CFI’s Workshops Share the Secrets and Spirit of Innovation

by Daimen Hardie on June 2, 2014

Bay of Fungi founders Nicholas Thompson and Gavin Hardie share a passion for growing healthy food and exploring the vast potential of mushroom cultivation in the Maritimes.  Everyone at CFI's Mushroom Cultivation & Mycoremediation workshop this past weekend got a hands-on introduction to their array of innovative DIY mushroom growing techniques - including natural garden and kitchen 'laboratory' methods that are a breeze for anyone with some experience growing veggies or raising sour dough.  

Participants then took home the starter materials to get their own home-scale mushroom productions up and running this season!  

Bay of Fungi instructors installed several mushroom patches at CFI's Rural Innovation Campus to demonstrate how they grow the popular Shiitake and Oyster mushrooms as well as exotic varieties such as Gardent Giant (Stropharia rugosoannulata).  Also known as the 'Godzilla' mushroom for it's mammoth size, Stropharia can be raised in a vegetable garden to help cycle nutrients for plants and combat common soilborne pests.  We're so excited to watch our Garden Giants grow!

Pushing the envelope on working with mushrooms, the course also covered the relatively new art and science of 'mycoremediation', using mushrooms to breakdown and sequester contaminants like oil and gas.  The group established a protective Oyster Mushroom trench near the campus machine shop that will serve as an extra line of defense against spills or leaching and also help to remediate any contaminants that have already entered the site. 


Working with nature's recylers to heal and protect the land - it's the sort of innovation that CFI admires, and something that could provide tremendous benefit to our planet's many degraded landscapes.  One barrier to more widepread development and application of mycoremediation is the lack of experience and appropriate mushroom cultivation materials. Fortunately, the founders of Bay of Fungi are all about trying new things and sharing their knowledge and materials widely, empowering other people to join the experiment.  The only thing better than practicing innnovation is sharing it freely - keep it up Bay of Fungi!  

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