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. "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 mycogardening)."

Mycelium Running : How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World by Paul St...

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I've always enjoyed learning about mushrooms. I will look into buying that book. Thank you Joan. Wonderful discussion.

Joan, thank you for this reading suggestion.  I think I'll buy it.  The reviews on Amazon are good.  I've been feeling desperate for something good to read about nature / gardening / ecology / biology.  I'm frustrated by the Amazon price, especially for the e-version, but it is what it is!  Thanks again.  

Amazon claims the price is set by the publisher, and the e-price is much higher than the paperbook price.

I will go through the Nexus Amazon link so Nexus gets a little contribution.

I still cant decide if mycorrhizal inoculant is helpful.  I've been reading more on the topic.  Most of the books are academic and cost $$$$$ or are from "true believers" and therefore not big in the critical thinking department.  Plus, with mushrooms popping up all over around here, it may be totally taking coals to Newcastle.  Of the brands of inoculant, at least one appears to be entirely endomycorrhizal, which might exclude a lot of trees and shrubs.  The other is a mix.  And who knows if the  inoculant is really alive?  

I would love to grow edible fungi.  The kits are expensive, and the one I bought didn't work well for me.  If I could grow morels I'd be in heaven.  So to speak.

I also would love to grow edible fungi.  45 years ago, I purchased a book on how to do it, but never got around to it.

I am interested to know if you do start growing edible fungi. Keep us informed on all you learn. 

For morels, I might take on the project. 

Me too.  Not endorsing this link - no idea if it works.  They sell morel growing kits.

buymorels.com also gmushrooms.com looks like the same kit on both sites.

$32.95 + Shipping and handling.

 

Hmmmmm  like I don't have too many projects to handle already.  Still I did finish the chicken house, and the hens are settled in and laying.  

 

Other kits come up on the search too.  Will see what it involves.  I bet most of it is just waiting a couple years for the morels to pop up or not.

ALso here are some descriptions of morel growing methods.

http://www.mushroom-appreciation.com/growing-morel-mushrooms.html

Thanks, Sentient. Fascinating. I look forward to learning and doing some experimenting. Really an interesting idea. 

Sentient, I am sure you can get information on the internet on Mycelium, and so I Googled it and here is one thing I came up with. It is a really interesting TED talk by Paul Stamets. You will be surprised, he is a neighbor of your part of the Earth. My guess is, there are lots of articles either on line or in your local libraries. Especially since he is a local to you. 

Paul Stamets: 6 ways mushrooms can save the world

Sentient, we've hit the jackpot!

About Paul Stamets

This site includes "Links to Online Articles by Paul Stamets" and "Links to Online Articles About Paul Stamets."

Go to  http://www.youtube.com/paulstamets  to subscribe to his YouTube video site. 

Joan, you are tempting me so bad!  There's that little demon on my shoulder, that keeps whispering in my ear "try it!  you know you want to!  yummy mushrooms". 

Here's an article promoting mycorrhizal fungi in organic farming in India.

Despite lots of enthusiasm, I still don't know if adding mycorrhizal fungi is beneficial.  Adding / promoting organic matter, having diverse plant species, and avoiding naked soils, avoiding over tilling, and avoiding toxic and inappropriate fertilizers, might be what's really needed.  

That said, I'm still adding a mycorrhizal inoculant to my new plantings and raised beds.  As well as compost, compost mulch, and growing diverse species.  Sort of a "Spring tonic".  Plus, there are broad swatches of green pure grass lawn, and bags of "weed and feed" in the shed.  That tells me the lawns were treated in ways that harm microflora.  So my job is to replenish.

The brand I settled on is "Plant Success"  I"m not promoting the product - I don't know if it really helps.  The reason I chose this brand, is the diversity of fungal species.  Some brands, have only one species, such as the "Mykos Xtreme gardening" who make it hard to find out they use only, glomus intraradices.  Some species associate with some plant species, some with others.  G. intraradices is good for a lot of plants, but not a lot of trees.

This might be the wrong thread to add this to.....  I was thinking "fungi" but most of these are not edible fungi.

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