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mushroom hunting, cultivation, mycoremediation, and nature journalism
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Myco-news. December 6, 2013
Mushroom Joe here with the latest news on the mushroom front. In case you missed any of it, here’s what people are talking about this week. Feel free to forward this e-mail.
article: Remediating Radiation Contamination Around Fukushima with Funghi by Paul Stamets. May 19, 2012.
Although this article is over a year old, it’s been popping up in circles recently. It’s Paul Stamets’ 8-step solution to cleaning up radiation contamination. I agree with Alan Rockefeller: there are still a lot of holes in the plan that need to be considered (such as: how do we guarantee gathering every mushroom that is produced during the remediation process? among others). But at least it’s a step in the right direction. Remedies to the effects of nuclear radiation still need more information and research.
article: “Mushrooms Can Change the Weather” news blurb. November 25, 2013.
article: Direct abstract
I personally think saying “mushrooms can change the weather” is a bit misleading, but scientists of the American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics used high speed videography to show that mushrooms use a combination of water vapor and active cooling to manipulate their local fluid environment, which improves spore dispersal.
video + article: Radical Mycology’s Indie-a-Go-Go Fundraiser. November 26, 2013 - January 10, 2014.
Washington’s Peter McCoy is fundraising money for a book he’s excited to assemble and publish about many things myco! In about ten days he’s raised over $7,000 of an $18,000 goal. I think he can make it, but he’ll need more help from you guys! Check out his project and spread the news!
video: Radical Mycology: Make bulk chip spawn easier with a plastic tub. Dec 4, 2013.
Peter wanted to thank everyone who has donated to his Indie-Go-Go fundraiser so far by uploading this video he made on how to easily grow bulk chip spawn using a plastic tub and Pholiota nameko. Awesome video, thanks Peter!
article: With Loving Respect to Fungus by Fern Katz on Female and Fungi. Nov 28, 2013.
A wonderful self-reflective article on Female and Fungi by Fern Kats, “With Loving Respect to Fungus…” discusses new personal discoveries after falling in love with mushrooms.
Tradd Cotter of South Carolina’s Mushroom Mountain discusses the potential of mycelia and how we can grow and utilize it to solve some of the world’s needs. Although this video is over a couple years old, I just came across it and think it’s worth sharing!
video: Bay Area Radical Mycology on the news. November 21, 2013.
article: Pictures and discussions of the event, a post-report. November 24, 2013.
We at Bay Area Radical Mycology made the evening news a couple weeks ago when 30+ of us assembled on East Bay Municipal Utility District’s land to build a living fungus filter that can be used to filter E. coli from cattle-dung water run-off. This is the second year we’ve done this and we’re excited to have so many people come to help us out. This opens up opportunities for smaller watersheds and private residence.
article: Edible East Bay’s Jillian Steinberger reports on the culture of mushroom people in the Bay Area. Nov 15, 2013.
Until next time,
Peter and The Radical Mycology Collective
Here’s an awesome video I just discovered by Tradd Cotter of Mushroom Mountain about the potential of mycelium. He’s been helpful in supplying Bay Area Radical Mycology with Stropharia species for use as a filter. Thanks Tradd!
In a 2013 Beutel and Stamets report, a mycelium-inoculated substrate removed E. coli bacteria in water at average rates of 69% to 80%. The substrate used in the study was composed of 25% chips, 50% sawdust, 25% straw inoculated with a Pleurotus species from Fungi Perfecti. In our installation we used a similar substrate blend composed of 50% chips, 25% sawdust, 25% straw and a Pleurotus species from Far West Fungi.
Beutel, Stamets, et al. Mycofiltration Biotechnology for Pathogen Management. 2013 [link: http://goo.gl/qZxTtR ]
In a 2009 Battelle study for the Department of Energy, a mycelium-inoculated wetland removed fecal coliform bacteria in water by 90% to 97%. In the study, two wetlands were constructed, identical and mirroring each other. One was built with myceliated wood chips, one without. Comparatively, the control showed a 66% to 92% reduction in fecal coliform.
Thomas, et al. Field Demonstration of Mycoremediation for Removal of Fecal Coliform Bacteria and Nutrients in the Dungeness Watershed, Washington. 2009 [link: http://goo.gl/SBCsv3 ]
Bay Area Radical Mycology installed a living filter on EBMUD’s Orinda property on Thursday, November 21, 2013. Here’s the video for that :) Thanks to all the volunteers that came out to participate!
Radical Mycology’s long time friend, Pat Rasmussen with Edible Forest Gardens in Olympia, made an incredible amateur mycological discovery the other day. Pat regularly installs perennial gardens in the Olympia area, often with the Elm Oyster mushroom (Hypsizygus ulmarius) as a potential companion for the plants. But when a local big-name mushroom farm accidentally sent her the wrong kit, she ended up installing the Nameko mushroom (Pholiota nameko) instead. 5 months later, the result were incredible. The perennial Aronia plants (similar to blueberries) planted in the area with the mushroom bed grew over twice as large as those plants grown without the mushroom companion. And the grape plants in the area did much better as well. As with all great scientific discoveries, this accident leads to a new realm of exploration in the field of plant companioning.
Why do some decomposing fungi help plants grow? The answer isn’t clear. In the book Mycelium Running, Paul Stamets worked with a research student to determine whether specific saprotrophic mushrooms would be beneficial to certain food plants if grown in proximity. After a season of growth and various plant and mushroom pairings, a few strong results surfaced. Notably, the Elm Oyster was found to dramatically increase Brassica plant growth and yield, while other pairings (such as normal Oyster mushrooms [Pleurotus spp.] paired with Brassicas) were shown to actually be detrimental to the plants. The exact reason for this is unknown. As both these mushroom species are aggressive decomposers, it can’t simply be the nutrient and carbon dioxide release. Perhaps specific enzymes being released by the Elm Oyster works to stimulate the Brassica plant’s roots or supports the soil flora. Chances are, there might be many more beneficial plant-mushrooms pairings that have yet to be discovered.
Pat’s accidental discovery is notable for 3 main reasons: 1) the Nameko mushroom has not been previously cited as a known food plant companion, 2) the dramatic results from pairing this decomposing fungus (as opposed to a mycorrhizal fungus) with a perennial plant is interesting as most better known plant-(decomposing) mushroom companionings (such as the Elm Oyster with Brassicas) are often done with annual plants and 3) Pat is an amateur mycologist! As mycology is such a young field, new discoveries are made all the time, especially by non-professionals or academics. By adding to the world of mycological knowledge, Pat is taking part in the citizen science aspect of mycology. While this pairing should be further tested to determine true efficacy, this is exactly the kind of exciting discovery we support and are inspired by at Radical Mycology. Kinda makes you wanna go play with mushrooms.
Enjoy this fresh interview with Maya Elson, co-founder of the Radical Mycology Movement, by the gals at femaleandfungi.com. In the interview, “Womyn of the Month, November 2013,” Maya discusses her role in and the upcoming events for the Radical Mycology Movement, how she got started with community organizing, and female involvement in the mycological and greater scientific community.
Top: Mino de Angelis of Bay Area Radical Mycology reads the newest issue in Edible East Bay about the bay area mushroom community. In the article “The Hidden Kingdom of the Blobs,” Jillian Steinberger talks about what BARM is doing on the EBMUD Orinda land with mycofiltration and accelerated decomposition using mushrooms mycelium. In the second picture I’m pointing to a photo snapped south of the Grand Canyon of me holding lobster mushrooms (woohoo!)
If you don’t have physical access to the magazine, here are the links to the three articles:
Hello fellow mycophiles and earth stewards!
We at Radical Mycology are excited to announce the upcoming launch of the Radical Mycology book Indiegogo campaign onNovember 26, 2014!
This crowdfunding campaign will pay for the production and publishing of the Radical Mycology Book, a guide to the uses of mushrooms and other fungi for personal, societal, and ecological change. A preview of the campaign can be seen here:
http://bit.ly/rmiggHow can you help?
First of all, thanks you all so much for your support and interest in the Radical Mycology project thus far. What started with a free zine has since grown into a veritable grassroots mycological movement that couldn’t have happened without the passion and support of everyone involved.
If you would like to help support this project further, please consider backing this campaign on day 1. We have offered some great gifts on the campaign page and know that you won’t be disappointed by the breadth and depth of information this book will provide.
What is the RMC?
The Radical Mycology Convergence is a unique gathering of mycologists, mushroom enthusiasts, and Earth stewards coming together to share skills and information on the numerous benefits of the fungal kingdom for humans and the planet. The RMC is a multiple-day long event consisting of workshops, presentations, and various projects using fungi and other organisms to remediate & restore damaged environments. Beyond the skills shared, the RMC also works to build a community among like-minded mycophiles (aka mushroom lovers) and community-based earth healers to collaborate on remediation and restoration projects during and after the RMC.
The organizers of the Radical Mycology Convergence feel strongly that the skills of need to be shared. We want to make information on the fungi and their healing powers accessible and tangible for as many people as possible without making it overly-heady or technical. By creating an encouraging and welcoming space we hope to “be-mushroom” all who attend in an effort to bring about greater planetary health.
The organizers of the RMC would like to invite anyone interested in participating in this event to come and learn, help out, or teach! The RMC is family friendly, non-discriminatory, and is donation-based to provide open access to people of all backgrounds.
Where & When
The location and date of the 3rd RMC is still to be determined. For more info on this and how to help us find a location, visit out Location & Date page here:
The RM crew
I just got this in my inbox, with instructions to forward widely! Mycophiles unite! :)
Calling all Radical Mycologists, mycophiles, citizen scientists, and land stewards!
In preparation for the coming fall rains, the Radical Mycology crew has been getting busy and we have a few big announcements for you and yours.
The 3rd Radical Mycology Convergence!
First, we are excited to announce plans for the 3rd Radical Mycology Convergence! As with the first 2 RMCs our first need is to find a location willing to host the event in exchange for mycoremediation and restoration work to take part during the Convergence. We would be excited to find a location off the west coast (so as to spread the myco love a little further) but we are open to all offers and suggestions. We are looking to hold this 3rd RMC in the late spring/early summer of 2014. If you know of any locations in the US that would be interested in hosting this unique and inspiring event, or you wish to take part in the RMC organizing process, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
First, a link to a group I’m a member of that is doing awesome myco-related projects in the Bay Area:
Second, a link to a Tree Decomposition project BARM has been working on….thanks to Mino de Angelis for arranging most of it. As a chance to tute my own horn, I helped author this bad boy:
A nice little short about Paul Stamets, “Mushroom Man.” Thanks for the heads up ridewindingrivers!