Cultivating Wood-Loving fungi
Sliding Scale Cost $15-$25
This class will take place on ZOOM, as well as recorded and sent to all who registered.
Fungi are all around us and underpin many of our ecosystems. They are nature’s recyclers breaking down forest debris – the leaves, branches, woodchips, and other forest detritus – they are busy returning locked-up nutrients to the environment. Many of the fungi we wish to cultivate are saprobes, they derive energy and nutrients by breaking down plant matter. While some can be easily grown in artificial conditions, some prefer to work in a partnership with other organisms, or have certain requirements that defeat cultivation.
This workshop will be about some of those wood-loving fungi. From spore to spawn to substrate, many of the fungi we cultivate are relatively easy to grow using conventional cultivation methods, while for others, it is sometimes best to leave them up to their natural lifecycle – guided somewhat.
Some fungi thrive in a setting of competition and cooperation, and fortunately, there are a handful of “Guerrilla” style techniques that we can use to capture fungi using the stem butts of foraged mushrooms that prefer outdoor garden beds, bulking out a myceliated substrate, then returning them to an environment where they are happy to grow, and fruit.
Join Caine Barlow for 90-minute mushroom cultivation workshop covering the cultivation and use of outdoor wood-loving mushrooms. Guided by the mushroom lifecycle, Caine frames mushroom cultivation in an easy-to-understand context, covering what is needed to succeed in a home, community, or guerrilla garden. The language and techniques used in mycology can be confronting for many, but Caine has a relaxed teaching style, mixing both backyard methods and lab techniques. The workshop will have time for open Q&A.
Meet Your Teacher
Caine Barlow is a Mycologist and Fungi Educator based in Melbourne, Australia. Caine started foraging for mushrooms in the early 1990s, started cultivating gourmet fungi in the mid-2000s, and has been delivering mushroom cultivation workshops for over five years. He did his Bachelor of Science at the University of Tasmania and a Master of Science at the University of Melbourne, where his research project was based around Conservation Mycology.
Caine gives regular talks on mycology, fungi conservation, and teaches gourmet mushroom cultivation. He works closely with the Australian organization Entheogenesis Australis, and is a co-founder of US-based organization The Entheome Foundation. Caine has written for DoubleBlind, Third Wave, MicroDose, Healing Maps, and has a book project scheduled for release late 2023. He has taught mushroom cultivation through stand-alone cultivation workshops and masterclasses, has taught through DoubleBlind, Milkwood, and Mycommunity Applied Mycology, and has run workshops through mycological societies, at festivals, and conferences. He is a “Trusted Identifier” and a moderator on many Facebook fungi groups.