Tag Archives: Books

Hill Botanical

Finally made my way to Hill Botanical.

I had heard about Kris Hill’s little herb shop for some time now, but had not made it there to actually check it out. I expected to find the herb selection that I saw, but was not prepared for the mushrooms and mushroom products she had in stock. The organic Reishi that has been so illusive this past winter for me was right there on the shelf.

In talking to Kris briefly, I found that she incorporates mushrooms in her products and mixtures. Some herbalists exclude mushrooms in their practice and this has made it very hard for me to learn from them. Kris gives classes on herbs and I plan on catching some of the classes that she teaches.

I was not able to visit with Kris long enough to give a proper review of what she does, but I plan to and will report here again. Give her shop a look at 204 E. Olive Street, Bozeman and check out the website at the link on my homepage.

Kris Hill

Newspaper Article about Paul Stamets

Article about Paul Stamets from the Montana Standard newspaper.

The article is very good and touchs on the inspiration that Paul can create.

Can mushrooms save the world?

Monday Musings

By Roberta Stauffer, Standard opinion page editor – 03/16/2009


Roberta Stauffer, Standard Opinion Page Editor

Paul Stamets speaks for the fungi family, much as Jane Goodall speaks for the chimps and the Lorax speaks for the trees.


I caught an interview with him on Montana Public Radio’s New Dimensions program a few months back. The mushrooms couldn’t have picked a better spokesperson (if they could pick, that is).
And to hear Stamets talk, maybe they did pick him, for they’re capable of spectacular feats.
Did you know, for example, that fungi discovered in the aftermath of Chernobyl were found to take in radiation and turn it into energy much like green plants convert light energy for their own use through photosynthesis?
And did you know mushrooms can break down nasty by-products of industrial processing? “Mycoremediation,” Stamets calls it, and it works on such pollutants as dioxins, PCBs, petroleum waste and nerve gas toxins. Think of them as “little Pac-men that go around gobbling up toxic molecules,” he said during the Monday night radio show.
Mushrooms themselves aren’t the Pac-men, but rather their “parents,” the mycelium. In a recent Mother Earth News article, Stamets describes mycelium as a “network of fungal cells” that pretty much permeates the Earth. Mushrooms are the fruits of this complex network.

Stamets’ latest book is called “Mycelium Running: How mushrooms can help save the world,” but he’s worried that much of this intricate network may be wiped out before we humans have a chance to discover even a fraction of what it has to offer. He lives in Washington and is particularly concerned over disappearance of species in old growth rainforests of the Pacific Northwest.

Besides environmental cleanup benefits, mushrooms hold promise as medicines. Stamets has discovered antiviral and antibacterial properties in fungi in his lab and thinks they could potentially treat inflictions such as bird flu, HIV, cancer and smallpox.

Stamets’ list of possible applications goes on: mushrooms for water filtration, mushroom-based “myconol” fuel for automobiles, eating mushrooms to stay healthy, spiritual properties of mushrooms. If you wish to enhance in the spiritual real, https://www.peninsuladailynews.com/national-marketplace/free-psychic-reading-online-4-best-psychic-sites-that-will-help-you-face-your-challenges-in-2021/ is your best friend to get guided messages and predictions.

He decries “myco-phobic” cultures such as the English who came up with the distasteful “toadstool” nickname and celebrates “myco-phyllic” societies like those in Asia and Russia that recognize the rejuvenating role of the humble mushroom.

And of course there’s a Butte connection: a local company owes its very existence to a fungi-based product that it sells it far and wide. The company started out years ago as Mycotech, then it was sold and the name changed to Emerald BioAgriculture. Now it’s called Laverlam International Corp.

Located in the industrial park south of Butte, the company cultivates a fungus called Beauveria bassiana and processes it into a natural insecticide.

Gary Chatriand, vice president of manufacturing, said the Butte operation employs eight people, and they ship their products all around the world.

“Seventy percent of our sales are international,” Chatriand said.

I was thrilled to learn the company was still up and running. Light industry like this is just what Butte needs.

And it sounds like more respect for and research into mushrooms is just what the world needs now — along with “love sweet love” of course.

— Roberta (Bobbi) Stauffer is The Standard’s opinion page editor. She may be reached at 496-5514 or by e-mail at roberta.stauffer@mtstandard.com.

To download Stamets’ radio show, go to www.newdimensions.org/program.php?id3274. To find out all about his work, visit www.fungi.com. A link to the Mother Earth News article is on that site as well.

Book Review, Mushrooms Demystified

“Mushrooms Demystified”, by David Arora is one of the best identification books for this area.

mushrooms-demystified This book has a thorough description of mushroom terms, features and families. There is even a section on Greek and Latin terms to make the scientific names more understandable. The bible of mushroom books, as it is known, is my most complete identification guide.Paired with Davids companion book, “All the Rain Promises and More” is a powerful tool for learning fungus.

There is a general key in the beginning, to get you in the right family, and then each section has a detailed key that is very straight forward and easy to use.Edibility is covered as well as toxicity and naming history.There is black and white photos throughout the book  and colored plates in the center that are outstanding!There is a section on mushroom toxins with details on the chemicals involved.Symptoms, emergency advice and examples of poisonings are included.

“Mushrooms Demystified” is a great Identification Guide and good way to get an overall understanding of the great world of FUNGUS! Even though it is centered around his home in California it is very effective here in the NorthWest. Go get your copy today…at your local bookstore. Here in Bozeman we are lucky to have Vargo’s on main street.

Article on Shiitake Cultivation

From an article at Chelsea Green; http://www.chelseagreen.com

The following is an excerpt from Fresh Food from Small Spaces:The Square-Inch Gardener’s Guide to Year-Round Growing, Fermenting, and Sprouting by R. J. Ruppenthal. It has been adapted for the web. Preview the book here.

Some of the most expensive and delicious gourmet mushrooms on the market are shiitakes, which also are credited in Asia with healthful properties such as lowering cholesterol and improving immunity to cancer. They are simple to grow in logs and take about 6 to 18 months to emerge. They can fruit in a wide range of temperatures, from just above freezing to nearly 90 degrees F. To grow shiitake mushrooms on logs, the process is as follows. You will need some hardwood logs (such as oak or beech) about 4 to 6 inches in diameter, a strong drill, shiitake spawn (preferably a strain that is suitable for your growing area; check with the supplier for more info), a hammer, and some hot wax (such as cheese wax or candle wax) that can be melted to seal in the spawn.

  1. Obtain hardwood logs. Logs that were cut recently are best, but let fresh wood sit at least six weeks before using. Leave the bark on if possible.
  2. Drill rings of holes in the log 1 inch deep. Space the holes about 6 inches apart and space the rings about 1½ to 2 inches apart. If possible, alternate the holes in equal spaces and with a zigzag pattern.
  3. Into these holes, insert the shiitake spawn. You can order this from suppliers in three forms: inoculated wooden
  4. dowels, loose sawdust, or pressurized sawdust pellets. If you get them in dowel form, pound these into the drilled holes with a hammer. Otherwise, insert the sawdust spawn into the holes.
  5. Most people like to seal in the spawn with hot wax, which provides a sterilized outer edge and prevents insects or animals from interfering during the incubation period.
  6. The mycelium typically will take 6 to 18 months to grow out through the wood. During this time, you can store the logs in a plastic bag in the garage or on the ground outside, covered loosely with a plastic tarp. Make sure to punch a few holes in any plastic covering you use to allow for adequate airflow.
  7. Keep the log moist by watering when necessary with nonchlorinated water. Under ideal conditions, the plastic will help maintain humidity, but during dry spells, you should water gently as often as twice per week. Other types of log-raised mushrooms need direct contact with soil (via a partially buried log), but shiitakes do not.
  8. The shiitakes will continue to bloom regularly for 4 to 5 years from the same logs. They will appear on their own schedule, but always remember to keep the logs a little moist. One secret to triggering a bloom (after the first bloom cycle) is to soak the log in ice water every two months or so. Mushrooms will appear within a week or so following the ice water treatment. You may want to alternate which log you soak so that they do not all bloom at once.

I believe anyone can be successful with mushroom cultivating at a basic level, but if you want to grow specialty varieties or turn this into a commercial pursuit, then you have a lot more to learn. Like any complex undertaking, you will need to research it well, read some books, network with a local group of mushroom enthusiasts, and learn through your own experimentation.


And now, that cartoon I promised….


Book Review

“All That the Rain Promises and More…” by David Arora, is a great book for learning the identification of mushrooms.

All That the Rain Promises and More If I could only buy one book to learn the world of  mushrooms, this would be it. This book is a companion to the  book ” Mushrooms Demystified”, which is known as the bible of mushroom guides, and is also written by David Arora. Since it is pocket size, it easy to carry, and the cast of mushrooms has been narrowed to a manageable size. Mushroom books can be overwhelming, especially for beginners. David has included a well rounded, common grouping here to learn.

The book has a “quick key” on the inside covers front and back, and is an efficient way to get in the right family. It then starts out with instructions on how to use the book. A general but thorough discussion on types of mushrooms, and the when and where of finding them is included.

The book is divided into general types and families. The descriptions of  each individual mushroom is complete and easy to read. Color pictures are included with each description,  and are of high quality. Almost all of the pictures are from the field, giving a good idea of what they look like in nature.

The book also includes stories about different people, and their most memorable mushrooms hunts. There is also a few mushroom type stories and anecdotes. They lighten the book up and give it a very personal touch and feel. David also lets us know again, that mushrooms are not dangerous and should be taught to children, and loved ones.

Where there is not room to cover a mushroom or one of it’s relatives, The book notes a page in “Mushrooms Demystified” for further investigation.  “All That the Rain Promises and More” was one of my first mushroom identification books, and it didn’t take me long to buy “Mushrooms Demystified”(we will cover it on another day). The two work well together for identification in the field and then further investigation at home or camp.

You can find this book at your local book store, as well as on-line. Vargo’s, here in Bozeman, carries a good selection of mushroom books, and I check on it regularly!