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
eBook: 9781603584562
Pub. Date May 09, 2015

Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation

Simple to Advanced and Experimental Techniques for Indoor and Outdoor Cultivation

Availability: In Stock


Available Date:
August 18, 2014


Availability: In Stock


Available Date:
June 12, 2015

$39.95 $31.96

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.


November 04, 2016

Tradd Cotter at Sustainable Agriculture Conference

NC | Tradd Cotter
Tradd Cotter will be at the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association's Sustainable Agriculture Conference, which will be taking place November 4-6. More details to come!

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

Mushroom Log Cultivation


The Chelsea Green Reader

The Chelsea Green Reader

Chelsea Green, the Vermont-based independent publisher, has always had a nose for authors and subjects that are way ahead of the cultural curve, as is evident in this new anthology celebrating the company’s first thirty years in publishing.

The more than one hundred books represented in this collection reflect the many distinct areas in which we have published–from literature and memoirs to progressive politics, to highly practical books on green building, organic gardening and farming, food and health, and related subjects–all of which reflect our underlying philosophy: "The politics and practice of sustainable living." The Chelsea Green Reader offers a glimpse into our wide-ranging list of books and authors and to the important ideas that they express. Interesting and worth reading in their own right, the individual passages when taken as a whole trace the evolution of a highly successful small publisher–something that is almost an oxymoron in these days of corporate buyouts and multinational book groups.
From the beginning, Chelsea Green's books were nationally recognized, garnering positive reviews, accolades, and awards. We’ve published four New York Times bestsellers, and our books have set the standard for in-depth, how-to books that remain relevant years–often decades–beyond their original publication date.

"Chelsea Green was born from a single seed: the beauty of craft. Craft in writing and editing, in a story well told, or a thesis superbly expressed," writes cofounder and publisher emeritus Ian Baldwin in the book's foreword. Today, craft continues to inform all aspects of our work–design, illustration, production, sales, promotion, and beyond. It has even informed our business model: In 2012, Chelsea Green became an employee-owned company.

With the rise of the Internet, new media platforms, and a constantly shifting bookselling landscape, the future of publishing is anything but predictable. But if Chelsea Green's books prove anything, it is that, despite these challenges, there remains a hunger for new and important ideas and authors, and for the permanence and craftsmanship of the printed word. Today our ongoing mission is stronger than ever, as we launch into our next thirty years of publishing excellence.

Available in: Paperback, eBook

Read More

The Chelsea Green Reader

Ben Watson, Ian Baldwin

Paperback $15.00

The Maple Sugar Book

The Maple Sugar Book

By Helen Nearing and Scott Nearing

A half-century ago, the world was trying to heal the wounds of global war. People were rushing to make up for lost time, grasping for material wealth. This was the era of "total electric living," a phrase beamed into living rooms by General Electric spokesman Ronald Reagan. Environmental awareness was barely a gleam in the eye of even Rachel Carson.

And yet, Helen and Scott Nearing were on a totally different path, having left the city for the country, eschewing materialistic society in a quest for the self-sufficiency they deemed "the Good Life." Chelsea Green is pleased to honor their example by publishing a new edition of The Maple Sugar Book, complete with a new section of never-before-published photos of the Nearings working on the sugaring operation, and an essay by Greg Joly relating the story behind the book and placing the Nearings' work in the context of their neighborhood and today's maple industry.

Maple sugaring was an important source of cash for the Nearings, as it continues to be for many New England farmers today. This book is filled with a history of sugaring from Native American to modern times, with practical tips on how to sap trees, process sap, and market syrup. In an age of microchips and software that are obsolete before you can install them, maple sugaring is a process that's stood the test of time. Fifty years after its original publication in 1950, The Maple Sugar Book is as relevant as ever to the homestead or small-scale commercial practitioner.

Available in: Paperback

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The Maple Sugar Book

Helen Nearing, Scott Nearing

Paperback $25.00

Sowing Seeds in the Desert

Sowing Seeds in the Desert

By Masanobu Fukuoka

The earth is in great peril, due to the corporatization of agriculture, the rising climate crisis, and the ever-increasing levels of global poverty, starvation, and desertification on a massive scale. This present condition of global trauma is not "natural," but a result of humanity's destructive actions. And, according to Masanobu Fukuoka, it is reversible. We need to change not only our methods of earth stewardship, but also the very way we think about the relationship between human beings and nature.

Fukuoka grew up on a farm on the island of Shikoku in Japan. As a young man he worked as a customs inspector for plants going into and out of the country. This was in the 1930s when science seemed poised to create a new world of abundance and leisure, when people fully believed they could improve upon nature by applying scientific methods and thereby reap untold rewards. While working there, Fukuoka had an insight that changed his life forever. He returned to his home village and applied this insight to developing a revolutionary new way of farming that he believed would be of great benefit to society. This method, which he called "natural farming," involved working with, not in opposition to, nature.

Fukuoka's inspiring and internationally best-selling book, The One-Straw Revolution was first published in English in 1978. In this book, Fukuoka described his philosophy of natural farming and why he came to farm the way he did. One-Straw was a huge success in the West, and spoke directly to the growing movement of organic farmers and activists seeking a new way of life. For years after its publication, Fukuoka traveled around the world spreading his teachings and developing a devoted following of farmers seeking to get closer to the truth of nature.

Sowing Seeds in the Desert, a summation of those years of travel and research, is Fukuoka's last major work-and perhaps his most important. Fukuoka spent years working with people and organizations in Africa, India, Southeast Asia, Europe, and the United States, to prove that you could, indeed, grow food and regenerate forests with very little irrigation in the most desolate of places. Only by greening the desert, he said, would the world ever achieve true food security.

This revolutionary book presents Fukuoka's plan to rehabilitate the deserts of the world using natural farming, including practical solutions for feeding a growing human population, rehabilitating damaged landscapes, reversing the spread of desertification, and providing a deep understanding of the relationship between human beings and nature. Fukuoka's message comes right at the time when people around the world seem to have lost their frame of reference, and offers us a way forward.

Available in: Paperback, eBook

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Sowing Seeds in the Desert

Masanobu Fukuoka, Larry Korn

eBook $15.95

Natural Beekeeping with Ross Conrad (DVD)

Natural Beekeeping with Ross Conrad (DVD)

By Ross Conrad

The various chemicals used in beekeeping have, for the past decades, held Varroa Destructor, a mite, and other major pests at bay, but chemical resistance is building and evolution threatens to overtake the best that laboratory chemists have to offer. In fact, there is evidence that chemical treatments are making the problem worse. Ross Conrad flips the script on traditional approaches by proposing a program of selective breeding and natural hive management.This filmed workshop follows Ross Conrad through the dos and don'ts of natural beekeeping, and offers practical information—including details on apitherapy, the use of bee products in medicinal healing—every aspiring beekeeper needs to know. Including in-the-field footage of the author and his hives, and extensive information on:

  • Beekeeping Equipment
  • Tools and Clothing
  • Bee Space
  • The Basics of Honey Bee Biology
  • Varroa Mites - Biology, Identification and Monitoring
  • Varroa Mite Control
  • Other Pests and Predators of the Honey Bee
  • Common Hive Diseases
  • Feeding Bees
  • Honey Harvesting

Ross Conrad is the author of Natural Beekeeping (Chelsea Green, 2007), where he brought together the best organic and natural approaches to keeping honeybees healthy and productive. In the book, Conrad offers crucial nontoxic methods of controlling mites, eliminating American foulbrood disease (without the use of antibiotics), breeding strategies, and many other tips and techniques for maintaining healthy hives, as well as specific concepts and detailed management techniques covered in a matter-of-fact, easy-to-implement way. The book describes opportunities for the seasoned professional to modify existing operations, increase profits, and eliminate the use of chemical treatments.

Available in: DVD

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Natural Beekeeping with Ross Conrad (DVD)

Ross Conrad

DVD $24.95