Author Archive

Upcoming Events with Peter McCoy

Following a short break after the success of the MYCOLOGOS Kickstarter campaign, Peter McCoy is hitting the road for a few weeks to give a hold a few workshops in some of the warmer parts of the globe.

For folks in Australia, Peter will giving two presentations at the Rainbow Serpent Music and Arts Festival in Lexton, Victoria (January 26–28): one on the roles of fungi in the development of human cultures, and the other as a panelist on a discussion on regenerative solutions for a better future. The weekend after the festival (February 3–4), Peter will be holding a two-day workshop on fungi in permaculture with Milkwood Permaculture in Hepburn.

Once back in the states, Peter will be heading to the Los Angeles area on February 10 to hold a one-day workshop on mushroom growing as a part of the L.A. Wild Mushroom Fair and to give an evening presentation on the Radical Mycology book with Flora y Tierra in Long Beach. The next day, he will be tabling at the Mushroom Fest and holding a medicinal mushroom workshop that evening back in Long Beach with Flora y Tierra. If you are in the area for these events, come on out!


Radical Mycology Mixtape Now Available

After months in the making, the first Radical Mycology Mixtape was released earlier this week. With artists from around the world, this unique album was created to showcase the many ways fungi inspire the audio arts – with the result being a wide-ranging, yet well-balanced blend of styles arising from the only requirement for submission: that the tracks “should relate to (radical) mycology in content or spirit.”

Perhaps the most striking aspect of the mix is the spread of genres. There are singer-songwriter, “I love mushrooms” type songs from Josh Vogeler, Michael Ching, and Skep. Lef. The classical cello from Patrick Lavoie, SP-404 sampled beat from MTLR, and ambient world sounds of Sporecaster bring in an instrumental perspective. And there are several non-music-based tracks, including excerpts from Zoe Gordon’s “The Curse of the Wild Morels” –  a sound effect laced poem-story about alien Morel mushrooms that haunt dreams – and Ernst Karl’s “Mycological,” a 30-minute collection of mycology-based field recordings.

Reflecting on the influences of psychoactive fungi, Kamehameha’s “Head Up the Sky” is a psychedelic rock roller coaster through the effects of psilocybin. In “I Bruise Blue,” OMNIII raps about similar experiences over slappy bass loops, just as Gourmet draws out in their lo-fi track “Mushrooms” and Sam Sycamore relays via shoegaze in “Gold Pavilion.”

Many of the tracks directly align with the mycopsychology that Radical Mycology has highlighted for years. In “Firemushroom,” AGF sings about the importance of fungi in the environment over sounds sampled directly from mushrooms. Radical Fun Time’s “Radical Mycology Time” is a crust punk celebration of mushroom hunting and being in the woods. “Very Same Moon” by Connor Albers discusses the intelligence of mycelium in relation to being connected to land. River Dweller’s “Holy Karyogamy” is a multi-layered reflection on impending ecological disasters. And the multiple snippets from Emji Spero’s “almost any shit will do” compare fungal forms and growth patterns to the organization of radical social movements.

And then there are the songs that are in a class of their own: Glitter Wizard’s glam/stoner rock tale of corpses communicating via mycelium, cyberboy666 & user43368831’s retelling of a Derek Mahon poem (over mushroom-sampled sounds), Mamoun Nukumanu’s blissed out rap “Helix Trees,” and Baba and the Yagas’ ballad “Cordyceps” each offer a unique reflection on the influences and importance of fungi in our lives.

In short, the mixtape came out super rad and we couldn’t be happier. To stream the album or to pickup a copy of the limited edition cassette tape, check out the Radical Mycology Bandcamp page.

3 Day Left for MYCOLOGOS Kickstarter

After a successful four weeks, the Kickstarter campaign for MYCOLOGOS will be ending this Wednesday, December 20 at 7 am PST.

With just a few days left, there is still time to get in on the great discounts being offered on the school’s courses (most starting at 50% off through the campaign).


There are a lot of other special rewards that will only be available at their current rates through the Kickstarter – including a 6-month mushroom supplies subscription box, original art, and more.

All the support the campaign brings in will go on to not only fund the production of these courses, but also the founding of an on-the-ground school and demonstration farm in Portland, as well as an online forum for school participants and collaborators. And if the campaign hits its next stretch goal of $130,000, it will be able to get Spanish subtitling for all the courses, with the funds for translation going to support the Amazon Mycorenewal Project.

Please consider donating today to this special and unprecedented effort to bring mycology to people around the world.

Join the campaign here.


Radical Mycology Release Party and Livestream


After months in the making, the first Radical Mycology Mixtape is dropping December 19! Celebrate with us in Portland, or via livestreaming on Facebook or Instagram.

This event will also be a fundraiser for MYCOLOGOS, a mycology school forming in Portland, which is running a Kickstarter campaign that ends Dec. 20.

Prize giveaways (in-person and through the livestream) of mycology courses, Radical Mycology books, and art!

Performances By:

Screening of music videos and narratives from the mixtape:

  • Two mushooms KNOCKING (Australia)
  • See Through Machine (Providence, RI)
  • The Curse of the Wild Morels (Ontario, Canada)
  • How Doth the CrocodileDJing by Northern Draw
    VJing by Ross Barmache

The event will take place at The Know (3728 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97232). See the Facebook event page here.

Photo by Madeline Cass.


Announcing Mycologos: The World’s First Mycology School


Today marks the launch of Peter McCoy’s latest Kickstarter campaign for Mycologos, an online and in-person mycology school based in Portland, Oregon. A truly unprecedented venture, this school will offer a range of online video courses on various mycology-related topics – from fungal biology and ecology, to mushroom cultivation, medicine making, and mycoremediation.

The campaign is also featuring some original art pieces, all designed by Peter, spawn subscriptions, and some discounted deals for people who back the project early. The Kickstarter runs until Dec. 20, but some rewards are limited in supply. Check it all out here.



June Events with Peter McCoy

A quick note that next week on June 7–8, Peter McCoy will be joining Mark Lakeman of City Repair along with the Devil’s Club plant society for a very special, free, mushroom garden / food forest installation in a secret privately owned 5,000 square foot parcel in the middle of a SW Portland, OR park. This 2-day workshop is part of the magic that is the Village Building Convergence. It will be a mycomeca for the local history books. So if you are in the area, come on out!

Later this month, Peter will also be presenting at the Good Medicine Confluence in Durango, Colorado. Previously known as the Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference, this event is one of the most-attended herbalism events in the country with a top-tier cast of teachers coming from around the world. This year Peter will be offering two new workshops: one on developing a Radical Mycology of Place, and the other on the profound historical importance fungi have held on the healing traditions of the world. Learn more here.


Announcing the Radical Mycology Mixtape Project

Radical-Mycology-Mixtape Website Final

Send in your song demo or audio performance to the Radical Mycology Mixtape Project!

Despite the fact that millions of people around the world hold a strong passion for mycology, there surprisingly isn’t much music that directly relates to the topic. Apart from the requisite fungally-themed electronic music albums and occasional country-westernesque mushroom hunting ballad, you’d be hard pressed to find a slamming spore liberation dance jam,  mycoremediation battle rap, or myceliated pop-punk chorus. What gives?

At Radical Mycology, we’ve lamented this fact for years and have worked to draw some works out of the soil and wood at each Radical Mycology Convergence’s Saturday night Talent Showcase. Though always good, the lineup at the 2016 RMC’s Showcase was particularly potent, leading to the realization that it was time to finally record some of the world’s underground mycoartists and create a vital resource for the spread of the 21st century’s neo-ethnomycological movement.

So, from now until August 1, 2017, Radical Mycology will be accepting demos for consideration from all music genre and audio performance types – with the only filter being that the piece should relate to or be inspired by (radical) mycology in some manner. Radical Mycology will then produce and release the final album mid-December as a donation-based download and limited edition cassette.

Want to get involved or just know more? Check out all the details here.


Mushroom Cultivation Courses and Soil Fungi Master Class

Starting this July, Peter McCoy will be hitting the road to leading several 20-hour Mushroom Cultivation & Application Courses across the U.S. Peter has been teaching about mushroom cultivation for over 10 years and as each year passes, this Course only gets more robust, thorough, and immersive.

If you’ve been thinking of getting into mushroom growing, or of taking your practice in the art to the next level, this Course will leave you well equipped to advance and evolve your work with fungi for years to come. Confirmed locations and dates are listed below, each with more information on what to expect.


Soil Fungi Master Class

This August, Peter will also be joined by soil, compost, and bioremediation expert Nance Klehm in Chicago, Illinois for an unprecedented 7-day Master Class on the many functions of fungi in soil systems. Offering a skillset found nowhere else in the world, this Course will provide any food, fungi, and Earth lover with insights and practices for managing landscapes and designing holistic environments through the often overlooked lens of these hidden fungi. Starting with the ecology and forms of soil fungi, this Master Class will take participants through all the skills needed to identify, assess, isolate, cultivate, and apply many types of soil fungi in any habitat, both disturbed and intact. For more information, click the image below.


La Sémiosphères du Radical Mycology

This month, Peter McCoy and Radical Mycology are being featured in an international art-ecology exhibition at Le Commun in Geneva, Switzerland as a part of a month-long exhibition series entitled La Sémiosphère du Commun.

Over the course of three weeks, Peter held several workshops and presentations on his unique approach to working with and teaching about fungi and also worked in collaboration with filmmaker Marion Neumann and artist collaboratory Utopiana founder Anna Barseghian to design several installation components that were inspired by ideas presented in Peter’s book. Though the project just opened the other day, it has already some great local press in a few places so far. For all the details, check the video and images below and see the event’s full description at the bottom.

          Le commun mushroom bricks on coffee grounds

The impetus behind the whole exhibition series was to remediate the wooden bricks that make up the floor of the gallery. After denial from the government (which owns the building), the idea spawned into a larger series of questions about how to engage with fungi and other organisms to not just heal the environment, but learn from and recognize our relationship to it.

radical mycology mushroom switzerland lab installation The five main components were a mini-mushroom lab where liquid inoculum (culture) and spawn are produced, a mock oil spill, mycorediation of household waste, mycorediation of used cigarette filters, mycorediation of “bricks,” and a fruiting environment for mushroom growing. Click on the image for the full resolution panorama.


In the mushroom lab, grains were inoculated on three separate dates, each 3 days apart, to demonstrate how quickly mushroom mycelium grows.

mushrooms-growing-on-cigarettesFollowing up on Peter’s novel approach to growing mushrooms on cigarette filters to degrade the chemicals they contain, part of the workshop series taught participants how to repeat the methodology Peter developed at home.


Dozens of small vials were made. motor-oil-mycoremediation

Oil-soaked cardboard mixed with used coffee grounds, and mushroom mycelium. Over the coming weeks, the mycelium will digest the chemicals into simpler and (likely) less-toxic byproducts.

oil-spill-mycoremediationMimicking an oil spill, used motor oil was mixed with soil to then be remedaited by a mushrooms (the Pearl Oyster [Pleurotus ostreatus]). Pasteurized straw and mushroom mycelium were added and the timer set to see how long it would take for the mushroom to take over the substrate.moss-theramin

There were a ton of other amazing projects and exhibits as a part of the exhibition. Here, an open-source theramin is hooked up to pads of moss from various polluted sites, with their differing conductivity being translated into down sampled frequency generators.ipad-particle-detector

An employee from CERN demonstrated his hand-made emission detector hooked up to an iPad. As electrons, alpha, beta, or gamma particles are detected, the signal is translated into an audio signal with the Korg synthesizer (upper right). bacterial-cultures

Soil and water cultures from a lake in Romania polluted by a nearby aluminum processing facility.


The project entitled « The Semiosphere of the Commun » emerges from the very space of Le Commun. We learned that in 2006 the Building Services entrusted the engineering-environment-safety company Ecoservices SA to carry out tests for pollutants potentially present at the BAC. In parallel, the STEB (Service de toxicologie de L’environnement bâti du Canton de Genève – the Service of Toxicology Service of the Built Environment, Geneva Canton) measured the quality of air in a number of spaces of the building. The laboratories tested the samples taken from the floors and the false ceilings for presence of heavy metals, PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) and asbestos, and found an important level of hydrocarbon pollution in all surface samples taken from the wooden and screed floors, dating back and inherited from the industrial period of the building. The PAHs were also present and even released in more or less important quantities depending on temperature variations. Heavy metals were occasionally present in excess. The tests showed presence of asbestos in the glue used to fix the wooden floors on the ground floor as well as in the ceiling panels. The detected asbestos is non-porous and does not present a health hazard as long as it remains untouched. In conclusion, Ecoservices SA considers the site to be contaminated, but without danger for medium term occupants.

In its activities Utopiana is interested in questions and alternative methods of decontamination. In 2015 and as an interventionist artistic gesture, we submitted an in situ project to the Geneva authorities, which consisted in the partial decontamination of the floor of Le Commun by a remedial action thanks to mushrooms and phytomining.

We consider this situation to be an opportunity to enlarge the fields of knowledge so as to address more deeply the question of the environment. In fact, we want to conceive differently the very idea of the environment (Umwelt) so that it integrates different theoretical, institutional, and political factors and takes into account various pragmatic engagements.

Other than the knowledge of ecological processes, the solution to these problems also requires understanding of human behaviour because the semiotic aspects of the human-nature relationships that are important in this context and in others are not yet sufficiently understood or considered.

The scaffold that has been erected from the space of Le Commun presents itself as a “relational biosphere” which attempts to weave new frames uniting “two cultures”: the humanities and the arts on the one hand, and the technical and natural sciences on the other. Or, more generally – the union of the cultural fields and those dealing with natural phenomena. In order for us to understand and to act in the current ecological situation, we propose to consider human culture as a sphere of continuous interplay of signs – as a semiosphere, as an open entity which constantly influences and is being influenced – and to underline the importance of the processes of symbiosis at the interior and exterior limits of this semiosphere. Just as much as the biosphere is necessary for the existence of different terrestrial species, the semiosphere precedes the existence of meanings that populate it. Thus, Le Commun interlocks the real, physical space and the social, virtual one.

We must understand the similar dynamics that manifest themselves on all levels of the living (semiosphere, biosphere, Umwelt) in order to understand the rupture that man has created in his environment through the production and accumulations of materials that no longer partake in the recycling of elements of our ecosystem.

The concept of the semiosphere is considered in its relational capacity for a future of the ecology of thought, of subjectivity, of desire, of power, of affect – in short, of modes of existence.


Mycelium Mysteries: A Women’s Mushroom Retreat


This October, Mara Penfil from the Radical Mycology Collective will be taking part in a 3-day Women’s Mushroom retreat as a part of the Midwest Women’s Herbal Conference. This unique event will bring together women from across the country to talk and learn about fungi in an intimate and protected setting. Learn more about the event here and check out the description below.

Silently shaping the soil beneath our feet, fungi are key players in the health of Earth and trajectory of human culture around the globe. Still, we find ourselves in a time where the study of fungi is considered to be a neglected megascience, their mycelium, a mystery. It is our goal to help modern women connect with the roles and wisdom of our female ancestors who always maintained and shared their visceral understanding of the Fungal Queendom.

This weekend-long, women’s retreat will focus on understanding fungi as the Grandmothers of our ecosystems. Workshops will be offered at the beginner through advanced levels, and include topics in wild mushroom skills, fungal ecology, fungi and human health, and ethnomycology. This is a place to share knowledge and get comfortable with using our mycological skills in a supportive, fungal community!

Teachers will include Eugenia Bone, Sue Van Hook, Cornelia Cho, Alanna Burns, Andi Bruce, Olga Tzogas, Erica Gunnison, Danielle Stevenson, Mara Fae Penfil, Nicole McCalpin and more!