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Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation: Simple to Advanced and Experimental Techniques for Indoor and Outdoor Cultivation Paperback – August 18, 2014
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"Microbiologist Cotter came to mushroom farming in his 20s and quickly became hooked. He shares his enthusiasm for the practice in this wide-ranging book, which covers topics of interest for the beginning hobbyist to the market farmer. Starting with general information about the mushroom life cycle and growing techniques, it progresses into innovative applications for mushrooms and educational ideas using fungi, and then gets into advanced systems. The title concludes with a guide to specific mushrooms and methods for growing them indoors and outdoors. Highlights of innovative techniques include growing media and guerilla urban mushroom producing. More advanced and experimental projects are fascinating, such as the potential for mushroom farming on a space ship and advice on ways to cultivate morels. Emphasized throughout are low-cost and sustainable methods, with several features on how to grow mushrooms without electricity and in disaster areas. Cotter describes the “mushroom rescue modules” he imagines being shipped to disaster relief areas that can provide food, mosquito control, and water purification. VERDICT Because this title covers a lot of ground it will be extremely useful for mushroom farming enthusiasts at any level.”
"Mushrooms 'are part of Nature’s decomposers and constructors, the agent of habitat renewal,' Cotter tells us. And mycoremediation is the use of mushrooms to create an effective biomass that can break down environmental and industrial pollutants. A microbiologist, mycologist, and organic gardener, Cotter takes a holistic approach, mindful of the mushroom’s life cycle and ecological role, in this challenging guide to the indoor and outdoor cultivation of edible mushroom varieties. He also provides information on medicinal, industrial, and ecologically remedial applications. His in-depth exploration extends beyond cultivation to 'healing the people and the planet.' The book’s four sections cover the fundamentals of mushroom cultivation; innovative applications and projects, including alcoholic beverages; advanced techniques and research, including mycoremediation; and detailed descriptions of selected mushrooms. With plenty of photographs and other illustrations and comprehensive back matter, including glossary, bibliography, list of resources and suppliers, and index, Cotter’s advanced how-to is best for those seeking serious mycological knowledge.”
"This comprehensive introduction to growing and utilizing fungi has something for all mushroom-inclined readers, be they individuals curious about growing edible fungi in their backyards or basements, prospective mushroom farmers setting up large growing systems, educators from kindergarten to college levels, or innovators experimenting with eco-friendly materials. In addition to providing step-by-step directions for growing mushrooms, the book foodies, amateur scientists, and activists with esoteric and advanced applications for them, such as mushroom-infused beers; 'mushroom modules' that can be used for food, water filtration, or insect control in disaster relief; and mushrooms that can be “trained” to break down specific contaminants. Both practical and passionate, Cotter offers extensive and detailed information about mushroom biology, propagation, and remediation for novices. This refreshing take goes beyond typical how-tos, which only provide rote directions and absolute answers. He has equal interest in encouraging budding mycologists, mushroom growers, and mycoremediators to observe, experiment, and add to the knowledge of this mysterious burgeoning field.”
“Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation is a guide and inspiration for new and experienced mushroom cultivators alike. Tradd Cotter has done a great job of combining the complexity of mushroom cultivation with the intuitive simplicity of ‘small steps.’ Highly recommended for fungophiles as a great read and reference!” --Jim Gibson, past president, Colorado Mycological Society
“Tradd Cotter has written a clear, comprehensive guide that is a gift to amateur as well as professional mushroom growers. The pages are enlivened by Cotter’s enthusiasm for the many possibilities that fungi offer, and his obvious familiarity with growing these marvelous creatures―not just theoretical knowledge―makes the book particularly valuable. This book opens the doors wide to a diverse and fascinating fungal world.”--Toby Hemenway, author of Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture
“Mushroom cultivation should be playing a much bigger role in our gardens and farms. Tradd Cotter’s Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation provides low-cost, easily accessible techniques for growing mushrooms indoors and outdoors, from home to commercial scale.”--Eric Toensmeier, author of Paradise Lot and Perennial Vegetables
“This is a reference book for the next generation of DIY mycologists. It is a great practical guide to mushroom cultivation, starting with basic concepts and building from there to mycoremediation and experimental strain development. Tradd Cotter is a man with a mission, who has done and thought about all this a lot; he has learned to explain it with great clarity and in a simple and well-organized manner.”--Sandor Ellix Katz, fermentation revivalist and author of The Art of Fermentation and Wild Fermentation
“Finally, an accessible resource covering a wide variety of mushroom-cultivation approaches. Tradd Cotter’s book fills an enormous need―I’ve been wishing for a resource like this for a long time. This is the kind of book I’ll keep nearby and will turn to often over the years. Any farmer or gardener who wishes to garner food or medicine value from wood needs to understand and cultivate mushrooms. And this is the best all-around manual I’ve seen.”--Ben Falk, author of The Resilient Farm and Homestead
“Tradd Cotter has done a wonderful job sharing his practical experience in a well-organized way with illustrations that clearly underline the topics. Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation is an invaluable resource for teaching students about mushroom cultivation.”--Peter Oei, author of Mushroom Cultivation, director of horticulture innovation at InnovatieNetwerk, Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, and founder of MeattheMushroom.nl and spore.nl.
“Wow! Tradd Cotter is a genius of organic mushroom production. His step-by-step instructions and beautiful photography make this a must-have book.”--Robert Rogers, author of The Fungal Pharmacy: The Complete Guide to Medicinal Mushrooms and Lichens of North America
About the Author
Tradd Cotter is a microbiologist, professional mycologist, and organic gardener, who has been tissue culturing, collecting native fungi in the Southeast, and cultivating both commercially and experimentally for more than twenty-two years. In 1996 he founded Mushroom Mountain, which he owns and operates with his wife, Olga, to explore applications for mushrooms in various industries and currently maintains over 200 species of fungi for food production, mycoremediation of environmental pollutants, and natural alternatives to chemical pesticides. His primary interest is in low-tech and no-tech cultivation strategies so that anyone can grow mushrooms on just about anything, anywhere in the world. Mushroom Mountain is currently expanding to 42,000 square feet of laboratory and research space near Greenville, South Carolina, to accommodate commercial production, as well as mycoremediation projects. Tradd, Olga, and their daughter, Heidi, live in Liberty, South Carolina.
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Top Customer Reviews
I've been particularly wanting more information on rafts, totems, and propagating mushrooms on cardboard, and this book form of the lectures I'd attended didn't disappoint. In addition to providing step-by-step directions (with great diagrams and photos) on those topics, the text provided additional home-scale experiments that I'm itching to try, including propagating shiitakes using stacked rounds, raising oyster mushrooms on old clothes and coffee grounds, and producing homegrown morel spawn/microbe slurry for outside inoculation. (If you have no idea what I'm talking about, don't worry --- the beginning of the book has great information to bring beginners up to speed.)
The last third of the book consists of species-by-species cultivation accounts, and I'll save that for more intensive reading later. For now, this book is one of the few titles --- about three to five per year --- that contains such a breadth and depth of information that it merits a permanent place on my bookshelf.
For those of you new to mushrooms, this is probably the book I'd recommend reading first. It's like a combination of the inspiring accounts of Mycelium Running with the hands-on information of Stamets' older text, but with a more homestead-scale appeal. But I should warn you that you'll need to commit serious time to reading Tradd's chapters slowly and in order since my initial skim was a bit disappointing --- raising more questions than it answered. Only after I read every word did the true wonder of the book gel together into a beautiful whole. So even if you're an intermediate mushroom growing, start with chapter one and prepare to be inspired!
Still good and informative and a lot of clever stuff in there.
Met the Author at Mother Earth News Fair. very impressed with the depth and knowledge in this book.
A must for Every library.