to pay the evening class fee.

Potluck Dinner: 5 – 6 p.m.

All are welcome to bring food to share. A grill is available. Enjoy pork sausage from our farm!

Instruction: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Learn a basic introduction to permaculture ethics, principles, design process and strategies. Mapping and activities will engage students in practical design for Cayuta Sun Farm, learning skills applicable to a wide variety of projects. Class fee: $20


June 13: What is permaculture?

June 27: The Design Process & Scale of Permanence

July 18: Reading the Landscape: Mapping

July 25: Reading the Landscape: Vegetation

August 1: Water & Landform

August 15: Reading the Landscape: Access & Circulation

August 22: Reading the Landscape: Zones & Sectors

September 5: Creative Design

September 19: Regenerative Design


Send an RSVP by filling out the form below with your name, phone, email address and which dates you plan to attend. You are welcomed and encouraged to sign on and share our Facebook Event for these classes. However, use this form to ensure your registration.



Enjoy a BBQ and Free Introductory Permaculture Presentations on August 22nd

Cayuta Sun Farm is proud to be part of the the 2nd Annual Finger Lakes Permaculture Tour on August 22nd, 2015. On this day over a dozen homes, parks, and farms will showcase how they utilize the practice of permaculture to create beautiful, abundant landscapes.


At our farm we invite visitors to learn how we are using ecological design methods to build a small sustainable woodland farm. Be our guest and take part in any of the following activities:

  • nicolewalksAt 1, 2 and 3 p.m. visitors can attend “Introduction to Permaculture” presentations by teachers Aimee Heavy and Erin Humphries in our unique octagonal classroom . Amiee and Erin have studied permaculture design, taught classes and are each actively building their own sites.
  • Cayuta Sun Farm interns Andrew Olcott and Jason Maanka will be present at the farm’s Shiitake mushroom yard to demonstrate and explain to visitors how we produce log-grown gourmet mushrooms.
  • burnsFarm co-owner Michael Burns will provide ongoing tours around the farm showcasing the design and development of the forest farming system that produces healthy, pastured pigs and chickens, plus other features including the home garden, the off-grid super-insulated house, facilities for permaculture education and many other features.
  • Beginning at noon and continuing past 3 pm, a chicken BBQ lunch will be sold and served to our touring guests.

If you are coming from out-of-town, and need a place to camp, feel free to contact us. We may be able to share our land for a few nights. There is a very rustic hot shower and composting toilets for visitors.


The weekend’s events start on Friday evening with a showing at 6 p.m. of the new permaculture film “Inhabit” that features local permaculture teacher Steve Gabriel of Wellspring Forest Farm. After the tours, all are invited to the Good Life Farm’s Cider house for a reception with food and live music. Learn about all these events at: You can also connect via Facebook for the tour and the movie.