Radical Mycology: A Treatise on Seeing and Working with Fungi

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Chthaeus Press, 2016 - Fungi - 646 pages
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Interwoven with short essays on the lessons of the fungi, Radial Mycology begins with chapters that explore the uniqueness of fungal biology, the critical ecological roles of micro and macro fungi, how to accurately identify mushrooms and mycorrhizal fungi, the importance of lichens as medicines and indicators of environmental quality, and the profound influences that fungi have held on the evolution of all life and human cultures. With this foundation laid, the reader is then equipped to work with the fungi directly. Techniques for making potent fungal medicines, growing fermenting fungi for food, and cheaply cultivating mushrooms using recycled tools (and yet still achieving lab-quality results) are explored in-depth. Subsequent chapters grow far beyond the limits of other books on mushrooms. Detailed information on the principles and practices of natural mushroom farming--largely influenced by the design system of permaculture--is presented along with extensive information on cultivating mycorrhizal fungi and the science of mycoremediation, the application of fungi to mitigate pollution in the environment and in our homes. The book ends with deeper insights into the social effects that fungi present from the reflection of mycelial networks in the design of whole societies to a rigorous examination of the history of psychoactive fungi. Written for the beginner as well as the experienced mycologist, Radical Mycology is an invaluable reference book for anyone interested in Do-It-Yourself (or Do-It-Together) homesteading, community organizing, food security, natural medicine, grassroots bioremediation, and the evolution of human-fungal-ecological relations. More than a book on mushrooms, Radical Mycology is a call to ally with the fungi in all efforts to spawn a healthier world. Heavily referenced and vibrantly illustrated by the author, this unprecedented book will undoubtedly remain a classic for generations to come.

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I love the practical way of condensing years of experience into steps people can do at home, it is great to see writers who can take complex ideas and make them easy and capable of being widespread. Take for instance the discussion of autoclaving with a pressure cooker, or inoculating with sterile techniques , and cultivating large quantities of mycelia in your own home; Peter McCoy has a talent for taking techniques utilized in laboratory environments and making the knowledge very accessible. It was a great book! 

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About the author (2016)

PETER (from the Semitic pitr?, "mushroom") M[Y]CCOY speaks on behalf of the fungi, the most overlooked and misrepresented organisms in the web of life. In 2006, he founded Radical Mycology, a grassroots organization that provides accessible information on mushroom cultivation and mycoremediation. Peter has taught the importance of human-fungal-ecological relations to environmental, social, food, and water rights organizations around the world and he regularly teaches mycology courses across North America. His unique approach to working with fungi for global resilience has been featured in various media outlets, including Grist, Vice, and the documentary film Fungiphilia Rising. A ceaselessly curious autodidact, artist, social organizer, mushroom cultivator, and educator, Peter lives in Portland, OR, his hometown in the heart of the mycotopic bioregion of Cascadia.

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