Chelsea Green Publishing

Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation

Pages:400 pages
Book Art:Color photos and illustrations throughout
Size: 8 x 10 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Paperback: 9781603584555
Pub. Date August 18, 2014

Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation

Simple to Advanced and Experimental Techniques for Indoor and Outdoor Cultivation

Availability: In Stock


Available Date:
August 18, 2014


What would it take to grow mushrooms in space? How can mushroom cultivation help us manage, or at least make use of, invasive species such as kudzu and water hyacinth and thereby reduce dependence on herbicides? Is it possible to develop a low-cost and easy-to-implement mushroom-growing kit that would provide high-quality edible protein and bioremediation in the wake of a natural disaster? How can we advance our understanding of morel cultivation so that growers stand a better chance of success? 

For more than twenty years, mycology expert Tradd Cotter has been pondering these questions and conducting trials in search of the answers. In Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation, Cotter not only offers readers an in-depth exploration of best organic mushroom cultivation practices; he shares the results of his groundbreaking research and offers myriad ways to apply your cultivation skills and further incorporate mushrooms into your life—whether your goal is to help your community clean up industrial pollution or simply to settle down at the end of the day with a cold Reishi-infused homebrew ale. 

The book first guides readers through an in-depth exploration of indoor and outdoor cultivation. Covered skills range from integrating wood-chip beds spawned with king stropharia into your garden and building a “trenched raft” of hardwood logs plugged with shiitake spawn to producing oysters indoors on spent coffee grounds in a 4×4 space or on pasteurized sawdust in vertical plastic columns. For those who aspire to the self-sufficiency gained by generating and expanding spawn rather than purchasing it, Cotter offers in-depth coverage of lab techniques, including low-cost alternatives that make use of existing infrastructure and materials. 

Cotter also reports his groundbreaking research cultivating morels both indoors and out, “training” mycelium to respond to specific contaminants, and perpetuating spawn on cardboard without the use of electricity. Readers will discover information on making tinctures, powders, and mushroom-infused honey; making an antibacterial mushroom cutting board; and growing mushrooms on your old denim jeans.

Geared toward readers who want to grow mushrooms without the use of pesticides, Cotter takes “organic” one step further by introducing an entirely new way of thinking—one that looks at the potential to grow mushrooms on just about anything, just about anywhere, and by anyone.


Library Journal-

"Microbiologist Cotter came to mushroom farming in his 20s and quickly became hooked. He shares his enthusiasm for the practice in this wide-ranging book, which covers topics of interest for the beginning hobbyist to the market farmer. Starting with general information about the mushroom life cycle and growing techniques, it progresses into innovative applications for mushrooms and educational ideas using fungi, and then gets into advanced systems. The title concludes with a guide to specific mushrooms and methods for growing them indoors and outdoors. Highlights of innovative techniques include growing media and guerilla urban mushroom producing. More advanced and experimental projects are fascinating, such as the potential for mushroom farming on a space ship and advice on ways to cultivate morels. Emphasized throughout are low-cost and sustainable methods, with several features on how to grow mushrooms without electricity and in disaster areas. Cotter describes the “mushroom rescue modules” he imagines being shipped to disaster relief areas that can provide food, mosquito control, and water purification. ­VERDICT Because this title covers a lot of ground it will be extremely useful for mushroom farming enthusiasts at any level.”


"Mushrooms 'are part of Nature’s decomposers and constructors, the agent of habitat renewal,' Cotter tells us. And mycoremediation is the use of mushrooms to create an effective biomass that can break down environmental and industrial pollutants. A microbiologist, mycologist, and organic gardener, Cotter takes a holistic approach, mindful of the mushroom’s life cycle and ecological role, in this challenging guide to the indoor and outdoor cultivation of edible mushroom varieties. He also provides information on medicinal, industrial, and ecologically remedial applications. His in-depth exploration extends beyond cultivation to 'healing the people and the planet.' The book’s four sections cover the fundamentals of mushroom cultivation; innovative applications and projects, including alcoholic beverages; advanced techniques and research, including mycoremediation; and detailed descriptions of selected mushrooms. With plenty of photographs and other illustrations and comprehensive back matter, including glossary, bibliography, list of resources and suppliers, and index, Cotter’s advanced how-to is best for those seeking serious mycological knowledge.”

Publishers Weekly-

"This comprehensive introduction to growing and utilizing fungi has something for all mushroom-inclined readers, be they individuals curious about growing edible fungi in their backyards or basements, prospective mushroom farmers setting up large growing systems, educators from kindergarten to college levels, or innovators experimenting with eco-friendly materials. In addition to providing step-by-step directions for growing mushrooms, the book foodies, amateur scientists, and activists with esoteric and advanced applications for them, such as mushroom-infused beers; 'mushroom modules' that can be used for food, water filtration, or insect control in disaster relief; and mushrooms that can be “trained” to break down specific contaminants. Both practical and passionate, Cotter offers extensive and detailed information about mushroom biology, propagation, and remediation for novices. This refreshing take goes beyond typical how-tos, which only  provide rote directions and absolute answers. He has equal interest in encouraging budding mycologists, mushroom growers, and mycoremediators to observe, experiment, and add to the knowledge of this mysterious burgeoning field.”

Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation is a guide and inspiration for new and experienced mushroom cultivators alike. Tradd Cotter has done a great job of combining the complexity of mushroom cultivation with the intuitive simplicity of ‘small steps.’ Highly recommended for fungophiles as a great read and reference!” --Jim Gibson, past president, Colorado Mycological Society

“Tradd Cotter has written a clear, comprehensive guide that is a gift to amateur as well as professional mushroom growers. The pages are enlivened by Cotter’s enthusiasm for the many possibilities that fungi offer, and his obvious familiarity with growing these marvelous creatures—not just theoretical knowledge—makes the book particularly valuable. This book opens the doors wide to a diverse and fascinating fungal world.”--Toby Hemenway, author of Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture

“Mushroom cultivation should be playing a much bigger role in our gardens and farms. Tradd Cotter’s Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation provides low-cost, easily accessible techniques for growing mushrooms indoors and outdoors, from home to commercial scale.”--Eric Toensmeier, author of Paradise Lot and Perennial Vegetables

“This is a reference book for the next generation of DIY mycologists. It is a great practical guide to mushroom cultivation, starting with basic concepts and building from there to mycoremediation and experimental strain development. Tradd Cotter is a man with a mission, who has done and thought about all this a lot; he has learned to explain it with great clarity and in a simple and well-organized manner.”--Sandor Ellix Katz, fermentation revivalist and author of The Art of Fermentation and Wild Fermentation

“Finally, an accessible resource covering a wide variety of mushroom-cultivation approaches. Tradd Cotter’s book fills an enormous need—I’ve been wishing for a resource like this for a long time. This is the kind of book I’ll keep nearby and will turn to often over the years. Any farmer or gardener who wishes to garner food or medicine value from wood needs to understand and cultivate mushrooms. And this is the best all-around manual I’ve seen.”--Ben Falk, author of The Resilient Farm and Homestead

“Tradd Cotter has done a wonderful job sharing his practical experience in a well-organized way with illustrations that clearly underline the topics. Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation is an invaluable resource for teaching students about mushroom cultivation.”--Peter Oei, author of Mushroom Cultivation, director of horticulture innovation at InnovatieNetwerk, Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, and founder of and

“Wow! Tradd Cotter is a genius of organic mushroom production. His step-by-step instructions and beautiful photography make this a must-have book.”--Robert Rogers, author of The Fungal Pharmacy: The Complete Guide to Medicinal Mushrooms and Lichens of North America


Tradd Cotter

Tradd Cotter is a microbiologist, professional mycologist, and organic gardener, who has been tissue culturing, collecting native fungi in the Southeast, and cultivating both commercially and experimentally for more than twenty-two years. In 1996 he founded Mushroom Mountain, which he owns and operates with his wife, Olga, to explore applications for mushrooms in various industries and currently maintains over 200 species of fungi for food production, mycoremediation of environmental pollutants, and natural alternatives to chemical pesticides. His primary interest is in low-tech and no-tech cultivation strategies so that anyone can grow mushrooms on just about anything, anywhere in the world. Mushroom Mountain is currently expanding to 42,000 square feet of laboratory and research space near Greenville, South Carolina, to accommodate commercial production, as well as mycoremediation projects. Tradd, Olga, and their daughter, Heidi, live in Liberty, South Carolina.


December 05, 2015

Tradd Cotter at Mushroom Mountain

200 Finley Rd, Easley, SC, 29642 | Tradd Cotter
On December 5th, Tradd Cotter will be offering a "Cultivating Edible Mushrooms" Holiday Gift Workshop, which will take place from 10:00AM to 12:00PM. The workshop cost $50, which includes instruction by Tradd, as well as a fruiting kit or log. All additional kits are $10.00 each - give a gift of a mushroom fruiting kit to your family and friends! Upon registering for this course, you will get a confirmation email, followed by an email from Olga with directions to the farm.

See all Events by this Author


Tradd Cotter: Mushrooms to the rescue

Tradd Cotter: Mushrooms to the rescue

Myco-medicine with Tradd Cotter

Myco-medicine with Tradd Cotter

Tradd shows mycelium threding through a King Stropharia bed

Mushroom Mountain Introducing

Shiitake logs at Mushroom Mountain - small fruiting

Looking for Deadly Mushrooms

TEDxGreenville - Tradd Cotter - 3/5/2010

Mushroom business built from ground up

Mushroom business built from ground up

Around the Table - A Lesson in Mushroom ID with Tradd

CFC 2015 Tradd Cotter: Mycotopia: Solutions to Global Hunger, Pollution, and Diseases

CFC 2015 Tradd Cotter: Mycotopia: Solutions to Global Hunger, Pollution, and Diseases


Grass, Soil, Hope

Grass, Soil, Hope

By Courtney White

This book tackles an increasingly crucial question: What can we do about the seemingly intractable challenges confronting all of humanity today, including climate change, global hunger, water scarcity, environmental stress, and economic instability?

The quick answers are: Build topsoil. Fix creeks. Eat meat from pasture-raised animals.

Scientists maintain that a mere 2 percent increase in the carbon content of the planet’s soils could offset 100 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions going into the atmosphere. But how could this be accomplished? What would it cost? Is it even possible? 

Yes, says author Courtney White, it is not only possible, but essential for the long-term health and sustainability of our environment and our economy.

Right now, the only possibility of large-scale removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere is through plant photosynthesis and related land-based carbon sequestration activities. These include a range of already existing, low-tech, and proven practices: composting, no-till farming, climate-friendly livestock practices, conserving natural habitat, restoring degraded watersheds and rangelands, increasing biodiversity, and producing local food.

In Grass, Soil, Hope, the author shows how all these practical strategies can be bundled together into an economic and ecological whole, with the aim of reducing atmospheric CO2 while producing substantial co-benefits for all living things. Soil is a huge natural sink for carbon dioxide. If we can draw increasing amounts carbon out of the atmosphere and store it safely in the soil then we can significantly address all the multiple challenges that now appear so intractable.

Available in: Paperback

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The Bio-Integrated Farm

The Bio-Integrated Farm

By Shawn Jadrnicek and Stephanie Jadrnicek

The Bio-Integrated Farm is a twenty-first-century manual for managing nature’s resources. This groundbreaking book brings “system farming” and permaculture to a whole new level. Author Shawn Jadrnicek presents new insights into permaculture, moving beyond the philosophical foundation to practical advanced designs based on a functional analysis. Holding his designs to a higher standard, Jadrnicek’s components serve at least seven functions (classical permaculture theory only seeks at least two functions). With every additional function a component performs, the design becomes more advanced and saves more energy.

A bio-integrated greenhouse, for example, doesn’t just extend the season for growing vegetables; it also serves as a rainwater collector, a pond site, an aquaponics system, and a heat generator. Jadrnicek’s prevalent theme is using water to do the work. Although applicable in many climates, his designs are particularly important for areas coping with water scarcity.

Jadrnicek focuses on his experience as farm manager at the Clemson University Student Organic Farm and at his residence in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  These locations lie at the cooler northern edge of a humid subtropical climate that extends west to the middle of Texas and north along the coast to New Jersey. He has created permaculture patterns ranging from raising transplants and field design to freshwater prawn production and composting. These patterns have simplified the operation of the 125-share CSA farm while reducing reliance on outside resources. In less time than it takes to mow his two-acre homestead, Jadrnicek is building a you-pick fruit farm using permaculture patterns. His landscape requires only the labor of harvesting, and the only outside input he buys is a small amount of chicken feed. By carefully engaging the free forces of nature—water, wind, sunlight, convection, gravity, and decomposition—Jadrnicek creates sustenance without maintenance and transforms waste into valuable farm resources.

The Bio-Integrated Farm offers in-depth information about designing and building a wide range of bio-integrated projects including reflecting ponds, water-storage ponds, multipurpose basins, greenhouses, compost heat extraction, pastured chicken systems, aquaculture, hydroponics, hydronic heating, water filtration and aeration, cover cropping, and innovative rainwater-harvesting systems that supply water for drip irrigation and flushing toilets.

Available in: Paperback

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Shawn Jadrnicek, Stephanie Jadrnicek

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Around The World in 80 Plants

Around The World in 80 Plants

By Stephen Barstow

This book takes us on an original and inspiring adventure around the temperate world, introducing us to the author’s top eighty perennial leafy-green vegetables. We are taken underground gardening in Tokyo, beach gardening in the UK, and traditional roof gardening in the Norwegian mountains. . . . There are stories of the wild foraging traditions of indigenous people in all continents: from the Sámi people of northern Norway to the Maori of New Zealand, the rich food traditions of the Mediterranean peoples, the high-altitude food plants of the Sherpas in the Himalayas, wild mountain vegetables in Japan and Korea, and the wild aquatic plant that sustained Native American tribes with myriad foodstuffs and other products.

Around the World in 80 Plants will be of interest to both traditional vegetable and ornamental gardeners, as well as anyone interested in permaculture, forest gardening, foraging, slow food, gourmet cooking, and ethnobotany. A thorough description is given of each vegetable, its traditions, stories, cultivation, where to source seed and plants, and how to propagate it. Sprinkled with recipes inspired by local traditional gastronomy, this is a fascinating book, an entertaining adventure, and a real milestone in climate-friendly vegetable growing from a pioneering expert on the subject.

Available in: Paperback

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Food Not Lawns

Food Not Lawns

By Heather Flores

Gardening can be a political act. Creativity, fulfillment, connection, revolution—it all begins when we get our hands in the dirt.

Food Not Lawns combines practical wisdom on ecological design and community-building with a fresh, green perspective on an age-old subject. Activist and urban gardener Heather Flores shares her nine-step permaculture design to help farmsteaders and city dwellers alike build fertile soil, promote biodiversity, and increase natural habitat in their own "paradise gardens."

But Food Not Lawns doesn't begin and end in the seed bed. This joyful permaculture lifestyle manual inspires readers to apply the principles of the paradise garden—simplicity, resourcefulness, creativity, mindfulness, and community—to all aspects of life. Plant "guerilla gardens" in barren intersections and medians; organize community meals; start a street theater troupe or host a local art swap; free your kitchen from refrigeration and enjoy truly fresh, nourishing foods from your own plot of land; work with children to create garden play spaces.

Flores cares passionately about the damaged state of our environment and the ills of our throwaway society. In Food Not Lawns, she shows us how to reclaim the earth one garden at a time.

Available in: Paperback

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Heather Flores, Toby Hemenway

Paperback $25.00