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Skills for Low-Tech Mushroom Cultivation
Fri, 21 Oct 2016, 7:00 PM – Sun, 23 Oct 2016, 5:00 PM PDT
Friday, October 21 from 7-9pm and Saturday and Sunday, October 22 + 23 from 10-5pm
This course will introduce the art and science of mushroom cultivation by offering low-tech, low-sterility, home-scale methods for growing mushrooms for food, medicine and earth renewal. We will focus on less-sterile approaches to creating your own mushroom cultures ("spawn"), fruiting mushrooms for food and medicine, and working with fungi to build soil, boost your garden, and address soil and water contamination. Throughout this course, you will learn about setting up cultivation space at home, gathering materials and equipment, and gain experiential hands-on skills to make liquid cultures, petri cultures, grain spawn, sawdust kits, and more. You will learn simple ways to grow and make mushroom medicine, grow mushrooms in your garden, digest household waste with fungi, and work with fungi for remediation.
This course is intended for anyone interested in getting to know the fungal kingdom a bit better; folks who want to grow their own protein-rich food; build soil; and/or beginners to mushroom cultivation; and folks who have tried before without success. We'll focus on Oyster, Shiitake, Lions Mane and King Stropharia mushrooms as easy mushrooms to start out growing, and overview broader options as they relate to medicine and remediation. Each participant will take away their own mushroom cultures (1 liquid culture, 1 Oyster or King Stropharia mushroom culture + 1 remediation or waste digester project) and a Mushroom Cultivation Manual to refer back to.
Friday, October 21st from 7-9pm: Intro to Fungal Ecology
This talk will cover what you need to know to begin a relationship with the fungal kingdom so to grow mushrooms for food, medicine and earth renewal. It will offer an understanding of fungal ecology- how some of our fave fungi live and thrive- important to getting started practicing the art and science of mushroom cultivation.
*Optional: 9-9:30pm Mushroom Medicine Circle- try a medicinal mushroom tincture!
Saturday, October 22nd from 10-5pm: Mushroom Cultivation
10-12:30pm: Approaches to Cultivation: Substrates
This will introduce the cultivation lifecycle and detail approaches to cultivation (sterile and less-sterile), and then get hands-on in spawn production: we'll prep the substrates (growing mediums) together- liquid culture, agar, bulk substrates.
12:30-1:30pm LUNCH potluck
1:30-2:30pm Equipment + Materials: make a glove box, and go through a mushroom cultivation equipment and materials checklist.
2:30-5pm: Approaches to Cultivation: Spawn + Growing Mushrooms
This follows from the morning session with hands-on, supported inoculations of the substrates we prepped, including liquid cultures- and a discussion of next steps: incubating, troubleshooting- what to do if it gets contaminated– and urban recycling for food + medicine growing. Everyone will make an Oyster mushroom grow kit to take home.
Sunday, October 23 from 10-5pm: Applied Mycology
10-12:30pm: Outdoor mushroom cultivation
Hands on outdoor mushroom installations at a partner location including mushroom logs, mushroom beds and pathways, companion planting within veggie beds and orchards, mushrooms and composting, and the important role of mycorhizal fungi in the garden and orchard.
1:30-2:30pm: Medicinal & Nutritional Mushrooms
We’ll explore the nutritional and medicinal properties of Reishi, Turkey Tail, Lions Mane, Maitake, Shiitake and other mushrooms, and how to prepare them in cooking, teas, broths, capsules and tinctures.
We’ll discuss how fungi can break down chemical pollutants- including oil, pesticides, and even Agent Orange; suck up heavy metals and radiation; filter water; bust up asphalt; and initiate and support many lifecycles that ultimately regenerate ecosystems. We will talk through some specific applications including how to filter water and detoxify contaminated soil with fungi, and visit or view local mycoremediation projects.