Mushrooms can do some pretty amazing things, and as research continues, we are gaining an even better understanding of the potential of fungi to help us overcome an array of environmental challenges. Mycologist Tradd Cotter joins me on the podcast to share the emerging uses of mushrooms beyond food.
Tradd started out as a mushroom picker and forager before entering a career in Florida as a landscape designer, working as a private consultant and designer for high-profile clients including Venus and Serena Williams and baseball Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt. Still, his fascination with mushrooms persisted, leading him to co-found Mushroom Mountain, which studies the ecological, culinary, agricultural and medicinal uses of mushrooms.
Based in South Carolina, Mushroom Mountain has received hundreds of fungi from people all over North America for propagation and study. Since the first broadcast in 2019, Tradd has moved on from Mushroom Mountain, though he is still in the mushroom industry.
A few years ago, I caught Tradd’s presentation on mushrooms at the University of North Carolina Botanic Garden in Charlotte and was blown away. It opened my eyes to the possibility that fungi offer. For gardeners, hearing how fungi can be used for pest and disease control in the garden will make you sit up and listen, and there are a number of other fascinating uses as well.
This podcast episode is not an explanation of how to grow mushrooms, but if that’s what you are looking for, you can check out Tradd’s book, “Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation: Simple to Advanced and Experimental Techniques for Indoor and Outdoor Cultivation.”
For a full rundown of what Tradd had to share about fungi for mycoremediation, bioremediation, pest control and custom plant disease treatments, you can review the show notes from the original airing of our conversation.
One update not in the original show notes that I want to share concerns the use of fungi to combat spotted lanternfly infestations. Tradd shared in 2019 the potential to identify spotted lanternflies mummified by fungus, then culturing that fungus to use as a targeted spotted lanternfly control method. This method has not proven successful to date, but the update is that a Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences and Cornell University study shows that fungus does show promise and scientific support for spotted lanternfly control. You can read about the study, conducted in the Philadelphia area, examining two naturally occurring fungi.
If you haven’t already listened to this week’s podcast on the potential of mushrooms, you can scroll to the top of the page and click the Play icon in the green bar under the page title to do so now.
Have you seen evidence of the potential of mushrooms? Let us know in the comments below.
Links & Resources
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