Stamets Paul - Growing gourmet and medicinal mushrooms

Author : Stamets Paul
Title : Growing gourmet and medicinal mushrooms A companion guide to The Mushroom Cultivator
Year : 1993

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Foreword. Mushrooms—fleshy fungi—are the premier recyclers on the planet. Fungi are essential to recycling organic wastes and the efficient return of nutrients back into the ecosystem. Not only are they recognized for their importance within the environment, but also for their effect on human evolution and health.Yet, to date, the inherent biological power embodied within the mycelial network of mushrooms largely remains a vast, untapped resource. As we enter the 21St century, ecologists, foresters, bioremediators, pharmacologists, and mushroom growers are uniting at a new frontier of knowledge, where enormous biodynamic forces are at play. Only in the last half of this century have we learned enough about the cultivation of mushrooms to tap into their inherent biological power. Working with mushroom mycelium en masse will empower every country, farm, recycling center and individual with direct economic, ecological and medical benefits. As we approach a new century, this myco-technology is a perfect example of the equation of good environmentalism, good health and good business. This book strives to create new models for the future use of higher fungi in the environment. As woodland habitats, especially old growth forests, are lost to development, mushroom diversity also declines. Wilderness habitats still offer vast genetic resources for new strains. The temperate forests of NorthAmerica, particularly the mycologically rich Pacific Northwest, may well be viewed in the 21st century as the Amazon Basin was viewed by pharmaceutical companies earlier in the 20th century. Hence, mushroom cultivators should preserve this gene pooi now for its incalculable future value. The importance of many mushroom species may not be recognized for decades to come. In many ways, this book is an off-spring of the marriage of many cultures—arising from the worldwide use of mushrooms as food, as religious sacraments in Mesoamerica, and as medicine in Asia. We now benefit from the collective experience of lifetimes of mushroom cultivation. As cultivators we must continue to share, explore and expand the horizons of the human/fungal relationship. Humans and mushrooms must bond in an evolutionary partnership. By empowering legions of individuals with the skills of mushroom tissue culture, future generations will be able to better manage our resources and improve life on this planet. Now that the medical community widely recognizes the health-stimulating properties of mushrooms, a combined market for gourmet and medicinal foods is rapidly emerging. People with compromised immune systems would be wise to create their own medicinal mushroom gardens.A community-based, resource-driven industry, utilizing recyclable materials in a fashion that strengthens ecological equilibrium and human health will evolve. As recycling centers flourish, their by-products include streams of organic waste which cultivators can divert into mushroom production. I foresee a network of environmentally sensitive and imaginative individuals presiding over this new industry, which.has previously been controlled by a few mega-businesses. The decentralization began with The Mushroom Cultivator in 1983. It now continues with Growing Gourmet & Medicinal Mushrooms. Join me in the next phase of this continuing revolution. ...

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