After a toxic oil spill in my garden, one of the readers of our blog kindly contacted mycologist Tradd Cotter on my behalf. One of the perks of having a blog with its group of great readers is people like her.
First of all, in case you didn’t know, a mycologist is a biologist who specializes in fungi. Tradd Cotter has been making a name for himself in the subfield of mycoremediation, the use of fungi to remediate, or remove, pollutants from the environment. Here’s the author:
Tradd offered his help. The long and the short of that situation is I am still in bureaucratic limbo with the utility company and the local EPA, so I’ve been unable to avail myself of that help at this time.
When I heard Mr. Cotter had a book coming out dealing with not only mycoremediation, but also growing edible and medicinal mushrooms, I immediately pre-ordered a copy.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough for those of you with similar interests. I’ve had the book for a couple of weeks and have only started to scratch the surface. It starts off with a fundamentals of mushroom cultivation section, including instructions for cultivation on logs, stumps, wood chips, compost, and sterilized media. The second part delves into lots of creative applications and projects with mushrooms. There’s even a chapter for school-age classroom projects broken down by age group that would be a great starting point for homeschoolers.
The third section gets into laboratory construction and starting your own cultures as well as mycoremediation techniques. There are step-by-step directions for establishing a mycoremediation system in chicken runs that uses a diy fungal filter to transform your chicken run into a sweet-smelling soil amendment factory. Worth the price of the book. I can’t tell you how cool this looks; layers of wood chips inoculated with king stropharia spawn. If you are or know and love a homestead/sustainability nerd, this is paydirt.
The final section is an alphabetical overview of cultivated mushrooms, complete with a difficulty-of-culture ranking, outlines of the cultivation techniques for each, uses, storage, marketing potential, notes on both indoor and outdoor culivation, and uses in mycoremediation and more.
Tons of photos, useful illustrations, and real-life experience. Recommend!