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Spawning Mycelial Networks: The 2014 Radical Mycology North American Tour

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All photographs by Peter McCoy, unless noted

In August of 2014, members of the Radical Mycology Collective set out on a 3-month tour across North America to share their mycological knowledge with a over 40 different volunteer groups, non-profits, activist spaces, food justice centers, art collectives, and mycological societies. As self-educated mycologists, the tour members knew that mycology has historically been a study of the few and difficult to access for most people, despite the incredible insights and global resilience that comes from working with fungi. In collaboration with a variety of organizations, the Radical Mycology tour demonstrated that the art, science, and radical potential of working with fungi can significantly enhance all aspects of culture, politics, and life.

To see the 2014 Radical Mycology Tour’s Info Pack click here

Aug. 15-19: Telluride, CO
Kicking off at the 34th annual Telluride Mushroom Festival in beautiful SW Colorado, the tour vibes started high with a warm reception by many of the event’s presenters and attendees. Among the many incredible presentations by mycologists and authors such as Robert Rogers, Tradd Cotter, and John Holliday, Rad Myco members Mara and Peter were honored to give a talk on the imperative of a community-centric approach to mycology during the 5 days of medicinal mushrooms, forays, and mycoremediation.

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Post parade party at TMF

While Mara was at the TMF, only Peter was able to continue on down the road. So, in need of help with driving and keeping things real, TMF volunteer Adam was brought onboard the Dolphin (aka Dolphie) to help hold the reigns and roadie the next 10 days through the Southwestern US.

Aug. 23: Denver, CO
     From the high mountains of Telluride, the tour set out for Denver’s Living Systems Institute, an urban teaching center that works to “increase resilience by nurturing healthy relationships, creating repeating interactions, among the things in our range of influence, our habitat.” Here, the tour was joined for the evening by James Weiser of Amateur Mycology, a brilliant self-taught mycologist who shared a wealth of his incredible insights into the fungal kingdom with the crowd.

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New Mexico

Aug. 22-23: Santa Fe & Albuquerque, NM
     Next up were the arid hills outside Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the tour collaborated on a workshop with the Ampersand Sustainable Learning Center, an off the grid facility focused on developing sustainable living systems for desert climates.

Our whole approach to sustainability is about your relationship with your resources.  We start with  the basics: water, food, shelter, and energy.  We are simply gathering, experimenting with, and demonstrating sustainable solutions for living in harmony with our bioregion.

The topic was Mushroom Cultivation for Dryland Environments and the room was packed with folks excited to learn novel means for easily growing mycelium for food and medicine and the best design principles for creating water-scarce mushroom installations. The following day, the wonderful people at La Abeja Herbs hosted two workshops in Albuquerque to a room packed with folks from across the city.

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Solar dehydrator at Ampersand

Aug 25: San Antonio, TX
     Into thick high summer swelter of San Antonio, TX the Dolphie descended for a stop at the SW Worker’s Union.

The Southwest Workers’ Union is an organization of low-income workers and families, community residents, and youth, united in one organizational struggle for worker rights, environmental justice and community empowerment.

Here the discussion focused on mycoremediation strategies in collaboration with local activists working to address the significant pollution issues in the city’s abandoned military sites. The following day, Adam said his farewell as Peter rolled on east to pick up collective member Willoughby en route to New Orleans.

Aug. 27: New Orleans, LA
     Compared to the abundance of permaculture-inspired organizations and projects in Cascadia, permaculture as a practice is still getting established in the Big Easy. One of the most active permaculture groups in the city is The Urban Farmstead, which hosted the next tour stop’s 4-hour presentation on the numerous ways that fungi readily integrate into permaculture design systems. Folks in the crowd were especially excited about the skills that were shared, and as the conversations dispersed at the end of the night, we got the first taste of the excitement and sadness that comes with briefly meeting a crowd of like-minded mycophiles only to be swept away the following day onto the road of many miles.

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Willoughby and Peter being interviewed at WTUL in New Orleans

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Coprinus radicans, the orange fuzz is its ozonium, a dense mat of mycelium!
Credit: Willoughby Arevalo

Aug. 29-30: Tallahassee and Gainesville, FL
     Skimming the bayous and inlets of the Gulf Coast, the Dolphie chugged along Interstate 10, toward a packed auditorium at the local college in Tallahassee, Florida. Here the host was the Florida Native Plant Society, whose members were thrilled to learn about Radical Mycology’s perspective on the ecological significance of plant and fungal communities. The mycological diversity in Florida was incredible, yet to our surprise we learned that there was no mycological society in the whole state! After the talk, many crowd members self organized to continue their education as the merch table got swamped. The next day our local fungophile homie, Tim, brought Willoughby out for an early morning foray, complete with stinkhorns, giant spiders and a dead armadillo.

As we set out the next morning for Gainesville, an attendee from the night before got in touch to offer us over 300 blank shirts for screenprinting. The generous donor had noticed that we had sold out of shirts the night before and wanted to give us this donation to help fuel the efforts. SO! COOL!

That eve’s stop was at Gainesville’s Civic Media Center, a radical infoshop and community meeting space. Some of the diverse audience members had even travelled for hours to hear about the work of Radical Mycology. Needless to say, we were honored by the substrate of kindness that Florida left us growing on.

Mellow Mush

Mellow, Credit: Anonymous

Aug. 31-Sept. 1: Atlanta, GA
     A late night drive through torrential rains brought us to Atlanta to hold a dual workshop organized by the Mushroom Club of Georgia, 5th Kingdom Mushrooms, and the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance (WAWA). The first workshop focused on mycopermaculture and was followed by the installation of a King Stropharia mother bed at the Urban Garden Resiliency Oasis (an urban gardening education center in West Atlanta), which will eventually grow to provide spawn to gardeners throughout the neighborhood.

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King Stropharia mother patch installation at UGRO

The next day’s workshop was an ecologically-focused foray at the 26 acre Bush Mountain Nature Reserve, urban Atlanta’s largest old-growth forest, which is stewarded by WAWA.

[WAWA] is a community-based non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life within the West Atlanta Watershed by protecting, preserving and restoring our community’s natural resources. WAWA represents African American neighborhoods in Northwest and Southwest Atlanta that are most inundated with environmental stressors, but are least represented at environmental decision-making tables.

The myco-diversity was incredible in the protected watershed area; we only made it 100 feet in 3 hours! In the down time between workshops, we visited two urban farms: WAWA’s Board Treasurer Imran’s permaculture farm and 5th Kingdom, Atlanta’s gourmet mushroom farm which provides Imran with spent spawn to help build topsoil at his farm.

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Mycelium Raging 10706806_1493216114298312_1584759522_n

Stinky Squid, Pseudocolus fusiformis

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5th Kingdom Mushrooms

Sept. 2-3: Asheville, NC
     Creeping over the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Dolphin came to the incredibly friendly and myco-literate town of Asheville, NC. Starting in the morning with an eco-focused foray, the first night in town wrapped up with a packed room at Warren Wilson College for the tour’s central talk, Radical Mycology: Spawing Mycelial Networks. The host, Dana, was gearing up to implement numerous mycelial applications on campus: to transform cafe waste into food, to filter runoff from the campus’ composting facility, and to inoculate beetle-killed trees with local hemlock reishi. So cool.

The next night’s mycopermaculture talk was held at The Landing, an urban community focused on education and performing arts. The Landing’s resident mycologists AJ and Erica kept us up late that night with next-level cultivation conversations, while Peter cooked up liquid culture media. Before leaving town, we got a behind the scenes tour of Mushroom Central, Asheville’s fungal supply hub, spawn producer and mushroom farm.

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Warren Wilson warming up

Asheville

Mushroom Central

Sept. 5-6: Virginia & DC
Two quick stops brought the us to Harrisonburg, VA’s environmental justice student group E.A.R.T.H and Washington D.C.’s activist hub The Peace House before we continued on to Pennsylvania.

Sept. 7: Media & Philadelphia, PA
Here, in Media, we started to feel the fullness of the tour’s itinerary as we landed in a packed room with members of Transition Town Media seeking to learn about mushroom identification from Peter while Willoughby played with the under-12 crowd to Put the Fun in Fungi.

Transition Town Media is a community based initiative focused on building community resilience in the face of global economic and environmental challenges that are impacting many in the Media area.

Soon after, Willoughby led an info-packed ecologically-focused foray to a rapt audience before we dashed across town to set up for an evening performance at the historic Sedgwick Theater. There, Willoughby performed his intriguingly unique music performance-cum-pedagogy, The Sex Life of Mushrooms. 

WIll Hunt2

Ecologically focused

Sept. 8: New York City, NY
     Only in the Big Apple for one day, we decided to skip the tourist game and hold down two workshops instead. The first was at La Casita Verde, a community garden in Brooklyn, with art and technology teacher Marina Zurkow, as a part of her graduate program at New York University, the Interactive Telecommunications Program. From there we headed to a packed room at the Manhattan’s Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space (MORUS) to hold a talk on the intersections of mycology, guerilla gardening, the Occupy movement, and squatters rights.

The Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space in New York City seeks to preserve, research, archive, and exhibit the historical squats and gardens of Manhattan’s Lower East side. 

     That night Peter showed Willoughby his old dumpster diving grounds where, when volunteering with the New York Freegans, Peter used to demonstrate to news crews and crowds from around the world the incredible amount of waste, pollution, and viable food that is sent to the curb every night by businesses across the city. We hit it big, salvaging among other things, over a gallon of dried mushrooms.

MORUS

MORUS

Sept. 9: Beacon, NY
Traveling up the Hudson River, the tour landed the next evening at the sustainable living and ecological design teaching center node.

node exists to adjust the conventional ecological dialog. In response to the modern climax ecology that has rendered lack of transparency, empowerment inequalities, and unrealized public benefit around environment, node provides an education and resources exchange platform that facilitates exploratory adaptive design aesthetically represented.

Even though the Radical Mycopermaculture workshop was the 2nd event node had hosted, the room was packed with mycophiles from across the region. Capping off the workshop, everyone made an oyster kit using fermented straw. And afterward, the majority of the crowd organized a group to pursue future cultivation projects!

Sept. 11-14: Western MA
Picking up Radical Mycology co-founder Maya in Massachusetts, the 3 of us travelled to Great Barrington to hold a lecture at the local library, where attendees brought boxes of tomatoes, chicken of the woods and jars of sauerkraut to share. The following weekend, Fungi Ally in Amherst hosted a 2-day Mushroom Cultivation & Application Course, which concluded with an edible mushroom path and a two-species, two-tiered, remediative bed designed to filter affluent from the property’s septic system. Attendants traveled from far and wide, one coming all the way from Ivory Coast!

Willie

 Willie Crosby, Owner of Fungi Ally

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Remediative 2-tiered mushroom terrace installation at Fungi Ally

Sept. 15 – 16: Boston & Maine
Saying goodbye to new (and old) friends and fellow cultivators, the tour continued to Boston to present a cultivation workshop and a mycology for kids teacher training at Green City Growers, an organization focused on transforming vacant lots into urban farms. For our last stop on the east coast, we went to rural Maine for a Radical Mycopermaculture workshop and outdoor bed installation at a private homestead. The Mainers picked up what we were spawning down and were inspired to start their own mycological activist group, The Mycowrench Gang.

Chaga

Chaga!

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Sept. 17: Montreal, QC
After spotting chaga from the road on a long backcountry drive and making a quick border crossing, the island city of Montreal welcomed the crew with fresh poutine and a room packed for 4 back-to-back workshops at Santropol Roulant, the city’s 20-year old food justice center.

Santropol Roulant uses food as a vehicle to break social and economic isolation between generations and cultures. Creatively and collaboratively, we strengthen and nourish our local community with our novel approaches to active youth engagement, urban food systems, food security and community care.

After leading workshops on cultivation, medicinal mushrooms, mimicking mycelium in social design, and fungal sexuality, we were swept off our feet for several days by our generous and myco-knowledgable hosts, some of whom had recently started Mycollectif, a mushroom cultivation and mycoremediation collective at Santropol Roulant. The group’s current project is to determine remediation strategies for a large city park polluted with heavy metals due to serving for years as a railyard. Among their members is the brilliant local mycologist Geoffroy of Champignons Maison.

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Sex Life of Mushrooms

10706751_1491560074433299_2096025769_nCoprinus comatus, Montreal

1390379_291746707698070_1243385232_n Resinous Polypore (Ischnoderma resinosum)

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Geoffroy’s Lab

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The potent medicinal mushroom, Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), grown on 95% coffee grounds

Sept. 21: Toronto, ON

The next stop was at, well, The Stop, Toronto’s community food center.

The Stop strives to increase access to healthy food in a manner that maintains dignity, builds health and community, and challenges inequality.

Only able to present for the afternoon, the Radical Mycology workshop was well attended with many attendees excited to learn more and add a fungal component to The Stop’s gardening and composting projects.

Niagara

Niagara Falls, now its definitely a tour

Sept. 23: Rochester, NY
Crossing back stateside, the next two standing room only workshops were held at the beautifully hip mushroom farm and storefront, Smugtown Mushrooms. Our wonderful host, Olga, showed us some of the town’s more famous & secret maitake motherlodes, including a 4 a.m. foray where we saw the glow of wild Panellus stipticus. So cool.

REISHI

Local Rochester Reishi strain fruiting at Smugtown Mushrooms

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Style

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Phellinus gilvus, Credit: Willoughby Arevalo

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Birch Polypore (Piptoporus betulinus)

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Maitake (Grifola frondosa)

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Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus) Credit: Willoughby Arevalo

Sept. 25: Detroit, MI
Another long day’s drive brought the tour to the heart of Detroit to align with Earthworks Urban Farm, a 15-year old urban faming initiative with a mission to “restore our connection to the environment and community…It is a working study in social justice, as well as in being more connected to the food we eat.”

Here we taught local farmers how to grow mushrooms off their annual crop wastes for increased productivity and economic security. This was the first mushroom focused workshop in Earthworks’ history and they were excited to incorporate the Oysters-On-Coffee-Cardboard-And-Fermented-Straw techniques covered into future curricula.

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Earthworks Urban Farm

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Oyster grains to wet cardboard and fermented straw burritos

Sept. 27-29: Traverse City & Kalamazoo, MI
Radical Mycology Collective member Mara did her share of tour organizing but was unable to travel with the tour, so she brought it to her town. The Grand Traverse Mycological Society and Carter’s Compost helped host a 2-day Mushroom Cultivation & Application Course in Traverse City. The install, at Carter’s, established a Pearl Oyster mother bed as a part of the compost initiative designed and run by a 9 year old!

In Kalamazoo, we held a remediation focused talk with local activists in relation to the three oil spills that had occurred in the area in recent years.

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A 9 year old did this!

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Sept. 30: Chicago, IL & the 2014 Radical Mycology Convergence
     The next day brought us to Chicago’s urban farm and education center, Earnest Earth, for a mycopermaculture presentation. That evening followed up with another presentation at the city’s maker space, CivicLab.

From here the Dolphin finned its way to rural Illinois to set up camp for nearly 2 weeks in preparation for the 3rd Radical Mycology Convergence. The RMC was a blast (!!!) and a reportback from it can be read here.

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Maya on Mycopermaculture

Morning Circle

Morning circle at the RMC, Credit: Arthur Lee

Dyes

Lichen Dyes with Shay, Credit: Arthur Lee

RMCTable

Collections at the RMC, Credit: Arthur Lee

Oct. 17-21: Minneapolis, MN & Bozeman, MT
Saying “see you in 3 weeks” to Maya and “see you in 2 weeks” to Willoughby, Peter left across the north plains for two standing-room only workshops in Minneapolis with Twin Cities Permaculture and two packed living room workshops in Bozeman hosted by the wonderful folks at Mountain Mycoworks and Broken Ground.

10724765_349529178556940_181263614_nMinneapolis

 

Oct. 27: Seattle, WA
Skipping across the Puget Sound to Vashon Island to cover mushroom ID and cultivation with the local Grower’s Association in the afternoon, Peter jumped back to the mainland that evening to present with the Seattle Farmer’s Co-Op in the city center. Afterwords, Peter was interviewed by Sara Bernhard for this great article in Grist Magazine.

Badlands

 

Oct. 28: Olympia, WA
Returning to Radical Mycology’s hometown, the workshop here was held at the New Moon Cooperative Café, owned and operated by members of the Black Moon Collective, an organization working to support the development of cooperative businesses in Olympia.

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Hericium hand

Oct. 29: Portland, OR
Willoughby rejoined the tour in Peter’s hometown for the final tour stretch and a workshop at Tryon Life Community Farm, a land project and non-profit focused on community-based sustainability and social change. Prior to the talk, roughly 20 volunteers joined a work party to help perform upkeep on a Mushroom Labyrinth designed and initiated months earlier by Peter and others, including Mushroom Jordan who joined in on that night’s packed-yurt presentation.

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Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor) and nettles (Urtica dioica), a beautiful medicinal combo

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On the mycelial path

Oct. 31 & Nov. 1: Southern Oregon
For Samhain (Halloween), the tour stopped at the Nomenus Wolf Creek Sanctuary to give a special talk on the relationship between fungi, death, and decomposition.

Founded in 1987, Nomenus is a nonprofit religious organization whose mission is to create, preserve and manage places of spiritual and cultural sanctuary for Radical Faeries and their friends to gather in harmony with nature for renewal, growth, and shared learning. Nomenus serves a regional and national community by stewarding Wolf Creek Sanctuary as a sacred space dedicated to queer liberation and spiritual growth, and to its founding intention as a sanctuary for Radical Faerie culture and faggot spirituality.

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Trametes versicolor

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Anise Mushroom (Clitocybe oroda)

The next day, one of the tour’s financial supporters brought us out through the mountains to Klamath Falls for a cultivation workshop at a private residence, bringing together local permaculturalists, homesteaders, and horticulturalists.

Nov. 3-4: Humboldt County, CA
Her, the tour was warmly welcomed by Willoughby’s home community, where we went big with three events in two days. We began at The Sanctuary in Arcata with an experimental mycoremediation installation (with spawn donated by local mushroom farm Mycality Mushrooms), using test plots with Pleurotus ostreatus, mycorrhizal inoculant, both, and a control to try to degrade chemical herbicide and fertilizer in the soil.

The Sanctuary is dedicated to creative growth through the arts, encouraging people to teach, inspire and know each other. 

Arcata Install

Arcata Install2

The next day, Willoughby led a foray at Big Lagoon, a veritable ectomycorrhizal garden. There were too many mushrooms to talk about to be able to make a species list. As darkness set in, we went to visit Sierra Madre Mushrooms, one of the largest distributors of wild mushrooms in North America. Willoughby has been friends with the owner for years, since getting caught dumpster diving in their compost bins. There, Peter saw more mushrooms than he had ever seen in his life, and Trent sent us home with a basket full of mushrooms to clone. Very little sleep was had that night, as we set up the flow hood at Willoughby’s dad’s house, and tissue cultured 19 strains of mushrooms, while eating 24 species, including some from that day’s harvest.

 

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Long nights, old story

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Bounty

Nov. 5-8: The Bay Area
Winding down the 101 to the final days of the tour, an evening session was held at the Sebastopol Grange followed by an afternoon presentation on fungi and urban resilience at Oakland’s A PLACE for Sustainable Living.

[PLACE is] a public-serving, experiential learning center to showcase and foster sustainable living practices, urban homesteading, community resiliency & preparedness, social justice and artistic expression.

The next day Willoughby led a foray in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park before the two rejoined Maya in Santa Cruz where she led a foray on the UC Santa Cruz campus.

Will Hunt

Conclusion
     Whew! After 13,000 miles, hundreds of photos, thousands of mushrooms, and the formation of countless new friendships, the touring mycos returned to their homes along the west coast to hibernate for winter and reflect on the lessons of the tour’s breadth. Bringing accessible mycological knowledge and skills to a wide range of demographics, the 2014 Radical Mycology Tour highlighted the rising excitement and desire for access to open-source mycology growing across North America and the important role that Radical Mycology plays in the spawning of this grassroots mycological movement.

Following on the strong interest of many tour participants to form local Radical Mycology-inspired groups, the Radical Mycology Collective is now building the infrastructure and information databases to help further develop this movement. Stay tuned to Radicalmycology.com and join our email list for more information on how to start a group in your area and connect with others around the world. The spores have been cast.

DOLPHINNER

THANKS!
     A big THANK YOU goes out to the many supporters of the Radical Mycology Book Indiegogo campaign, who all helped make this tour possible. And a second big THANK YOU to all the organizations, volunteers, hosts, and event attendees that helped make the 2014 Radical Mycology Tour such an inspiring and empowering success. We look forward to seeing you all again!

Mush Love,
The Radical Mycology Collective

 

Post Script: Radical Mycology Tour Species Lists

On this tour I worked hard–and sometimes with the help of locals–to ID as many mushrooms as possible, despite a shortage of time to really get down and dirty with keys and cross-referencing. Microscopy did not happen. Spore prints were infrequent. Most of these IDs are based purely on field characters without any follow up work, so take it with a grain of salt. When I encountered multiple unidentified members of a particular genus unless I am including any additional notes about their features, I add another “p” to the “sp” (i.e. Cortinarius spppp means I encountered 4 different Cortinarius species). Unfortunately, I did not manage to make lists for all of the forays. Notably Big Lagoon, CA and San Francisco, CA were sorely missed lists. Of course we encountered many mushrooms here and there, when we weren’t even looking (ok, actually I was always looking). The Beaver Pond in Conway, Massachusetts showed the greatest diversity, thanks in part to Maya and I teaming up on that one. However, Big Lagoon may have surpassed it, had I kept track. Turkey tail was the mushroom encountered in the most localities: 9 out of 14 sites with lists. Violet tooth polypore and Artist’s conk also showed up in more than half of the sites. Many of these mushrooms I had never before met in person, but only read about them and seen pictures. It was a joy to make some new friends. Particularly exciting new encounters were the various stinkhorns, maitake, and white jelly fungus.

-Willoughby

City Park, New Orleans, LA, 8/27/14

(12 taxa)
Conocybe sp
Amanita vaginata group (tiny) (Grisette)
Discomycete sp (convex cup, peachy)
Trametes sp
Coprinus domesticus or C. Radians (arising from an ozonium)
Schizophyllum commune (Split Gill Fungus)
Hypoxylon sp
Ganoderma applanatum (Artist’s Conk)
Auricularia sp (Wood Ear)
Daldina concentrica (Cramp Balls)
Phellinus sp
Mutinus caninus “Dog Stinkhorn”

 

Tom Brown Park, Tallahassee, FL 8/30/14

(43 taxa…thanks Tim for help with these)
Lentinus sp
Lentinus crinitis
Mycena sppp
Usnea sp
Permelia sp (cup lichen)
Stereum complicatum
Stereum ostrea
Marasmius spp
Cantharellus cibarius (Chanterelle)
Xerocomus rubrocitrina
Xylaria sp
Coprinellus sp white
Auricularia auricula (Wood Ear)
Daedalopsis ambigua
Polyoporus tenuiculus
Pleurotus ostreatus (Pearl Oyster)
Russula fragrantissima group (Fetid Russula)
Boletus pallidus
Cerrena unicolor
Russula sp (virescens?)
Lactarius tomento-marginatus
Cantharellus cinnibarinus (Cinnibar Chanterelle)
Amanita sp
Coltricia sp
Amanita abrupta
Trichaptum biforme (Violet Tooth Polypore)
Marasmiellus sp
Tremella sp (Witch’s Butter)
Gymnopus iocephalus
Tremella fuciformis (Snow Fungus/White Jelly Fungus)
Baeospora sp (on pine cone)
Trametes versicolor (Turkey Tail)
Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi)
Phallus ravenelli (Ravenell’s Stinkhorn)
Gloeophyllum striatum
Macrocybe titans
Scleroderma sp (Earthball)
Hydnochaete olivaceum
Nigroporus vinous
Grey headed slime mold

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Wood Ear (Aricularia spp.), Credit: Willoughby Arevalo

Outdoor Activity Center, Bush Mountain, Atlanta, GA 9/1/14

(31 taxa)
Polyporus sp
Boletus sp (red pores blue stain)
Cantharellus lateritius/appalachensis (Smooth Chanterelle)
Armillaria sp (Honey Mushroom/Bootlace Fungus) (rhizomorphs)
Lycogala epidendrum (Wolf’s Milk slime mold)
Pseudocolus fusiformis (Stinky Squid)
Mycena spp
Marasmus sp
Trametes versicolor (Turkey Tail)
Lenzites betulina (Gilled Polypore)
Stereum complicatum
Calostroma sp (Red Slimy-Stalked Puffball)
Panellus sp
Hypoxylon sp
Amanita bisporigera
Xylaria sp (on sweetgum seed ball)
Boletus sp (red cap, yellow pores,blue stain, small)
Hypomyces chrysospermum (Bolete Eater)
Trichaptum biforme (Violet Tooth Polypore)
Russula fragrantissima group (Fetid Russula)
Russula sp (tiny pink)
Stereum ostrea
Ramaria sp
Russia sp (emetica?)
Cantharellus cibarius (Chanterelle)
Lycoperdon sp (Puffball)
Tylopilus sp (Green cap, brown stain)
Boletus sp
Hapaloporus nidulans
Phaeolus schweinitzii (Dyer’s Polypore)

 

Warren Wilson College – trail by church, Asheville, NC 9/2/14

(25 taxa)
Stereum ostrea
Stereum complicatum
Trichaptum biforme (Violet Tooth Polypore)
Pluteus cervinus (Deer Mushroom)
Gloeophyllum sepiarium (Rusty Gilled Polypore)
Tyromyces sp (Cheese Polypore)
Marasmius sp (magnosporus?)
Marasmius sp
Ganoderma applanatum (Artist’s Conk)
Armillaria sp (Honey Mushroom)
Climacodon septentrionale
Schizophyllum commune (Split Gill Fungus)
Trametes versicolor (Turkey Tail)
Collybia sp
Amanita sp (fibrillose, ring less, blushing)
Tremella sp (Witch’s Butter)
Scleroderma sp  (Earthball)
Russula sp (mariae?)
Cantharellus appalachensis/lateritius (Smooth Chanterelle)
Ramaria sp
Hypoxylon sp
Panellus stipticus (Glow in the Dark)
Trametes sp.
Hymenochetae sp.

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Mystery mushroom. Any ideas? Contact willoughbyarevalo [at] hotmail [dot] com

Washington, D.C. Streets, Landscaping etc 9/6/14

(10 taxa)
Nidularia sp (Bird’s Nest Fungus)
Conocybe sp
Stereum sp
Panaeolus sp
Mutinus caninus (Dog Stinkhorn)
Pleurotus sp (Oyster)
Phellinus spp
Geastrum sp (Earthstar)
Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) on ornamental plum roots

 

Rose Tree Park, Media, PA, 9/7/14

(18 taxa)
Crepidotus spp
Trichaptum biforme (Violet Tooth Polypore)
Trametes versicolor (Turkey Tail)
Ciboria sp
Russula sp
Piptoporus betulinus (Birch Polypore)
Stereum sp
Scutellaria sp (Eyelash Cup)
Amanita sp
Cortinarius sp
Climacodon septentrionale
Armillaria sp (Honey Mushroom/Bootlace Fungus) (rhizomorphs)
Daldina concentrica (Cramp Balls)
Orange cluster (?)
Ganoderma applanatum (Artist’s Conk)
Phellinus sp
Pluteus cervinus (Deer Mushroom)


On and around Maya’s Family’s Place, Conway, Massachusetts, 9/10/14

(27 taxa)
Chlorociboria aeriginosa (Green Stain Cup)
Hypomyces lactiflorum (Lobster Mushroom)
Amanita sp (yellow) (Grisette)
Hypomyces chrysospermum (Bolete Eater)
Trichaptum biforme (Violet Tooth Polypore)
Stereum complicatum
Bjerkandera adusta (Smoky Polypore)
Trametes versicolor (Turkey Tail)
Scleroderma sp (Earthball)
Ganoderma applanatum (Artist’s Conk) (huge!)
Amanita rubescens (Blusher)
Suillus sppp
Clitocybe sp
Russula sppp
Amanita phalloides (Death Cap)
Trametes sp
Cortinarius sp
Boletus sp
Fuligo septica (Vomited Scrambled Egg Slime Mold)
Fomes fomentarius (Amadou/Tinder Conk/Iceman Polypore)
Inonotus obliquus (Chaga)
Laccaria sp
Piptoporus betulinus (Birch Polypore)

Beaver Pond, Conway, Massachusetts, 9/12/14

(53 taxa)
Fomes fomentarius (Amadou/Tinder Conk/Iceman Polypore)
Lactarius camphoratus (Candy Cap)
Russula sp vinosa?
Phellodon sp (side by side with):
Hydnellum concrescens
Trametes versicolor (Turkey Tail)
Cortinarius spppppp
Ganoderma applanatum (Artist’s Conk)
Russula sp
Craterellus fallax (Black Trumpet/Horn of Plenty)
Cryptotrama asprata
Russula sp (emetica?)
Chlorociboria sp “green stain” (rot)
Hebeloma sp (Corpse Finder)
Stereum sp
Armillaria sp (Honey Mushroom)
Amanita vaginata group (Grisette)
Leccinum sp?
Tylopilus eximus
Lycoperdon sp (Puffball)
Craterellus ignicolor (Yellow Foot/Winter Chanterelle)
Hygrocybe sp (Waxy Cap)
Hydnum umbilicatum (Bellybutton Hedgehog)
Hypomyces luteovirens
Hypomyces chrysospermum (Bolete Eater)
Marasmius sp
Panellus stipticus (Glow in the Dark)
Suillus lakei (Painted Suillus)
Lactarius subvellereus var subdistans?
Suillus sp (glandular dots on stalk)
Amanita fulva (Tawny Grisette)
Amanita phalloides (Death Cap)
Clitocybe sp
Clitopilus prunulus (Sweetbread Mushroom)
Pluteus cervinus (Deer Mushroom)
Clavulina cinereus (Ashy Coral Mushroom) (with its parasite):
Helminthosphaeria clavariarum
Ciboria sp (yellow)
Yellow wrinkled granular veil-less wood rotting agaric (?)
Lactarius sp
Mycena sp
Suillus sp (painted w/ cortina)
Xerocomus sp
Tricholomopsis rutilans (Clums and Custard)
Ganoderma tsugae (Hemlock Reishi)
Tricholoma sp (flavovirens?)
Psathyrella sp
Phylloporus leucomycelinus

 

Fungi Ally Farm, Amherst, Massachusetts, 9/12-14/14

(4 taxa)
Unidentified LBM coming out of a sclerotium
Lentinula edodes (Shiitake)
Hericium erinaceus (Lion’s Mane)
Boletus subglabripes

 

Mont Royal, Montreal, QC, Canada, 9/19/14

(23 taxa)
Ganoderma applanatum (Artist’s Conk)
Daedalopsis confragosa (Thin-Walled Maze Polypore
Schizophyllum commune (Split Gill Fungus)
Cerrena unicolor
Fomes fomentarius (Amadou/Tinder Conk/Iceman Polypore)
Russula sp
Laccaria sp
Cortinarius sp
Chalciporus sp (Peppery Bolete)
Hericium erinaceus (Lion’s Mane) (on paper birch)
Phellinus spp
Volvariella bombycina? (primordium)
Lycoperdon sp (Puffball)
Tyromyces caesius (Blue Cheese Polypore)
Suillus sp
Polyporus squamosus (Dryad’s Saddle)
Stereum sp
Hypoxylon sp
Pluteus cervinus (Deer Mushroom)
Crepidotus sp
Trametes versicolor (Turkey Tail)
Condomyces flaccidus (no relation to the phalloid fungi;) (Used Condom)
Coprinus comatus (Shaggy Mane)
Ischnoderma resinosum (Resinous Polypore)

Rochester, NY, 9/23/14

Genesse Valley Park:

(6 taxa)
Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi)
Chalciporus piperatus (Peppery Bolete)
Inocybe sp (Fiber Head)
Bondarzewia berkeleyii (Berkeley’s (Polypore)
Grifola frondosa (Maitake/Hen of the Woods)
Amanita sp

 

Heartwood Forest:

(30 taxa)
Irpex lacteus (Milky Toothed Crust)
Panellus stipticus (Glow in the Dark)
Pholiota adiposa (Fat Pholiota)
Hericium coralloides (Coral Hericium)
Pleurotus ostreatus (Pearl Oyster)
Ganoderma applanatum (Artist’s Conk)
Armillaria sp (Honey Mushroom/Bootlace Fungus) (rhizomorphs)
Schizophyllum commune (Split Gill Fungus)
Lycoperdon sp (Puffball)
Ramaria sp (Coral Mushroom)
Phlebia sp (Dog Vomit Fungus)
Trichaptum biforme (Violet Tooth Polypore)
Stereum ostrea
Russula sp (white)
Stereum complicatum
Daedalopsis confragosa (Thin-Walled Maze Polypore)
Grifola frondosa (Maitake/Hen of the Woods)
Hypoxylon sp
Trametes versicolor (Turkey Tail)
Phellinus gilvus (Oak Conk)
Mycena sp (yellow)
Conocybe filaris (group) (Ringed Cone-Head)
Ciboria sp
Laetiporus sulphureus (Chicken of the Woods/Sulfur Shelf)
Stereum sp (white hymenophore)
Mycena sp
Cantharellus cinnibarinus (Cinnibar Chanterelle)
Xeromphalina sp
Hypsizygus ulmarius (Elm Oyster)
Daldina concentrica (Cramp Balls)

 

The Back Forty, Detroit, MI, 9/25/14

(4 taxa)
Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi)
Coprinellus sp
Psathyrella sp
Ganoderma sp

 

Nance’s Land, Freeport, IL

Radical Mycology Convergence Site

Oct 1-13, 2014

(32 taxa)
Hypsizygus ulmarius (Elm Oyster) (on box elder)
Polyporus squamosus (Dryad’s Saddle) (on box elder)
Suillus sp (under pines)
Trichaptum biforme (Violet Tooth Polypore) (on walnut)
Pleurotus ostreatus (Pearl Oyster)
Entoloma sp or Tricholoma sp? (near pines & walnuts)
Clitocybe spp (under pines)
Schizphyllum commune (Split Gill Fungus) (on walnut etc)
Auricularia sp (Wood Ear) (on walnut)
Ganoderma applanatum (Artist’s Conk)
Flammulina sp (Enoki/Velvet Shank) (on willow, walnut, on logs over creek)
Armillaria sp (Honey Mushroom) (under oaks on ground) and shoestring rhizomorphs (in fallen branches)
Mycena sp (yellow orange)
Trametes pubescens
Irpex lacteus (Milky Toothed Crust) (on walnut)
Calocybe cornea (Staghorn Jelly)
Hebeloma sp (Corpse Finder) (under spruces)
Mutinus caninus (Dog Stinkhorn) (in greenhouse)
Mycena sp (on railroad ties by driveway)
Mycena sp (beige)
Psathyrella sp (big clusters around base of oak)
Mycena sp (dainty grey)
Bovista plumbea (Tumbling Puffball)
Trametes hirsuta
Trichaptum biforme (Violet Tooth Polypore) (on walnut near driveway/bat barn)
Mycena sp (tiny, on walnut shell)
Galerina marginata (Deadly Galerina) (on rotten wood near kennel)
Cyathus sp (Bird’s Nest Fungus) (tall brown furry, on twig)
Calvatia gigantea (Giant Puffball)
Aleurodiscus oakesii (Popcorn Fungus)
Trametes versicolor (Turkey Tail) (on stump near big barn & on wooden stool in big barn)

 

UCSC campus, trail from North Remote Parking Lot, Santa Cruz, CA 11/8/14

(16 taxa)

Phaeolus schweinitzii (Dyer’s Polypore)
Trichaptum abietinum (Conifer Violet Tooth Polypore)
Poria sp (on madrone)
Entoloma sp
Hypoxylon sp
Mycena sp
Mycena sp (Bleach Mycena)
Russula sp
Rhizopogon sp
Pisolithus tinctorius (Dead Man’s Foot”
Scleroderma sp (Earthball)
Amanita sp (citrina?)
Hypomyces chrysospermum (Bolete Eater)
Stereum hirsuta (Hairy Parchment)
Tylopilus sp
Suillus caerulescens (Doug-Fir Suillus)

Dolphin Badlands

Radical Mycology recently featured on Adventures Through The Mind

Radical Mycology co-founder Peter McCoy was recently interviewed for the first edition of the podcast Adventures Through The Mind, hosted by James Jesso. Topics covered include the importance of fungi in past and present human cultures, medicinal mushrooms, mycoremediation, and insights into the fungal life cycle and its relationship to human life. Check it out here.

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Radical Mycology Featured on Unlearn & Rewild

Radical Mycology cofounder Peter McCoy was recently featured on the wonderful podcast Unlearn & Rewild with Ayana Young. This rare voice in the wilderness of the internet begins with the premise that “humanity’s primary challenges are to unlearn our destructive conditioning and repair and reintegrate into the wild web of life.” In this interview, Peter shares some of the more politically and ethically charged perspectives that fuel his work with Radical Mycology. Topics covered include how the work of radical mycologists can support social and environmental organizing efforts, the harsh realities of mycoremediation, integration of fungi into permaculture design, and more. Listen to the interview by clicking here.

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Radical Mycology Recently Featured in Grist

Radical Mycology cofounders Maya Elson and Peter McCoy were recently featured in the environmental news and commentary magazine Grist. This excellent article touches on Radical Mycology’s history and various hyphal projects as well as the importance of this work in the context of today’s world. This awesome piece was written by Sara Bernard. Check it out here.

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2014 Radical Mycology Convergence Reportback

RMC 2014 BannerBy Peter McCoy

The Radical Mycology Convergence (RMC) is a volunteer-run gathering that shares the knowledge and skills of working with fungi for personal, societal, and ecological health. A non-discriminatory and family-friendly event, the RMC welcomes people of all backgrounds to learn about and join the growing fields of sustainable mycology and bioremediation. The RMC teaches the means to work with fungi as a resilient food and medicine source as  well a natural ally in efforts to help regenerate, remediate, and renew damaged environments. Emphasizing techniques that are low-cost, the skills and ethos presented at the RMC aim to support a wide range of grassroots efforts advocating for environmental protection, social justice, and local food autonomy.

In the fall of 2014, over 250 people from around the globe gathered at the 3rd Radical Mycology Convergence in Orangeville, IL to gain skills for working with fungi as personal, societal, and ecological medicine. Hosted on the private homestead of bioremediation expert Nance Klehm, the 2014 RMC built on the knowledge base laid at the previous 2 Convergences to further strengthen the emerging fields of community-scale mushroom cultivation and grassroots bioremediation. Hosting over 50 discussions and workshops and 8 edible and experimental remediation installations, this year’s RMC provided new insights into how fungi can help address the increasingly complex challenges of today’s world.

Film by Steve Zieverink

Fertile Substrate

Set up for the RMC began at Fertile Substrate, a 3-day pre-Convergence educational work party where volunteers and organizers prepared piles of substrates, germinated installation inoculum, cleared and designated installation sites, built seating and other infrastructure, and cultured several locally harvested mushroom species such as Elm Oyster (Hypsizygus ulmarius), Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor), Enoki (Flammulina velutipes), Chicken-Of-The-Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus), and Maitake (Grifola frondosa).

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Sourcing and preparing substrates

The Workshops

This year’s RMC hosted over 50 original workshops and discussions focused on one of the several major themes of the RMC: Fungal Biology & Ecology, Ethnomycology, Ecological Restoration & Remediation, and Fungal Cultivation. Many of the workshops intentionally covered topics and skills not typically addressed at mycological events such as using mushroom identification skills to help protect threatened habitats, cultivating mushrooms in arid and extreme environments/climates, the realities of running of a small mushroom farm, and teaching mycology to kids. Friday night’s campfire hosted a challenging discussion addressing the idea “dark ecology,” a theory proposed by author Timothy Morton that the pollution and destructive practices of modern living must be fully embraced in order to overcome them and move toward healthier lives and a healthier world. Also unique to the 2014 RMC teaching model was an expressed desire to increase the presence of women and trans mycologists at the Convergence. As a part of this effort, a discussion directly addressing the role and experience of women and trans people in mycological circles was held at the RMC. A summary of this conversation can be read here.

Descriptions of all the 2014 RMC workshops can be viewed here. Videos of the 2014 RMC’s workshops will be made available online for free in the coming months. To see those when they become available, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel here.

10731602_456662414471436_667240384_nNance Klehm on compost

The Installations

Along with the cultivation workshops and theoretical discussions of the RMC another major component of the Convergence focused on putting theory to practice by facilitating hands-on remediative and regenerative fungal installations during the event. This year’s RMC brought about several novel approaches to working with fungi in landscape to mitigate pollution and renew disturbed habitats.

Determining the sites for remediation work to take place at the RMC was a months-long planning process. Several RMC organizers worked to identify needs, giving preference to issues related to chemical remediation strategies and strengthening local soil and aquatic ecologies. Zones of concern were selected on the property and collaborative planning discussions were held to develop the most effective strategies for addressing these areas. The main issues identified and addressed included the following:

Brush Creek MycoFiltration – Water samples from the property’s creek (Brush Creek) were sent to a local water testing lab prior to the RMC. The water was tested for a range of common chemical and biological contaminants and found to (thankfully) not contain concerning levels of pollutants. However, another concern to the water’s quality had previously been identified: in the rainy spring months heavy rain causes the water table of Brush Creek to rise significantly leading to topsoil erosion and a significant depositing of silt and debris into the creek water. This murky water subsequently reduces available oxygen, choking out aquatic life and reducing the resilience and diversity of riparian communities downstream. To mitigate this issue  a series of filters of mushroom mycelium were installed in the creek (in the form of burlap sacks filled with oak wood chips inoculated with Stropharia rugosoannulata [aka SRA]) to capture silt and increase water purity. The upper portion of the property’s creek was scouted to identify sites that had access to shallow, slower moving sections of the water course where mycelium containers could be installed and easily observed, maintained, and replaced as needed. Two sites were identified.

10732014_578650438928530_1109288106_nPreparing bags of Stropharia rugosoannulata bulk spawn for MycoFiltration of silt

Site A was a preexisting natural dam built of fallen logs and branches. This area was an easy candidate for installation as it would readily retain the bags to be installed. In the coming months the landowner will observe the bags’ health and determine whether they are getting “plugged” with debris, at which point they will need to be replaced.

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Site A of Brush Creek’s MycoFiltration installation

Site B was an overflow side channel in the water’s course that is contained in a short, shallow trench. This shady area is above the water table for most of the year, only filling with water in the rainy season. A series of SRA bags were installed in this channel and secured with branches and stakes of various sizes. In the coming months the bags and surrounding soil will become infused with this mushroom’s mycelium creating a productive mushroom bed. When the water raises next year, overflow from the creek will pass through this mushroom bed, filtering silt and debris as the mycelium is being hydrated (ultimately helping the bed produce more mushrooms). Another function of this mushroom bed is that it will serve to digest much of the property’s Reed Canary Grass. The landowner can simply throw this plant into Site B’s trench, feeding this edible mushroom to increase production while mitigating a common weed.

10724691_864015363622783_1053642658_nSite B of Brush Creek’s MycoFiltration installation

Post-Ag Field Regeneration – The land that hosted to 2014 RMC was a 20 acre parcel that had been heavily cultivated for 70 years with GM corn. While some portions of the property had been left to return to a prairie for 20 years, much of the property had only been out of production for 4 years. Due to years of heavy tillage and chemical input, the diversity in the soil communities of these areas were significantly depressed. These “post-ag” portions of the property were covered in a small number of dominant weeds, a sign of poor soil quality. Our goal was to begin repopulating the soil in these areas by inoculating test plots with beneficial microbes and fungi, thereby kickstarting the natural soil web cycles and eventually leading to greater soil health and increased nutrient availability.

Eight 2’x6′ plots were cleared and inoculated with various combinations of mycorrhizal fungi, compost tea, and biochar. The biochar was produced on-site and inoculated with fresh compost tea that followed standard and biodynamic compost tea practices. Compost tea breeds large quantities of beneficial aerobic microbes. The biochar performs several remediative functions while also serving as a “microbe hotel” where mycorrhizal fungi and other microbes can live. One bed was cleared but not inoculated to serve as a control.

10729295_385536021614627_1867443672_nInoculating biochar with actively aerated compost tea

On the myco end of this installation, several plots were inoculated with mycorrhizal fungi that will help support the soil’s health in numerous ways. The ideal practice for this portion of the experiment would have been to harvest locally-adapted mycorrhizal spores from on-site and culture them in association with plants over a season to amplify their spore load for inoculation. As this would have needed to been done a year in advance, we settled on using a commercial product containing various ecto and endomycorrhizal species. All plots were seeded with a commercial cover crop blend.

Prior to treatment the plots hosted various combinations of the following species (spontaneous vegetation):

Annual and perennial herbaceous plants:
    Dandelion
    Creeping charlie
    Wild aster
    Native aster *
    Stiff goldenrod *
    Canadian goldenrod
    Multiflora rose
    Wild bergamot *
    Reed canary grass
    Brome grass
Woody species:
   Box elder *
   Red maple *
   Red oak *
   White oak *
   Black walnut *
   Wild cherry *
 (* Indicates native species)

In the coming years, the landowner will observe the plots to determine which regenerates the most effectively to host a larger variety of plant species. It is our hypothesis that the plot inoculated with biochar, compost tea, and mycorrhizae will perform the best. Time will tell.

Automobile Engine Point Source Remediation – Not all means of integrating fungi for pollution mitigation need to be complicated or large-scale. For example, a simple “point-source” remediation installation initiated at the RMC involved placing a Pearl Oyster (Pleurotus ostreatus) woodchip bed below the landowner’s parking site. As the mycelium of this well-known remediative species myceliates the wood-based substrate in the coming months, it will also likely absorb and digest the oil and chemicals dripping off the car’s engine. This simple method of treating a common source of household pollution can be effectively installed in driveways around the world as this species and its relatives are quite common in most continents. Mushrooms that fruit from this bed should not be eaten however as they may harbor toxic elements.

914426_851927648180799_833609715_nPoint-source remediation of automobile contaminants

Human Waste Disposal – The human “waste” stream produced over the course of the RMC was treated as a valuable resource. Several composting toilets (The Shiitakers) were installed around the property and the fecal and urine matter collected at these sites was placed in The Pilobolus Pile, a slow compost pile that will eventually turn this common “waste” stream into healthy compost. This pile was constructed with an abundance of sawdust to eliminate smell and the risk of disease.

Beyond the restorative installations, several functional mushroom beds were installed around the property as well:

Hot Compost Garden Giant Bed – The landowner was interested in establishing a simple means for producing edible mushroom spawn that could be installed around the property in the coming years. Our go-to mushroom was easily Garden Giant (Stropharia rugosoannulata aka SRA) as this species is easy to grow on a wide range of substrates. In the property’s hoophouse, two 4′ tall hot compost piles were built with wheat straw and cow manure. On top of these compost materials a perforated cardboard buffer was laid in a circular shape and a woodchip / SRA sawdust spawn sandwich was installed. In the coming months this mushroom bed will myceliate the woodchips up top and eventually travel into the cardboard below. Simultaneously, the compost will heat up and reach an internal temperature of around 140ºF for 6-8 weeks, effectively warming the SRA bed and extending the growing season as the mycelium establishes prior to the coming cold months of winter. As the compost eventually begins to cool, the SRA will migrate from the top layer of woodchips into the compost pile (SRA is a secondary decomposer that prefers partially digested substrates). The compost will ultimately become infused with this incredible garden mushroom’s mycelium. When the compost is laid around the land next spring, this companion mushroom will follow in tow to build top soil, channel nutrients and water in the environment, and support plant health as it establishes across the local landscape.
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Stacking functions: King Stropharia mushroom bed on a hot compost pile

Stacking the Funk-tions: Elm Oysters on Reed Canary Grass – Two things were abundant on the property that piqued our cultivation function stacking interests. The edible and remediative Elm Oyster (Hypsizygus ulmarius) mushroom was found growing prodigiously on the property as was the common weed known as Reed Canary Grass (RCG), which we found dominating the old pasture on site. We decided to make use of the RCG (seeing it as an abundant local substrate) by inoculating it with the Elm Oyster, a vigorous species known for its ability to consume a wide variety of substrates. We harvested a basket of these local mushrooms and collected their spores to make a simple “spore slurry” inoculum. Simultaneously, the RCG was harvested and prepared for inoculation by means of fermentation. Once the grass was prepared, the spore slurry was applied by packing the straw in plastic containers and pouring the spore slurry evenly throughout the packing process. In the coming weeks, the mushroom spores will germinate and fuse, forming numerous distinct genetic strains that will develop into diverse mycelial networks to digest the RCG. As these numerous strains grow out, some will stand out in the vigor and tenacity. The strains that fruit most heavily can then be isolated by the landowner. Repeating this spore slurry process with these superior strains in subsequent trials will essentially “speed up evolution” leading to the development of a “super-strain” of the Elm Oyster that will fruit exceptionally well on this locally abundant substrate.

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10706632_1550678755146234_1708386854_n          Hypsizygus ulmarius spore prints                  Preparing Reed Canary Grass for fermentation

The Oak Leaf – A simple, symbolic King Stropharia mushroom bed was installed in a depression in the land downhill from a culvert. Designed in the shape of an oak leaf, this bed was created to honor the dominant tree species on the land and to reflect the value of this wood type in mushroom cultivation. (The density and richness of oak has long been noted to be a superior wood for cultivation of several species such as Shiitake).

10723758_964375643576428_236557124_nHypsizygus ulmarius was found in abundance on the property

Spawning Mycelial Networks

While workshops and installations are the central feature of the Radical Mycology Convergences, there is another, perhaps even more important theme that runs throughout the weekend as well: community building. Knowing the difficulty that can come with studying mycology and mushroom cultivation, the RMC organizers worked intentionally throughout the weekend to help encourage the development of friendships and alliances amongst attendees that will extend beyond the 5 days of the gathering. By camping, cooking, eating, learning, and engaging in discussions together, participants were readily able to meet future cohorts and know that others shared their excitement (and confusion) around working with the fungal kingdom.

On the Sunday of the RMC, a break out discussion was held where participants gathered by region to brainstorm how the skills they learned at the RMC could be applied in their communities. By the end of the discussions, several new Radical Mycology groups had formed to take the skills of grassroots mycology back to their home towns and bioregions. Spawning mycelial networks of collaboration amongst attendees, the 3rd Radical Mycology Convergence has helped increase awareness around the fact that anyone can grow mushrooms for food, medicine, and the benefit of environmental resilience. And there is no better time to join this movement than now.


Thank you!

A big thank you goes out to everyone who presented, supported, sponsored, volunteered, threw down, or otherwise helped co-create this year’s Radical Mycology Convergence. This year’s RMC would not have been such a success without all of your input and collaboration. Thank you to Shawndra Miller for writing up two great reviews of the RMC (here and here) and to Jessie Robertson for his write up here.

See you all at the next RMC!

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Mush love getting served up in the Kit-Chanterelle               Sunday night’s barn dance

Radical Mycology featured on Permaculture Voices

Radical Mycology member Peter McCoy was recently featured on Permaculture Voices, a podcast that highlights voices in the global permaculture community. In this interview, Peter goes deep into the reasons why anyone with the means and spare time should be actively cultivating fungi and how the world of mycology is currently evolving to match the needs of an increasingly complex world. You can hear the interview by clicking the image below and consider donating to Permaculture Voices to support their great work.

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Mushroom Cultivation & Application Course – Oakland, CA – Nov 14-16

Nov 2014 Oakland Web

This November, Radical Mycology co-founder Peter McCoy will be holding a 2.5 day intensive on the art, science, and application of mushroom cultivation at the urban resilience teaching center PLACE for Sustainable Living in Oakland, CA.

This cultivation course covers the essentials of high yield mushroom production for all budgets, with an emphasis on techniques and tools that keep costs and complexity to a minimum. The approach Peter takes to working with fungi for food, medicine, and soil health not only goes deep into the skills of cultivation but also deep into the concepts and principles that underlie them. By understanding the how and why of cultivation, you can enhance your use of the most effective and inexpensive means to get high yields. This empowers you to think creatively in your cultivation design so that your experiments will be more successful in the home or garden.

PLACE is a public-serving, experiential learning center designed to showcase and foster sustainable living practices, urban homesteading, community resiliency & preparedness, social justice and artistic expression. Nothing short of a perfect match for the message behind the skills presented in this info-packed course.

For more information on topics covered in the course and how to register, click here.

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