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DIY Mushroom Cultivation
Growing Mushrooms at Home for Food, Medicine, and Soil
With applications in permaculture, urban farming, cooking, natural medicine, and the arts, interest in home-scale mushroom cultivation is exploding. Yet many beginners remain daunted by the perceived complexity of working with fungi.
DIY Mushroom Cultivation is the remedy, presenting proven, reliable, low-cost techniques for home-scale cultivation that eliminate the need for a clean-air lab space to grow various mushrooms and their mycelium.
Beautiful full-color photos and step-by-step instructions accompany a foundation of mushroom biology and ecology to support a holistic understanding of the practice. Growing techniques are applicable year-round, for any space from house to apartment, and for any climate, budget, or goal. Techniques include:
- Setting up a home growing space
- Inexpensive, simple DIY equipment
- Culture creation from mushroom tissue or spores
- Growing and using liquid cultures and grain spawn
- Growing mushrooms on waste streams
- Indoor fruiting
- Outdoor mushroom gardens and logs
- Harvesting, processing, tinctures, and cooking.
Whether you hunt mushrooms or dream about growing and working with them but feel constrained by a small living space, DIY Mushroom Cultivation is the ideal guide for getting started in the fascinating and delicious world of fungiculture.
Willoughby Arevalo is a mycologist, artist, kitchen wizard, father, and educator who has been sharing his knowledge of fungi for the past decade. He has presented at and organized numerous mycology convergences, courses, and workshops and serves on the Education Committee of the Vancouver Mycological Society. He works on an organic vegetable farm, while growing mushrooms at his home in Vancouver, Canada.
"DIY Mushroom Cultivation is a valuable resource for anyone wanting to begin or advance their mushroom cultivation practice. Offering clear and comprehensive instructions for low-tech growing for a range of budgets, interests and scales, this book offers practical inspiration and a sense that: "hey, I can do this". Willoughby has a refreshingly warm way of communicating about the art and science of mushroom cultivation, which welcomes the reader into a community of delight and appreciation of the fungi and the many ways we can work with them to support human and ecological health and well-being."
Danielle Stevenson owner, DIY Fungi
"With hands of an artist, eyes of an ecologist, and the heart of a deeply connected human, Willoughby brings the practical and joyful together through the science and wonder of mycology. This volume on mushroom cultivation is an invitation to read and share in community to grow not only mushrooms, but our true earthly relationships."
Nance Klehm Director of Social Ecologies, and author, The Ground Rules and The Soil Keepers: Conversations with Practitioners on the Ground Beneath Our Feet
"Willoughby's unique combination of talent, passion, and experience growing and cooking mushrooms has produced this beautiful and informative contribution. Well done, Mycology Maestro."
Robert Rogers author, The Fungal Pharmacy
"It is simply a fact that as the horrors of climate change descend upon us, ecosystem regeneration will become our overarching drive. Then, finally, we will seek advice and assistance from our beloved ancestors, the forest fungi. Ever forgiving, they will supply our indoor protein, nurture our new forests, financially support our drawdown effort, and mend our damaged world. This delightful book gets all that started in clear language and beautiful illustrations, at home scale and low budget, one new mushroom grower at a time."
Albert Bates owner, Mushroom People, North America's oldest mushroom tools supply company, and author, The Biochar Solution.
"DIY Mushroom Cultivation by Willoughby Arevalo is a great book for those looking to dig deeper into the powerful world of mushroom cultivation and appreciation. Willoughby's knowledge, passion, and sincere love for fungi makes this book a wonderful, accessible, and informative read. The book provides a solid foundation for inspiring and empowering individuals and communities to grow mushrooms for food, healing, and remediation."
Leila Darwish author, Earth Repair: A Grassroots Guide to Healing Toxic and Damaged Landscapes
"Fun to read and easy to digest, this guide is both practical and inspirational. There are few people in our modern society that have the kind of deep connection with the fungal realm as Willoughby Arevalo—the mushrooms actually speak through him. Both experienced and novice mushroom growers will enjoy the adventure and grow their skills."
Maya Elson mycologist and Santa Cruz Program Director, Wild Child Free School
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