Synopses & Reviews
More mushrooms, less pollution! Yes, you heard right: growing more mushrooms may be the best thing we can do to save the environment and mushroom expert Paul Stamets explains how in MYCELIUM RUNNING, a groundbreaking manual for saving the world through mushroom cultivation. The science goes like this: fine filaments of cells called mycelium, the fruit of which are mushrooms, already cover large areas of land around the world. As the mycelium grows, it breaks down plant and animal debris, recycling carbon, nitrogen, and other essential elements in the creation of rich new soil. What Stamets has discovered is that the enzymes and acids that mycelium produces to decompose this debris are superb at breaking apart hydrocarbons—the base structure common to many pollutants. So, for instance, when diesel oil–contaminated soil is inoculated with strains of oyster mycelia, the soil loses its toxicity in just eight weeks. The science is both simple and brilliant, and in MYCELIUM RUNNING, Stamets discusses the various branches of this exciting new technology, including mycorestoration (biotransforming stripped land), mycofiltration (creating habitat buffers), myco-remediation (healing chemically harmed environments), and mycoforestry (creating truly sustainable forests). Also featuring instruction in the fine art of mushroom cultivation and tips for choosing the appropriate species of fungi for various purposes, MYCELIUM RUNNING is the consummate guide to this newest trend in environmental science. A manual for healing the earth and creating sustainable forests through mushroom cultivation, featuring mycelial solutions to water pollution, toxic spills, and other ecological challenges. Mycotechnology is part of a larger trend toward using living systems to solve environmental problems and to restore ecosystems. Includes mycological projects for children (and kids at heart). More than 100 full-color photographs of mushrooms, mycelium, mycotechnology in action, growing techniques, and so on. Provides detailed how-tos for growing gourmet and medicinal mushrooms—allies to the immune systems of both humans and our planet. Topics include techniques for germinating spores, transplanting wild mycelium, and creating natural spawn.
is a manual for the mycological rescue of the planet. That’s right: growing more mushrooms
may be the best thing we can do to save the environment, and in this groundbreaking text from mushroom expert Paul Stamets, you’ll find out how.
The basic science goes like this: Microscopic cells called “mycelium”--the fruit of which are mushrooms--recycle carbon, nitrogen, and other essential elements as they break down plant and animal debris in the creation of rich new soil. What Stamets has discovered is that we can capitalize on mycelium’s digestive power and target it to decompose toxic wastes and pollutants (mycoremediation), catch and reduce silt from streambeds and pathogens from agricultural watersheds (mycofiltration), control insect populations (mycopesticides), and generally enhance the health of our forests and gardens (mycoforestry and myco-gardening).
In this comprehensive guide, you’ll find chapters detailing each of these four exciting branches of what Stamets has coined “mycorestoration,” as well as chapters on the medicinal and nutritional properties of mushrooms, inoculation methods, log and stump culture, and species selection for various environmental purposes. Heavily referenced and beautifully illustrated, this book is destined to be a classic reference for bemushroomed generations to come.
About the Author
PAUL STAMETS, founder of Fungi Perfecti (www.fungi.com), has been a dedicated mycologist for more than thirty years. He is the 1998 recipient of the Collective Heritage Institute’s Bioneers Award and the 1999 recipient of the Founder of a New Northwest Award from the Pacific Rim Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils. Stamets has written five books on mushroom cultivation, use, and identification and numerous articles and scholarly papers on medicinal, culinary, and psycho-active mushrooms. His books Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms and The Mushroom Cultivator (co-author) have long been hailed as the definitive texts on mushroom cultivation.
Table of Contents
Foreword . . . . . viii
Preface . . . . . x
Acknowledgments . . . . . xi
PART I THE MYCELIAL MIND . . . . . 1
1 Mycelium as Nature’s Internet . . . . . 2
2 The Mushroom Life Cycle . . . . . 12
3 Mushrooms in Their Natural Habitats . . . . . 19
4 The Medicinal Mushroom Forest . . . . . 35
PART II MYCORESTORATION . . . . . 55
5 Mycofiltration . . . . . 58
6 Mycoforestry . . . . . 69
7 Mycoremediation . . . . . 86
8 Mycopesticides . . . . . 114
PART III GROWING MYCELIA AND MUSHROOMS . . . . . 125
9 Inoculation Methods: Spores, Spawn, and Stem Butts . . . . . 126
10 Cultivating Mushrooms on Straw and Leached Cow Manure . . . . . 161
11 Cultivating Mushrooms on Logs and Stumps . . . . . 172
12 Gardening with Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms . . . . . 187
13 Nutritional Properties of Mushrooms . . . . . 201
14 Magnificent Mushrooms: The Cast of Species . . . . . 210
Glossary . . . . . 305
Resources . . . . . 309
Bibliography . . . . . 311
Photography and Artwork Credits . . . . . 329
Index . . . . . 330