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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


Radical Mycology Book Tour Announced

 

2016 tour

After several months of being out of stock, the book Radical Mycology is now back, this time in its glorious second printing! To celebrate, we are excited to announce the 2016 Radical Mycology Book Tour.

This fall, Peter McCoy is traveling across the U.S. to spread the myco-word about his newly published book, Radical Mycology: A Treatise on Seeing & Working With Fungi. Peter will be stopping in over 40 cities to hold free presentations on the book’s many wide-ranging topics, covering everything from fungal ecology to mushroom cultivation to mycoremediation and much more. Interspersed throughout the tour Peter will also be holding 11 Mushroom Cultivation & Application Courses, freshly updated with the latest research and protocols. To see the exact locations and details of each stop, click on the image above.


Free Mushroom Cultivation & Application Webinar with Peter McCoy

Cultivation Webinar

Next Thursday, April 28th, Peter McCoy of the Radical Mycology Collective will be offering a free webinar on many of groundbreaking skills discussed in Radical Mycology, one of the most comprehensive books on fungi and mushroom cultivation ever written.

WORKING WITH FUNGI FOR GLOBAL RESILIENCE
April 28 at 6PM Pacific (9PM Eastern)

Mycology is proving itself to be a nearly inexhaustible field for innovation. As new discoveries are constantly being made, there seems to be no end to what fungi can offer humans, their communities, and the environments they touch. In this talk, Peter will explore the wide range of ways to cultivate fungi and integrate them into our lives, homes, and landscapes. Along with detailing some of the most appropriate mycotechniques currently being developed, Peter will also unveil unprecedented protocols for accessibly growing edible and medicinal mushrooms as well as new learning opportunities for advancing the future of human-fungal relations.

This unique talk will be live streamed with the ability for viewers to chat with Peter directly and ask him questions from anywhere in the world. There will also be free book giveaways and special discounts offered to all viewers. To register for this paradigm-shifting talk, click here.


Two Free Mycology Webinars With Peter McCoy

RMinars

Next month, Peter McCoy will be offering two free webinars on many of groundbreaking topics discussed in Radical Mycology, one of the most comprehensive books on fungi and mushroom cultivation ever written. These unique talks will be live streamed with the ability for viewers to chat with Peter directly and ask him questions from anywhere in the world. There will also be free book giveaways and special discounts offered to all viewers. To register for this paradigm-shifting talk, click here.

 

SEEING FUNGI
April 14 at 6PM Pacific (9PM Eastern)

Fungi are everywhere around us, creating and maintaining whole ecological webs. For many, learning to recognize these relationships is one of the most incredible and inspiring aspects of working with the fungal kingdom. In this presentation, Peter will walk through the critical ecological roles that fungi fulfill from the poles to the oceans and from the forests to the deserts. Along the way, Peter will detail how fungal ecologies have influenced the development human cultures throughout time, including a wealth of incredible evidence that he has uncovered on the importance of fungi in the origins and evolution of life. Whether you are new to mycology or well versed in the topic, this talk will leave you overwhelmed with fascination for the incredible fifth kingdom!

WORKING WITH FUNGI FOR GLOBAL RESILIENCE
April 28 at 6PM Pacific (9PM Eastern)

Mycology is proving itself to be a nearly inexhaustible field for innovation. As new discoveries are constantly being made, there seems to be no end to what fungi can offer humans, their communities, and the environments they touch. In this talk, Peter will explore the wide range of ways to cultivate fungi and integrate them into our lives, homes, and landscapes. Along with detailing some of the most appropriate mycotechniques currently being developed, Peter will also unveil unprecedented protocols for accessibly growing edible and medicinal mushrooms as well as new learning opportunities for advancing the future of human-fungal relations.


Radical Mycology featured on Foodline Radio

Radical Mycologist Willoughby Arevalo was recently interviewed for Foodline Radio, a program dedicated to food justice issues on Vancouver BC’s Coop Radio, CFRO 100.5FM. Topics covered include mushrooms as food, mushrooms as medicine, and growing mushrooms at home. The interview will be broadcast in three segments, Mondays April 20, April 27, and May 4 at 8:00 pm Pacific time. Listen live at coopradio.org or on their archive at coopradio.org/audio.

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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.

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. 

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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!

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 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.

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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

IMG_20150220_134448

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.

IMG_20150220_134728

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 Featured in New Documentary

Peter McCoy of Radical Mycology was recently featured in a short documentary on the current rise in mycological culture in the west. As it happens, this film, just like the Radical Mycology Book, was also funded by a crowdfunding campaign. Oh, what a wonderful mycelial internet(work).

 

For more on the film maker, Madison McClintock, check out her website here.


Announcing the 2014 Radical Mycology Convergence!

Date: October 9-13, 2014 (Th-M)
Location: Orangeville, IL (Address given upon registration)
Suggested Donation: $50-300 (No one turned away for lack of funds)

www.radicalmycologyconvergence.com

pink-trio-cropped

What:
The Radical Mycology Convergence (RMC) is a volunteer-run gathering of mycologists, fungal enthusiasts, activists, and Earth stewards that focuses on teaching the numerous ways that fungi can strengthen the personal, social, and ecological systems of the world. The RMC covers the skills related to working with fungi to create perpetual food systems, grow potent medicines, restore damaged and polluted environments, and organize regenerative and resilient communities. The RMC is a 5-day donation-based event that provides a unique opportunity to build community with like-minded social and environmental justice workers from around the world.

Why:
We (the organizers of the RMC) want to make information on fungi and their transformative potential as accessible and tangible as possible without making it overly technical, as has historically been the case. By creating a supportive environment at the RMC, we hope to educate all who attend on the value that fungi play in our lives while helping to create a more mushroom-literate culture that can learn to see working with the fungi as an important tool for addressing some of the world’s most pressing issues. To learn more about the ethos behind this event, visit the link below:
bit.ly/whatisrm

Where:
The 2014 RMC will be located on a partially wheelchair accessible rural homestead. There will be infrastructure (food, water, bathrooms, and camping space) to accommodate the 400 attendees. For those unable to visit the Orangeville center of the RMC, there will also be an urban component to this year’s RMC based in Madison, WI. Details on the urban component TBA. To learn more about the site of the site and what to expect when you arrive click the link below:
http://bit.ly/rmcsite

How:
The RMC is made possible by the effort of a small group of organizers, monetary and supply donations, and the countless volunteers that collaborate at the RMC in manifesting a culture that values community cooperation and biocentric paradigms. The RMC is not corporate sponsored and all proceeds from donations go to covering presenter travel costs, logistical costs, and funding future RMCs. We have increased the suggested donation for this year’s RMC to better reflect the value of the event, the amount of money it costs to run such a large and complex event, and to encourage more volunteer collaboration before, during, and after the RMC.

Who:
The organizers of the RMC would like to cordially invite anyone interested in participating in this non-discriminatory and family friendly event to come and learn, help out, or teach! However, there is a 400 participant limit to registered attendance. Registration spaces are offered on a first come, first reserved basis.

To register for the RMC, visit the link below:
http://bit.ly/rmcregpage

Callout for Workshop Leaders, Volunteers, & Donations
We will be relying heavily on volunteer helpers and workshop leaders to help make the RMC reach it’s full potential. Linked below are sign-up forms on the RMC website for folks interested in actively contributing to this event.

To see our workshop wishlist and to sign up to lead a workshop, please click the link below:
bit.ly/rmcworkshops

To sign up to volunteer before, during, or after the RMC, please click the link below:
bit.ly/rmchelp

We are in need of donations in the form of food, equipment, spawn, and infrastructural materials. These donations can be made tax-deductible as the RMC is sponsored in part by the 501(c)3 non-profit Corenewal. If you think you might be able to donate or loan items to help make this event a success, please visit our donation wishlist here:
bit.ly/rmcdonations

Womyn & Fungi
When the RMC started in 2011, there were female organizers but largely male teachers. In 2012 we were all pleased to see an influx in female presenters at the RMC. This year we are actively seeking female and trans presenters, organizers, and attendees and are continuing to make a conscious effort to recognize the contributions women and trans folk have made to the science of mycology.

Fertile Substrate: A Pre-RMC Course
To ensure that the land hosting the RMC is well prepared for the Convergence, we will be hosting a work party and workshop short course on-site the weekend prior to the RMC (Oct. 3-5). For more information on that pre-course and how to register, click the link below:
http://bit.ly/prermcfs

Help Promote the RMC
While the RMC flyer is in production and nat yet available for distribution, we can use your help in spreading the word about the RMC by forwarding this email and visiting the social media links below:

Join the RMC Facebook event:
bit.ly/2014rmc

RMC Fundraising Toolkit
For folks on a tight budget, we have put together a small fundraising toolkit to help individuals and groups cover their travel and donation costs for the RMC. Check out this resource here:
http://bit.ly/rmcfunds

Featured Fungi of the 2014 RMC: Laccaria spp.
The featured fungi of the 2014 RMC is the genus Laccaria. To learn more about this incredible genus and why we chose to highlight it, click the link below:
http://bit.ly/rmcfungi

For any futher information or for questions please visit www.radicalmycologyconvergence.com or contact us at radicalmycologyconvergence@gmail.com


How to Make Medicinal Mushroom Capsules

At $0.50 – $1.00 per pill, commercial medicinal mushroom capsules are prohibitively expensive for most people. This is rather unfortunate as the powerful abilities that these fungi have for increasing immunity, suppressing tumor growth, and healing the body are incredibly beneficial to most people. It is also remarkable when one discovers that the cost of actually producing these capsules can be as low as 5% of their retail cost. That’s a 95% markup!

Thankfully, there are means for one to make their own medicinal mushroom capsules at a fraction of the retail price. Making your own medicinal mushroom capsules is not only cheap and easy, it is also an empowering means to providing your own medicinal mushroom products for increased longevity.

In the short video below, Peter McCoy of the Radical Mycology project demonstrates a simple method of producing a large quantity of medicinal mushroom capsules using a minimum of equipment. In summary, one introduces mushroom mycelium into jars of sterilized brown rice. The mycelium is then allowed to grow on the rice for several weeks, at which point the resultant “myceliated brown rice” is dried and powdered. Myceliated brown rice is the main ingredient in many commercial medicinal mushroom capsules. The main differences between the capsules that Peter makes and the commercial products are as follows:

  1. Some of the higher quality commercial products include powdered whole mushrooms (their fruiting bodies) along with the mycelium. However, as Peter points out in the video, there are some medicinal mushrooms that can be fruited “in the jar,” thereby allowing one to still obtain the benefits of the fruiting bodies.
  2. Commercial products are freeze dried, not air dried. While freeze drying allows for a longer shelf life, it is not easily accomplished for the home medicine maker and herbalist (but cheap methods do exist). Air dried mycelium should be stored in the fridge and occasionally checked for quality.
  3. Some commercial products (but not necessarily all of them) utilize mushroom “strains” that have been tested and shown to contain higher than average quantities in their medicinal constituents. What this means is that the genetics of the mycelium you are working with–and the capsules it ultimately produces–may not contain as high of a concentration of medicinally active constituents as a commercial product would. While this can be true (just as plants can vary widely in their relative medicinal compound concentration), there are some ways to tackle this argument. One simple solution is to simply consume more capsules. Considering that they are quite inexpensive to produce and that there are no documented deaths associated with an overdose of medicinal mushroom capsules, this is an easy work around. Another perspective is the idea that if you are working with a mushroom that was harvested locally, the medicinal compounds that it produces might be of a more beneficial constitution than that of an imported variety. This is a commonly held belief in the world of plant herbalism: that the natural medicine that is most beneficial for a person can often be found in their own region of the world.

Ultimately, the home creation of medicinal mushroom products is a valuable skill for one to learn for self-sufficiency and resilient living strategies and can compete in quality with many expensive commercial products sold today.

This technique for integrating fungi into your everyday life, and many more like it, will be covered to an even greater depth in the Radical Mycology Book. If you would like to learn more mushroom-related skills like this for healing yourself and your community, please visit the Radical Mycology Book Fundraiser.

The cultivation videos referred to in this video can be viewed here.


Maya of Radical Mycology featured in Female and Fungi’s “Womyn of the Month”

Radical Mycology co-founder Maya Elson was featured in Female and Fungi’s “Womyn of the Month” section. Check out her interview on the origins and future of Radical Mycology and the role of womyn in the mycological world.

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