The Mushroom Hour Podcast

By Mushroom Hour

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Hi there...welcome to Mushroom Hour. Listen in as we venture into kingdom fungi with unique and beautiful humans who all share a passion for mushrooms. We'll go forage for wild mushrooms, explore their potency as nature's medicines, become citizen mycologists, transform human consciousness and learn how mushrooms inspired art, spirituality and culture throughout our history. There are so many ways that mushrooms can benefit (wo)mankind - we just need to tap into the mycelium network and let them share their gifts. Excited to have you along for the journey! Mush Love

Episode Date
Ep. 96: Hyphae Labs - The First Annual Oakland Psychedelic Conference (feat. Reggie, Ian and Tomás from Hyphae Labs)

Get Your Tickets for the 1st Oakland Psychedelic Conference:   

Today on the Mushroom Hour Podcast we are beyond blessed to be joined by three members of Oakland’s own Hyphae Labs, Ian Bollinger, Tomás Garret and Reggie who has joined us on the podcast previously. 

Inspired by early-life transformative experiences with psilocybin-containing mushrooms, Reggie has had a lifelong passion for mycology and now consults with the largest mushroom cultivators in the world. He is a also member of the Advisory Board for Decriminalize Nature and an avid activist for police reform and an ally of The Movement for Black Lives

Ian Bollinger is a dedicated researcher, scientist and host of the Understanding Entheogens Podcast.  Advising for harm reduction through education by working with the entheogen decriminalization movement in the SF Bay Area; Ian dedicates his time to churches, non-profits, and public benefit corporations to bring scientific insights from the growing entheogen space to the public through his writings, podcast, and outreach

Tomás is the head of operations for Hyphae Labs. His background is in analytical chemistry that began with food and drug testing in Wisconsin. He moved to California in 2018 and began pesticide and solvent testing for the cannabis industry.  Over the past few years he has become intertwined like mycelium with the vibrant Oakland psychedelic community.

Formed by citizen scientists like these, Hyphae Labs works to connect cultivators and consumers to knowledge, data, and education that supports their community through harm reduction.  They are currently engaged with research around Tryptamine content in entheogenic organisms, providing lab and analytical support for the Psilocybin Cup. I am excited to learn more about their collective, their vision and the upcoming Oakland Psychedelic Conference.   


  • Hyphae Connection Between Ian, Tomás and Reggie 
  • Mission and Purpose of Hyphae Labs
  • Why is Testing Entheogenic Compounds Important?
  • Testing Compounds in Psilocybin-Containing Mushrooms 
  • Legality of Testing Entheogens in Oakland  
  • Connection Between Testing & Decriminalization  
  • Wading into the Chemistry of Tryptamines  
  • MAOIs in Mushrooms  
  • Effects of Compounds Other than Psilocybin  
  • The Hyphae Potency Spectrum  
  • Inspiration & Goals of the Oakland Psychedelic Conference  
  • Featured Speakers at the Conference  
  • Building Community & Embracing Diversity  
  • Future of Hyphae Labs as Psychedelics Go Mainstream  


Sep 17, 2021
Ep. 95: Spiritual Impulses, the Ecological Self & a Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom (feat. Dr. Andy Letcher)

Today on the Mushroom Hour Podcast we have the distinct privilege of being joined by Dr. Andy Letcher. Dr. Letcher is a writer, performer and scholar of religion who began life as an ecologist, completing his D.Phil in Ecology at Oxford University. After a spell as an environmental activist during the 90s, especially during the anti-roads protests, he moved across to the humanities, completing a PhD at King Alfred’s College Winchester. He is an expert on contemporary alternative spiritualities, especially modern Paganism, neo-shamanism and psychedelic spiritualities. He is especially interested in the tangled and sometimes tortuous relationship between science and spirituality, and in so-called dark green religion. He has written papers on: the distribution of mammals across continents; fairies; mysticism; and psychedelic spirituality. Andy is also the author of the comprehensive work “Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom” that examines enthnomycological research, legends and myths surrounding humanity’s relationship with psychoactive fungi.   


  • Ecologies, Environmentalism and Cries to the Moon
  • What is Spirituality?
  • Sensory and Cultural Inputs Birthing Religious Traditions
  • Defining the Self
  • Exploring “Semi-Permeable Self”, “Ecological Self”, “Community Self”
  • Consciousness Fields, Panpsychism & Animism
  • Symbiosis and Sympoiesis
  • Are Psilocybe Mushrooms Guiding Human Culture?
  • Are Psychedelics Going to Save Us from Ourselves?
  • What does a Psychedelic-Informed and Ecologically Self-Aware Society Look Like?
  • How Large a Role did Psychedelics Really Play in Ancient Cultures, Religions, Rites and Secret Societies?
  • Are We Part of the Most Psychedelic and Mycologically Inspired Culture Ever?
  • We are the Mushroom People   
  • Psychedelics in Druidry and Other Future Research   


Sep 12, 2021
Ep. 94: Medicinal Mushrooms - Boost Immunity, Improve Memory, Fight Cancer, Stop Infection & Expand Your Consciousness (feat. Dr. Christopher Hobbs)

Today on Mushroom   Hour we are joined by internationally renowned herbalist Dr. Christopher Hobbs. Dr. Hobbs is a fourth-generation herbalist, licensed acupuncturist, herbal clinician, research scientist, consultant to the dietary supplement industry, expert witness, botanist and mycologist with over 35 years of experience. He is also a prolific writer and has authored or co-authored over 20 books, including the new “Christopher Hobbs’s Medicinal Mushrooms, the Essential Guide.” Christopher has lectured on herbal medicine world-wide. He earned his Ph.D. at UC Berkeley with research and publication in evolutionary biology, biogeography, phylogenetics, plant chemistry, and ethnobotany. Time to dive deep into medicinal mushrooms!   


  • Embracing Generational Tradition of Herbalism in a World of Toxic Notions  
  • Discovering Mushrooms in the 1970s  
  • Herbalist World View  
  • Elevating Consciousness  
  • Allying with Plant & Mushroom Spirits  
  • Importance of Spiritual Wellbeing  
  • What is Medicine?  
  • Chemistry of Medicinal Mushrooms and the Immune System  
  • One of Medicinal Mushrooms Biggest Benefits - Fiber  
  • Effects of Beta Glucans & Ancient Receptors in the Body  
  • Secrets of Medicinal Mushroom Products  
  • Starch Testing our Mushroom Powders  
  • Healing Powers of Reishi  
  • Why Do We Put Up With It?  


Sep 06, 2021
Ep. 93: Mycoviruses - Fungal Disease, Plant Resilience & Hypovirus Biocontrols (feat. Bryce Alex)

Today on the Mushroom Hour Podcast we are joined by Bryce Alex, Doctoral Student at the University of Wisconsin Madison. Bryce is originally from Utah and he spent time working as a graduate student and Masters Candidate in the legendary Dentinger Lab at the University of Utah. His mycological research work has involved important players when it comes to fungal ecology that are largely invisible and many of us may have never heard of. He has worked on projects involving metabarcoding fungal propagules carried on bird feathers and mining transcriptomic datasets for hidden mycoviruses. He began his PhD in Plant Pathology at University of Wisconsin Madison in Fall 2020. I am excited for him to share his expertise with the emerging field of mycoviruses and how they relate to fungal, plant and even animal populations.   


  • Entering the World of Mycology by Chance  
  • Research in Legendary Dentinger Lab  
  • What is a Mycovirus?  
  • How do Mycoviruses Effect Their Hosts?  
  • Hypovirulence in Pathogenic Fungi  
  • Cryphonectria parasitica  
  • Mycovirus Transference to Plants & Animals?  
  • Agaricus bisporous Dieback Disease   
  • Theories on Origins and Evolution of Mycoviruses  
  • Changing Paradigm of Virology  
  • Bryce’s Current PhD Research  
  • Advice for Pursuing Academic Mycology  
  • Embracing the Mycology Community  
  • Future of Bryce’s Work  


Aug 30, 2021
Ep. 92: Fungal Diversity Survey - Championing Fungal Conservation, Together (feat. Bill Sheehan PhD & Gabriela D'Elia)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have are graced by the presence of Bill Sheehan PhD and Gabriela D’Elia of the Fungal Diversity Survey - also known as FunDiS. Bill Sheehan is the co-founder and president of FunDiS and  Gabriela is currently FunDiS Deep Funga Blog Editor. FunDiS aims to increase scientific knowledge and public awareness of the critical role of fungi in the health of our ecosystems and to better utilize and protect them in a world of rapid climate change and habitat loss. They do this by equipping community scientists, working with professionals, with the reporting tools to document the diversity and distribution of fungi across North America.

Bill spent most of his career starting and running two national environmental policy nonprofits. Around the time he was getting ready to retire he reconnected with his love of natural history through a fascination with fungi. Combining his experience running nonprofits with his scientific training and an appreciation for the power of grassroots action, FunDiS unites several mycelial strands of his life.

Gabriela first noticed the marvelous mushrooms while she was walking around Seattle, WA. After studying fungal ecology at school there, Gabriela embraced a perspective of Holistic Mycology, which views fungi as ecology, medicine, language, ancestor, and philosophy. Gabriela is leader of the FunDiS local project, Northern Utah Funga Community Science; V.P. of the Mushroom Society of Utah; and founder of Moon Mushrooms, which focuses on mycology education and crafting tiny batch tinctures. 


  • How Bill and Gabriela came to FunDiS  
  • Origins of FunDiS   
  • Evolution from North American Mycoflora Project  
  • Importance of Mapping Fungal Diversity  
  • Undiscovered Diversity all Around the US  
  • Amateurs Leading the Way in Biodiversity Studies  
  • iNaturalist and Mushroom Observer  
  • Genetic Sequencing  
  • Biodiversity Data Feeding Conservation Efforts  
  • Rising Awareness of Fungi in Conservation Efforts  
  • Rare Fungi Challenges  
  • How to Participate in FunDiS Diversity Surveys  
  • How to Volunteer and Support FunDiS
  • Future of FunDiS, Community Mycology & Biodiversity Data  


Aug 22, 2021
Ep. 91: Bioluminescent Fungi, Mysterious Endophytes & the Mushrooms of Vanuatu (feat. Brian Perry PhD)

Today on the Mushroom Hour Podcast we have the privilege of speaking with Brian Perry PhD, Associate Professor of Biology at California State University, East Bay. He received his Master's Degree from San Francisco State University under the guidance of Dr. Dennis E. Desjardin, and his Ph.D. from Harvard University where he studied with Dr. Donald H. Pfister. Brian has been studying fungi since 1995, and has published over 45 papers in scientific journals. In addition to studying the evolution of fungal bioluminescence, he also conducts research on mushrooms and other fungi of Vanuatu, the assembly and biogeography of island fungal communities, endophytic fungi of Hawaiian plants, and the systematics of Mycena and allied genera. Brian teaches several mycology courses at Cal State East Bay and the Sierra Nevada Field Campus, and recently launched a Sierra Nevada Mycoflora project.   


  • Raised with an Appreciation for Nature  
  • Mycological Influence of Dr. Dennis Desjardin  
  • Why Do Some Mushrooms Glow?  
  • Exploring Evolution of Fungal Bioluminescence  
  • Biochemistry of Bioluminescence  
  • Biology & Ecological Roles of Endophytic Fungi  
  • Applied Use of Endophytes  
  • Fungal Ecology of Tropical Islands  
  • Research in Vanuatu  
  • Vanuatu’s Indigenous Culture  
  • Ethnomycology Among Vanuatu’s Indigenous Peoples  
  • Tropical Island Phylogeography & Biogeography  
  • Biogeographical Mysteries  
  • Rise of Citizen Mycologists  


Aug 14, 2021
Ep. 90: Fungi Freights - Detroit's Urban Lab & Environmental Studio (feat. Tess Burzynski)

Today on Mushroom Hour it is our great privilege to be joined by Tess Burzynski - founder, head educator and cultivator at Fungi Freights Urban Lab and Environmental Studio. A Science degree graduate from Wayne State University, she works as an Environmental Scientist and continues doing research with mycoremediation in the city of Detroit. Tess is a member of the Michigan Mushroom Hunters Club and the North American Mycological Association. Throughout her studies she has learned the role mycelium plays in the environment and how beneficial, tenacious and magical it truly is. Through Fungi Freights, her goal is to educate Detroit and its surrounding neighbors about the benefits fungi have on health, food security and the environment. Fungi Freights offers an array of educational workshops and events revolved around mushrooms and their never-ending abilities. From identification, foraging and fungi biology, to DIY cultivation and mushroom art, their events never get dull. Their goal is to enlighten the community on the fascinating world of fungi!


  • Lebanese & Polish Wild Food Influences
  • Finding Healing & Self-Love in Mushrooms
  • Biochemical Processes in Fungi Decomposition
  • Decomposers & Mycoremediation
  • Illustrative Example of Mycoremediation Research
  • Community Science Leading in Mycoremediation
  • Unique Ecology of Detroit
  • Founding of Fungi Freights
  • Fungi Freights Projects and Community Involvement
  • Importance of Reciprocity in Community Building
  • Advice for Our Mushroom Projects
  • Worldwide Modular, Shipping Container Mushroom Farms
  • Bright Potential for Detroit
  • Fastest Organism on Earth is a Fungus?!


Aug 06, 2021
Ep. 89: Forage London - Urban Foraging & Emotional Connection to Green Spaces (feat. John Rensten)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the privilege of speaking with John Rensten. John lived and worked and foraged in London for 20 years before finally escaping to Dorset, via Hampshire, in 2016 to concentrate on mushroom hunting and coastal foraging. He runs and organizes numerous urban foraging events, wild food walks and mushroom forays. On a daily basis, John studies wild food, picks wild food and really obsesses about wild food! He has a deep passion for sharing what he has learned, running city foraging walks and taking groups mushroom hunting in The New Forest or combing the seashore in Dorset. John founded Forage London to give city dwellers a chance to enjoy and discover some of the amazing wild foods that grow all around us.   


  • Lush Diversity Found Urban Foraging  
  • Complex Interlocking Ecologies of Greater London  
  • Avoiding Terrestrial Mushrooms in Urban Environments?  
  • Understanding Historical Land Use Where You Forage Fungi  
  • Emotional Relationship with Local Green Spaces  
  • Permaculture and Wild Foraging Permeating the Mainstream  
  • Foraging Cycles, Seasonality, Multiple Crops & Geographic Variation in Fruiting  
  • Edible and Medicinal Winter Mushrooms in the UK  
  • Ancient Practice of Foraging Dovetailing with Modern Technology  
  • Secrets of Wild Food Preservation & Preparation  
  • Wending Path of Forage Knowledge Accumulation Through Gentle Repetition  
  • Importance of Foraging & Learning Local  
  • The Association of Foragers  
  • Foraging Love Story  


Jul 29, 2021
Ep. 88: Amanita Dreamer - Piercing the Veil on Entheogenic Uses of Amanita muscaria (feat. Amanita Dreamer)

 *WARNING - This episode in no way condemns or condones the use of any substance. For educational and research purposes only*  

Today we are joined by entheogenic researcher Amanita Dreamer. In her former life, Amanita Dreamer was a scientist, an educator and a homesteading mother. Today she shares important information on that most famous of mushrooms, the Amanita muscaria. She looked for years for a natural alternative for help with chronic panic and anxiety and when she found this most iconic mushroom, she delved into the world of fungi and now lives to help others learn what she knows about Amanita muscaria – a mushroom that according to her, "Could save the humans on the planet".  She started a YouTube channel and founded a Forum solely dedicated to the Amanita muscaria for those who needed a safe space to get accurate information. After severe and harsh censorship on social media platforms, that are quick to declare any mushroom deadly, dangerous and illegal, she is moving all of her content to a website, AmanitaDreamer.Net. Drawing from what little research there is, Dreamer works to sift through, interpret, share, challenge and ask tough questions. She is controversial at times but scathingly honest about her path and her use of entheogenic medicines and hopes that others will open up to the simplicity, spirit and beauty that is the Amanita muscaria. She brings together the history of lore and indigenous use with modern data, research and science and hopes that this is the beginning of a future where we will know much more about this versatile, functional and magical entheogenic medicine and teacher.   


  • Discovering Amanita Muscaria at the Brink of Personal Destruction  
  • The Fight or Flight Response System  
  • The Transformative Healing Potential of Amanita muscaria  
  • The “Power Mushroom"  
  • Modern Masculinity & Amanita muscaria  
  • Amanita muscaria Online Community   
  • Amanita Dreamer's Dosing Protocols   
  • Microdosing Amanita muscaria   
  • Preparation of Amanita muscaria for Therapeutic Use   
  • Conversion of Ibotenic Acid into Muscimol   
  • Learning from Lore and Records of Ancient Usage   
  • Experimenting with Novel Preparations and Uses of Amanita muscaria   
  • Future of Research on Muscaroid Fungi   
  • Embracing Spirituality and Communing with Mushroom Entities   


Jul 17, 2021
Ep. 87: Cryptic Fungi, Laboulbeniales & Pushing the Boundaries of Fungal Exploration (feat. Danny Haelewaters PhD)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are joined by adventurer and mycologist Danny Haelewaters PhD. Danny Haelewaters holds a Bachelor’s in Veterinary Sciences, a Master of Science in biology, and a PhD in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. During his Masters program he developed a new technology to analyze forensic relevant fungi in casework at the Netherlands Forensic Institute. Between 2012 and 2018, he worked at the Farlow Herbarium of the Harvard University Herbaria (Cambridge, MA) as a PhD student. In 2018, he did a short postdoc at the University of South Bohemia in the Czech Republic, and from November 2018 until late 2020 he was a USDA-funded postdoctoral research assistant at Purdue University, where he worked on characterizing the fungal microbiota of Romaine lettuce. Currently he works at Ghent University as a junior postdoctoral fellow on a project dealing with Laboulbeniales associated with bat flies. In addition, he  writes popular science articles for different sources. Since the very beginning of his student career at Ghent University (Belgium), he has has loved the interdisciplinary research in biology. It probably contributed to his choice to study the ecto-parasitic Laboulbeniales fungus. I’m excited to learn more about these unique organisms as well as the secrets of other little-known parasitic fungi.


  • From Vet to Mycologist
  • Fungal Inspiration at the University of Ghent
  • Discovering Laboulbeniales
  • Uncovering Phylogeny of Rare, Microscopic Fungi
  • Bat Fly Research in Panama
  • Tripartite System of Bats, Bat Flies and Fungi
  • Future of Laboulbeniales Research on Bat Flies
  • Other Entomopathogens Including Herpomyces
  • Physiology of Laboubieniales
  • Invasive Species & "Enemy Release” Hypothesis
  • Importance of Conserving Fungal Pathogens
  • Exploring Laboubeniales as a BioControl Agent
  • Discovering new Clades of Cryptic Fungal Organisms
  • Understudied Habitats (Romaine Lettuce & Dead Bodies?!)


Jul 08, 2021
Ep. 86: Fungi Foundation - The Future is Fungi (feat. Giuliana Furci & Nathalie Kelley)

Get your tickets now for "THE FUTURE IS FUNGI" Event on 6/26/21:   

Today we are joined be two powerful advocates for queendom fungi, Giuliana Furci and Nathalie Kelley. Giuliana’s journey began at the age of 19, looking for native foxes in a forest on the Island of Chiloé when she came across a fungus that changed her course. Giuliana believes that fungi choose you, and she heard that call. She did not find field guides on fungi in Chile, so she decided to write one in 2006. She studied Aquaculture and went from studying algae and studies on the negative impacts of salmon farming, to leaving everything and starting the Fungi Foundation – the world’s first NGO dedicated to fungal organisms.  

Nathalie Kelley was born in Peru and raised in Australia by her Indigenous mother and grandmother. After working with street children in São Paulo, Brazil and Aboriginal inner-city youth in Redfern, Australia - she began her degree in Social Science and Policy at the University of UNSW. Not long after she started to work as an actress in film and television US, with notable roles in shows like Unreal, Dynasty and most recently as the star of ABC’s The Baker and the Beauty.  Despite this change of course she remained inwardly mindful of her privilege and responsibility to her indigenous heritage and people. She has become an advocate for Indigenous peoples, regenerative agriculture, the soil and the undervalued but invaluable role of fungi in our ecosystem. She is now committed to using her story telling skills to be a voice for the voiceless - creating narratives of hope around the power of nature to regenerate and heal and the integral part humans have to play in this process. Nathalie is on the board of Kiss the Ground and the Fungi Foundation.   


  • How Nat Discovered Queendom Fungi  
  • Giuliana & Nat Connection with Divine Timing  
  • Fungi Foundation’s Origins in Chile  
  • Growth of the Fungi Foundation & Evolving Global Mission   
  • Documenting Ancestral & Traditional Indigenous Interactions with Fungi  
  • Indigenous Technologies will Yield the Biggest Future Discoveries in Mycology  
  • Importance of Consent when Working with Indigenous Communities  
  • Examples of Indigenous Communities Using Fungi  
  • Indigenous Communities’ Responses to the Program  
  • Fungi Foundation Transcending Its Foundress  
  • Future of Fungi Event  
  • Lineup of Inspirational Presenters  
  • How to Get Involved with the Fungi Foundation  


Jun 23, 2021
Ep. 85: Fungal Plant Pathogens, Dimorphic Transformation & Lessons from Smut Fungi (feat. Dr. Michael Perlin)

Today on the Mushroom Hour Podcast we are joined by Dr. Michael Perlin, Professor in Biology at the University of Louisville. Dr. Perlin’s interests drew him to study host/pathogen interactions at the University of Chicago and his PhD work centered on the evolution of bacterial resistance to certain classes of antibiotics/antimicrobials. As he was near to completing his degree, a friend of his stopped by the lab and introduced him to a different microbial system: a fungal pathogen that infects flowering species in the Carnation family and replaces the pollen of the flower with fungal spores. From that point he was hooked. Over the years he has continued to work on bacterial resistance, but in the last 10 years, he has shifted the focus of his lab exclusively to that on fungal plant pathogens, with projects encompassing three different types of pathogens on different hosts and the use of the yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, as a model tool in the exploration of some questions more easily investigated in this well-developed system. Dr. Perlin has roughly 70 peer-reviewed scientific articles in reputable journals, including Nature; mBio; BMC Genomics; Genes, Genomes, Genetics (GGG); Fungal Genetics and Biology; Journal of Bacteriology; Eukaryotic Cell; and Molecular Microbiology. As a member of a number of scientific organizations and a prolific teacher and mentor, Dr. Perlin has a far-reaching influence on his field and has directly played a role in the careers of many PhD students. I’m excited to learn more about how fungal phytopathogens that have a massive impact on human culture.   


  • Journey into the Life Sciences   
  • Influence of Dr. Stephen Lerner   
  • Antibiotic Era & Understanding Microbial Evolution in Preventing Antibiotic Resistance
  • Fungal Phytopathogen Interactions   
  • Emerging Disease from Fungal Plant Pathogens as Primary Threat to Modern Human Society   
  • Physiology and Life Cycle of Smut Fungi  
  • Systems Studied Over Three Decades of Research at University of Louisville  
  • Extrapolating Insights from Fungal Pathogens to Other Systems  
  • Dimorphic Switch from Benign Yeast Form to Infectious Filamentous Form  
  • Signaling Pathways in Cells Triggering Dimorphic Transformation  
  • Precautionary Principle in Science   
  • Protein “Effectors” Produced by Pathogens that Manipulate Hosts   
  • Perlin Lab and Collaborative Science   
  • Studying Mitochondria Inheritance in Model Fungal Systems   


Jun 18, 2021
Ep. 84: Darren Le Baron - Psychedelic Traditions in Africa, Mushroom Cultivation & Remembering Who We Are (feat. Darren Springer)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the privilege of speaking with Darren Springer AKA Darren Le Barron. Darren Springer is an educator, researcher and event organizer based in the UK. Known around the world for his Shroomshop Master classes he is a keen mushroom cultivator and teacher and has been growing gourmet and medicinal mushrooms for the last ten years. By day he is an Organic Horticulturist and Food Enterprise tutor and has translated his home growing experience into a social enterprise. Darren is the mycologist in residence at Somerset House, one of the largest communities of arts and creative enterprises in the UK. He is also a qualified Permaculture teacher and facilitator and supports businesses and communities to create sustainable working systems and environments. He is a member and presenter at the London Psychedelic Society, and is a chair and Breaking Convention committee member. Collectively his work aims to inform and empower individuals from diverse backgrounds to cope with social challenges and contribute to community development as well as self-improvement in an innovative, creative and culturally-aware style.   


  • The Kid Who Questioned Everything   
  • Reconnecting with African Culture   
  • Influence of Kilindi Iyi   
  • Knowledge of Psychedelics within Traditional African Culture   
  • Diaspora from the African Continent   
  • Benefits of Reconnecting with Indigenous Ancestry   
  • Psychedelic Plants & Fungi as Technology to Speak with the Ancestors   
  • Rediscovering Who You Are, Where You’re From and Where You’re Going   
  • Checking in with Indigenous Cultures Before Moving Forward   
  • Creating New Systems vs. Petitioning the Old to Change   
  • Growing Plants & Mushrooms is a Revolutionary Act   
  • Shroomshop Classes & Mushroom Cultivation   
  • Ancestor Project 3-Week Course & UK Mushroom Academy   
  • Unlocking the Organic, Crystal Technology Inside the Human Body   


Jun 10, 2021
Ep. 83: Eat Weeds - Wild Plant Contemplations, Healing with Foraging & Perspectives in Ethnobotany (feat. Robin Harford)

 Today on Mushroom Hour we are graced by the presence of wild food expert and author Robin Harford. Robin is a plant-based forager, ethnobotanical researcher and wild food educator. He has published numerous foraging guidebooks and established his own wild food foraging school in 2008. His foraging courses were recently voted #1 in the UK by BBC Countryfile. Robin is the creator of Eatweeds which is listed in The Times Top 50 websites for food and drink. He has travelled extensively documenting and recording the traditional and local uses of wild food plants in indigenous cultures. His work has taken him to Africa, India, Southeast Asia, Europe and the USA. Robin regularly appears on radio and occasionally on television. His work has been recommended in BBC Good Food magazine, Sainsbury’s magazine as well as in The Guardian, The Times, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph among others.     


  • Childhood in the Wilds of the Devon Countryside   
  • Finding Freedom, Questioning Big Brother   
  • Reconnecting with Nature as Somatic Healing   
  • Sensory Method of Plant Identification    
  • Power of Contemplative Practice & Bio-Individualism   
  • Developing Relationship with Wild Plants as a Form of Activism   
  • Finding Perspectives on Anger and Love   
  • Foraging as an Act of Reverence   
  • Processing Trauma & Addiction Through Somatic Experience with Plants   
  • Living Wild Food Tradition of the Roamer Communities in England   
  • In Search of Nomadic Hunter Gatherer Communities   
  • The Oceanic Moken People & Anthropological Diversity   
  • Getting Started Foraging & Preparing Wild Plants   
  • Joining the Eatweeds Community   


Jun 03, 2021
Ep. 82: Zombie Cicadas, Fungivore Millipedes & Forest Pathology (feat. Dr. Matt Kasson)

Today on the Mushroom Hour Podcast we have the privilege of speaking with Dr. Matt Kasson, Associate Professor of Forest Pathology and Mycology at West Virginia University. Dr. Kasson received his Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from the Pennsylvania State University where his research focused on using a native fungus, Verticillium nonalfalfae, as a biological control of the invasive tree, Ailanthus altissima (tree-of-heaven). He also holds an A.A.S. from Paul Smiths College and a B.S. and M.S. from the University of Maine. His current research areas include fungal-arthropod interactions, biological control of invasive plants and pathogens, and the biology and ecology of historic and emerging diseases of forest trees. Dr. Kasson is currently the Director of the International Culture Collection of (Vesicular) Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (INVAM) and currently has research focused on the metabolites associated with interactions between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and their plant partners. Dr. Kasson teaches undergraduate courses on general plant pathology and forest pest management and offers special topics courses for graduate students including advanced plant disease diagnostics.  


  • Origin as a Young Naturalist in Susquehanna  
  • Overview of Forest Pathology and Fungal Pathogens  
  • Chestnut Blight, Dutch Elm Disease, Laurel Vascular Wilt  
  • Reproductive Strategies of Pathogenic Fungi  
  • Fungal Pathogens as a Bio-control Agent  
  • The Precautionary Principle  
  • Changing Environments & the Emergence of Pathogenic Disease  
  • Adaptive, Facultative Capacities of Fungi  
  • Massospora Fungi & Zombie Cicadas  
  • Discovery of Psilocybin & Amphetamine in Massospora-Infected Cicadas  
  • Future Research into Massospora Effects on Cicadas  
  • Fungus Feeding Millipedes as Biodiversity Hotspots  
  • Meeting the Team in the Kasson Lab at West Virginia University  
  • Sage Advice for Academic Pursuits into Mycology  


May 20, 2021
Ep. 81: Fungi Magazine, Telluride Mushroom Festival & Our Future with Fungi (feat. Britt Bunyard)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are joined by magnanimous mushroom mogul Britt Bunyard. Britt is the founder, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of the mycology journal Fungi. Britt received a Masters in Botany from Clemson University and a PhD in Plant Pathology from Penn State University. He has worked academically (and played very amateurishly) as a mycologist his entire career, writing scientifically for many research journals, popular science magazines, and books. He has served as an editor for mycological and entomological research journals, and mushroom guidebooks. A popular evangelizer on all things fungal, Britt has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, National Geographic Magazine, PBS’s NOVA television program, and in 2016 was made Executive Director of the Telluride Mushroom Festival. He’s given talks on mushrooms ranging across so many different subjects, I’m excited to learn what he’s focused on now and what he sees as the future of mycophile culture.   


  • Childhood Foraging Morels in Ohio & Clutching an Audubon Guide  
  • Dynamic Interplays of Entomology & Mycology  
  • Insect & Macrofungi Symbioses  
  • Flies, Yeasts & Mushrooms  
  • The Birth of Fungi Magazine  
  • Traveling the World Seeking Mushrooms & Stories  
  • Most Popular FUNGI Magazine Issue about Genus Psilocybe  
  • Explosion of Mycophilia Across the Western World  
  • Promising Future of Mycoremediation Research  
  • Revolution of Listening to Nature  
  • Origins & Future of the Telluride Mushroom Festival  
  • From Britt’s First Telluride to Becoming Executive Director of the Festival  
  • Fungal Solutions Accommodating Human Population Growth  
  • The Future for Britt & Fungi Magazine  


May 13, 2021
Ep. 80: Finding the Mother Tree - Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest (feat. Prof. Suzanne Simard)

Professor Simard's must-read first book "Finding the Mother Tree" is OUT NOW:   
This book will change how you see forests and how you understand the relationships between trees and fungi.

Today we have the humbling opportunity to speak with the incomparable Professor Suzanne Simard. Suzanne is a pioneer on the frontier of plant communication and intelligence; she’s been compared to Rachel Carson, hailed as a scientist who conveys complex, technical ideas in a way that is both dazzling and profound. Her work has influenced filmmakers (think James Cameron’s Avatar) and her TED talks have been viewed by more than 10 million people worldwide. We’ve had the chance to read an early copy of her first book “Finding the Mother Tree” and have been mesmerized by how Simard brings us into her world, the intimate world of trees, in which she brilliantly illuminates vital truths – that trees are not simply the source of timber or pulp but are a complicated, interdependent circle of life; that forests are social, cooperative creatures connected through underground networks full of mycorrhizal fungi by which trees communicate their vitality and vulnerabilities and living communal lives not that different from our own.   


  • Simard Family Origins and a Life-long Love with Old Growth Forests   
  • “Free-to-Grow” Policies   
  • Competition vs. Cooperation Views of Forest Ecology   
  • Discovering the Mycorrhizal Network   
  • PhD Research – Transfer of Carbon between Trees via Mycorrhizae   
  • Groundbreaking Research Published in “Nature” in 1997   
  • Women in Forestry   
  • How Do Trees & Fungi Benefit from Their Mycorrhizal Relationships?   
  • Mapping a Mycorrhizal Network   
  • What is a Mother Tree?   
  • Benefits of Uniting Anthropomorphic Epistemologies and Scientific Research   
  • Aboriginal, First Nation & Indigenous Systems of Knowledge   
  • An Intimate View of Suzanne’s Life to Humanize Scientific Endeavour   
  • “The Mother Tree Project”, Future Plans & Future Research   


May 04, 2021
Ep. 79: Solutions in Soil Carbon, Fungal Inspiration & Creating New Value Systems (feat. Larry Evans)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are joined by mycophagy legend Larry Evans. Larry Evans is a mushroom hunter, teacher, cultivator, song writer, and cook. He has been instrumental in organizing forays, festivals, and workshops in Colorado, Montana, Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, Bolivia, and now Jamaica. He is a founder of the Western Montana Mycological Association, wrote a field guide to mushrooms of the Amazon, and appeared in Ron Mann’s come-documentary Know Your Mushrooms. His vast body of work includes detailed accounts of burn morel tracking throughout the Western US, explorations of jam-packed fungal jungles in Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador and evangelizing audiences about means of fungal digestion, how fungi remediate contaminated soils, and what the process of mushroom making is all about. Time to laugh and learn with a real-life fungal pioneer.   


  • “Know Your Mushrooms”   
  • Changes in Soil Carbon Throughout Earth’s History   
  • Fungal Peroxidase Enzymes & the Carbon Cycle   
  • When it Comes to Wood, Bury Not Burn!   
  • Fossil Water, BCR & Soil Carbon Implications on Wildfires   
  • Fire-following Fairy Cups   
  • Understanding Soil Carbon in Land Management   
  • Trophic Levels of Wood Resources   
  • Mycoremediation & Fungal Adsorption   
  • Protein Production in the Developing World   
  • Mycofiltration   
  • Demystifying Human Fictions of Money & Property   
  • Creating New Value Systems   
  • New Models of Human Organization Inspired by Self-Balancing Systems   


Apr 29, 2021
Ep. 78: Oakland Hyphae - First Annual Psilocybin Cup & BIPOC Entheogen Empowerment (feat. Reggie of Oakland Hyphae)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are blessed by the presence of Reggie, activist, mycologist and founder of Oakland Hyphae. Reggie studied political science at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and now has over a decade of political campaign experience ranging from local and state-level races to 3 Presidential races to working with the New York State Democrats, the DCCC, and the DNC. On the West Coast Reggie worked on a local level to replace police in schools with guidance counselors for the Black Organizing Project in Oakland. Inspired by early-life transformative experiences with psilocybin-containing mushrooms, Reggie has had a lifelong passion for mycology and now consults with the largest mushroom cultivators in the world. He has worked with the largest cultivators in The Netherlands and is currently advising in the establishment of the largest commercial mushroom farm and state of the art testing lab in Jamaica. He also has over 10 years of domestic experience in the US cannabis industry. Reggie is a member of the Advisory Board for Decriminalize Nature and an avid activist for police reform and an ally of The Movement for Black Lives.


  • Reggie’s Introduction to Psilocybin & Travels to Europe  
  • Activist Work for Political Change & Racial Equality  
  • Psilocybin Mushrooms as an Ancient Spiritual Technology  
  • Formation of Oakland Hyphae  
  • The First “Psilocybin Cup” April 2021  
  • Combining Passions for Mushroom Cultivation & Plant Medicine BIPOC Activism   
  • Process of Testing Compounds in Psilocybin Mushrooms  
  • Importance of BIPOC Leadership in Psychedelic Spaces  
  • Future of Oakland Hyphae  
  • Next Psilocybin Cup & Oakland Psychedelic Conference 9/20/21  
  • Lessons Learned from the Cannabis Industry  
  • Oakland as a Leader in Equity in Plant Medicine  
  • Colonization of Psychedelics in Jamaica  
  • Influence of Big Money on Emerging Psilocybin Mushroom Marketplace  


Apr 20, 2021
Ep. 77: Teaming with Microbes - The Organic Gardener’s Guide To The Soil Food Web (feat. Jeff Lowenfels)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the privilege of speaking with Jeff Lowenfels. Jeff is the author of the Award-winning books “Teaming With Microbes: The Organic Gardener’s Guide To The Soil Food Web”, “Teaming With Nutrients: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to Optimizing Plant Nutrition” and “Teaming With Fungi: The Organic Grower’s Guide to Mycorrhizae”. Jeff Lowenfels has become a leader in the organic gardening/sustainability movement because of these best-selling books. His “Guide to the soil food web” has been hailed as one of the most important gardening books in the last 25 years. His talks have converted tens of thousands of gardeners at venues throughout North and South America to follow the path of organic gardening. Jeff hosted Alaska public television’s most popular show, “Alaska Gardens with Jeff Lowenfels.” Most importantly for him, Jeff is the founder of the national program “Plant A Row for The Hungry.” This program is active all 50 states and Canada and has resulted in millions pounds of garden produce being donated to feed the hungry every year.    


  • Transformation from “Chemical Head” to Organic Gardener   
  • Discovering the Soil Food Web   
  • Teaming with Microbes  
  • Nematodes, Protozoa, Fungi and the Rhizosphere   
  • Testing for Soil Health   
  • Teaming with Nutrients   
  • How do Plants Eat?   
  • Biological Processes of Plant Cells   
  • Roles of Mycorrhizal Fungi   
  • Humans Controlled by Microorganisms   
  • Spiritual Microbial Ecology   
  • Chemical Agriculture & the Soil Food Web   
  • Our Future Depends on Soil   
  • Planting a Row for the Hungry   


Apr 14, 2021
Ep. 76: Mycorenewal - Ecological Restoration, Microbial Ecology & Bioremediation (feat. Mia Maltz PhD)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are joined by the incredible myco-maven Mia Maltz PhD. As a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Division of Biomedical Sciences at UC Riverside, her research focuses on fungal communities and functional ecology in novel ecosystems, including pumice plains, drying lakebeds, and the lung mycobiome. Mia studied at the University of California, Irvine where she received my Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, with an emphasis on Ecological Restoration and Fungi. Her dissertation work in Kathleen Treseder’s Lab of Fungi, Ecosystems, and Global Change looked at the effects of habitat fragmentation and ecosystem degradation on fungal community composition and function. For her dissertation research, Mia investigated whether restoration techniques affect fungi and evaluated the efficacy of methods for restoring mycorrhizal fungal function within degraded landscapes. As an ecologist working at the interface of community ecology, biogeography, and mycology, her work broadly focuses on community responses to environmental perturbations, which feedback to influence plant and fungal community structure and ecosystem functioning.   


  • Discovering a Passion for Permaculture & Ecological Restoration  
  • The Power of Showing Up & Making Connections  
  • Importance of Surveys Prior to Any Course of Bioremediation  
  • Functions of Different Mycorrhizal Fungi  
  • Roles of Saprobic Fungi & Pathogenic Fungi in Ecological Restoration   
  • Plant and Microbial Communications  
  • Importance of Precautionary Principle  
  • Ecological BioStimulation & BioAugmentation  
  • Founding of CoRenewal & Amazon MycoRenewal Project  
  • Open-Source Research Protocols  
  • Future Economic Significance of Bioremediation  
  • Environmental Justice   
  • Dust Microbiome & Fungal Ecosystems in the Air  
  • Women in Mycology  


Apr 08, 2021
Ep. 75: "Growing Back to Nature", Power of Storytelling & How Bananas Changed the World (feat. Anthony Basil Rodriguez)

Anthony Basil Rodriguez is a New York-born independent photographer and filmmaker. Since childhood he has been oriented toward a range of visual worlds. As a teenager, Anthony began to carry around an old film camera that his younger brother had lying around from a school project. Eventually taking his hobby more seriously, Anthony obtained a job pushing carts in order to buy his first digital camera. One day after a thunderstorm he was discovered by a local news station knee-deep in floodwaters collecting photos of the aftermath. He spent the following three years submerged in live television, editing daily newscasts. During this time, he honed and developed a true eye and skill for editing, videography and ultimately storytelling. Since leaving the news industry Anthony has continued to push his craft, interlacing realms of photography, video and film. This work continues to bring Anthony around the world in pursuit of research and documentation of rare plants, disparate peoples and the flux of global society. One of his current projects, Growing Back to Nature, really caught my attention as it features foragers, citizen mycologists and seekers who are trying to carve out a future path based around a more holistic connection with our planet and what it is live more in tune with natural systems.   


  • Anthony Discovers a Talent for Visual Media  
  • Breaking into Television News Production  
  • Childhood Passion for Plants  
  • Ethnobotanical Adventures  
  • Bananas – The Fruit that Changed the World  
  • Worldwide Cultural Influence of the Banana  
  • The Jamaican Banana King  
  • How Traveling Extensively Changes Us  
  • “Growing Back to Nature” Docuseries  
  • Influence of William Padilla-Brown  
  • Wasteland Rebel and Zero Waste Lifestyle  
  • Changes in the Art & Craft of Film in the Social Media Age  
  • Power of Storytelling to Shape Society  
  • Getting Our Sh** Together Could be Fun  


Mar 24, 2021
Ep. 74: Terrestrial Fungi - Cordyceps Genetics, Ganoderma Mysteries & Trusting Synchronicity (feat. Ryan Paul Gates)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are blessed by the presence of Ryan Paul Gates, founder of Terrestrial Fungi. Ryan has spent the last ten+ years collecting and breeding fungal cultures from around the world. The strains he is probably most famous for propagating and breeding are cordyceps and ganoderma mushrooms. Ryan was really an early pioneer at popularizing cordyceps cultivation in the US, exposing us to techniques used from all over the globe. His team at Terrestrial Fungi are constantly hunting and breeding new and improved strains to add to their already staggering genetic library. They are constantly refining our selection process to bring Cordyceps farmers reliable and high yielding potent genetics. In the summer of 2019, they collected over 200 wild Cordyceps militaris ascospore isolates from over 30 carefully selected wild specimens: building their work of releasing the first single ascospore progeny strains of Cordyceps militaris in the USA. A master manifester and elevator of vibration, you can tell Ryan puts the highest intention and care into his work.   


  • How Ryan Discovered a Passion for Fungi  
  • Falling in Love with Cordyceps  
  • Cordyceps militaris Decentralized Knowledge Share  
  • Developing Cordyceps militaris Cultivation Techniques  
  • Basics of Cordyceps militaris Biology  
  • Balancing Open-Source Mentality, Economic Self-Interest and Concepts of Reciprocity 
  • Mechanics of Culturing Cordycep militaris Strains and Selecting Genetics  
  • Birth of Terrestrial Fungi  
  • Rethinking Ganoderma Taxonomy  
  • Elucidating Ganoderma lucidum  
  • Challenges of Breeding Ganoderma  
  • Future Plans for Terrestrial Fungi  
  • Advice for Breeding Fungi Strains  
  • Guidance from Music, Spirit & Other Organisms in Following the Path of Fungi  


Mar 17, 2021
Ep. 73: In Search of Mycotopia - Citizen Science, Fungi Fanatics & the Untapped Potential of Mushrooms (feat. Doug Bierend)

Today we have the honor of speaking with journalist and author Doug Bierend. His new book “In Search of Mycotopia” dives into the neglected mega-science of mycology and introduces readers to the weird and wonderful communities of citizen scientists and microbe devotees who are leading the modern mycological movement. Doug uncovers a diverse cadre of growers, independent researchers, ecologists, entrepreneurs, and amateur enthusiasts, exploring and advocating for fungi’s capacity to improve and heal contaminated landscapes, provide food and medicine, and demonstrate how humans might live better with nature—and one another. The book is told through Doug’s first-hand encounters from the perspective of an embedded reporter drawn to this wonderfully enticing myco-culture This is an exploration of the wild new frontiers of all things mushroom and an inspiring look at the people who are paying attention to what fungi can teach us about the potential for our future. “Mycotopia is already all around us - All we have to do is embrace it.”   

Topics Covered:   

  • Journalist Doug's Journey into Mycology    
  • Role of Fungi in Planetary and Human Development  
  • Overlap of Academia and Citizen Science  
  • Community Mycology Labs  
  • Connection Between Mycology & a Culture of Aspirational Change   
  • How Does Mycology Culture Mirror Other Counter-Culture Movements?  
  • Influence of Psychedelic Culture  
  • Promise and Realities of Mycoremediation  
  • Resilient Future of Mushroom Cultivation  
  • Decentralize Everything  
  • Maintaining the Integrity of the Mycelium Underground  
  • Interspecies Allyship  
  • Medicinal Potentials of Fungi  
  • How Writing the Book Changed Doug  

Episode Resources:    

Mar 10, 2021
Ep. 72: Porcini, Systematics of Family Boletaceae & Fungus Farming Ants (feat. Bryn Dentinger PhD)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are joined by the distinguished Bryn Dentinger, Curator of Mycology at the Natural History Museum of Utah and Associate Professor in the Biology Department at the University of Utah. Bryn hails from Minnesota and attended the University of Minnesota for his PhD, where he studied the molecular systematics of clavarioid and porcini mushrooms. He has carried out fieldwork all over the world, including exciting collecting trips to Vietnam, Brazil, and Cameroon. He spent years in the UK as the Head of Mycology at the world-renowned Kew Gardens and since 2003 has published dozens of research papers in respected scientific journals around the world. Now running the Dentinger lab in Utah, he continues to pursue molecular systematics research on mushrooms and other fungi around the world, combining fieldwork, collections, and modern genomic tools, while maintaining a keen interest in home-brewing and whisky. Bryn’s work has overlapped with many other guests on the Mushroom Hour and has been one of the most recommended guests.   

Topics Covered:

  • Early Inspirations to Study Fungi  
  • Introduction to Porcini  
  • Definition of Porcini (Species), Boletus (Genus), Boletaceae (Family)  
  • Family Boletaceae Phylogeny & Radiative Evolutionary Event   
  • Evolutionary Biology Behind Physical Characteristics of Fungi  
  • World’s Most Comprehensive Genetic Analysis of Family Boletacae  
  • Beyond PCR - Emerging Frontiers of Genetic Sequencing  
  • Importance of Citizen Scientists in Biodiversity Research  
  • Sequencing Existing Fungarium and Herbarium Collections   
  • Species of Fungus Farming Ants  
  • "Microbial Garden" Ant/Fungus/Bacteria Ecosystems  
  • Divergent Evolution of Fungus Farming Ants  
  • Evolutionary Significance of the Chemical Psilocybin  
  • Current and Future Research at the Dentinger Lab  

Episode Resources:

Mar 01, 2021
Ep. 71: Wild Food Girl - Wild Food Cultures, Indigenous Agro-ecology & Foraging in Colorado (feat. Erica Davis)

Today on Mushroom Hour we’re excited to speak with Erica Davis, founder of Wild Food Girl. Erica started writing her adventures with wild food back in 2009 at her blog, and later in a monthly magazine called “Wild Edible Notebook.” She teaches a course on useful plants at Colorado Mountain College and conducts plant walks around the state. She is also a regular presenter at the Midwest Wild Harvest Festival in Wisconsin. Erica’s educational background includes a BA in archaeology, an elementary school teaching credential, and an MA in technology-based education. Today she maintains an active Facebook community and is hard at work on her first book about edible wild plants in the West. Her incredible body of work is carefully compiled and she has worked diligently to provide accurate, useful, safe—and whenever possible, lesser known—information.   

Topics Covered:   

  • Introduced to Foraging Through the Work of Yule Gibbons  
  • Learning Through Books  
  • Foraging Hobby vs Lifestyle  
  • Foraging Seasons in Colorado  
  • Wild Seed Foraging  
  • Indigenous Agro-forestry  
  • Agricultural Systems from an Ecological Perspective  
  • Co-evolution of Human Tenders and Wild Edibles  
  • Integrating Wild Foods into Your Diet  
  • The World’s Best Dandelion Preparation  
  • Wild Mustards  
  • Wild Food Recipes and Preparations Across Cultures  
  • Sustainable Foraging  
  • Erica's Book Planned for 2022  

Episode Resources:   

Feb 22, 2021
Ep. 70: Mycelium Coffins, Living Homes & Building with Bio-Materials (feat. Bob Hendrikx)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are blessed by the presence of inventor & bio-designer Bob Hendrikx, coming to us all the way from the Netherlands. Through his work at Studio Hendrikx, Bob strives to restore the parasitic relationship between humanity and its environment by expanding the horizon of human imagination and exploring living materials. His Living Cocoon project has captured headlines around the world with a coffin made from mycelium that helps bodies decompose faster while improving the surrounding soil. Through all of his design endeavors Bob embraces the notion that current way we build and produce materials must change fundamentally. I’m excited to hear from this visionary designer how we may be able to shift humankind's 200,000-year model of parasitism and extraction by taking a cue from Mother Nature who has been leading the way for 3.8 billion years by growing materials in ecological harmony.   

Topics Covered:   

  • Becoming a bio-based designer  
  • Living vs Dead Materials  
  • Free Technology Found in Nature  
  • What is “Homo Natura”?  
  • Listening to Nature Helps us Listen to Each Other  
  • Inspiration for the Mycelium Coffin  
  • Becoming Compost, Not Waste  
  • Facing our Collective Fear of Death  
  • Living Homes Made of Mycelium  
  • Self-Healing T-Shirts  
  • Bioluminescent Streetlights  
  • Smashing the System vs. Growing a New One  
  • Growing Our Way to a Better Society  
  • Future Projects for Studio Hendrikx  

Episode Resources:   

Feb 15, 2021
Ep. 69: Mushroom Mountain - Change the World with Fungi, Think Like a Mushroom (feat. Tradd Cotter)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are graced by the presence of Tradd Cotter, coming to us from Mushroom Mountain. 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-five 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. His masterwork and must-own mycology reference - "Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation" had a huge impact on my own relationship with mycology.   

Topics Covered:   

  • The Journey to Founding “Mushroom Mountain”  
  • Applied Mycology as a Multi-Generational Project of Discovery  
  • Pillars of Mushroom Mountain’s Business and Research  
  • Mushroom-Based Solutions in the Developing World  
  • Putting Myco-remediation Theory into Action  
  • The Key Concepts of Mycofiltration  
  • Future of Fungi in Medicine & Truly Personalized Treatments  
  • Reducing Pesticide Use with Fungal Solutions  
  • Patenting Ideas to Defend from the Dark Side  
  • Educating the Next Generation  
  • Disrupting the System, Waking People Up!  
  • Power of Growing Your Own Mushrooms  
  • “Blue Portal” Psilocybin Therapy in Jamaica  
  • Future of Mushroom Mountain  

Episode Resources:   

Feb 10, 2021
Ep. 68: Learn Your Land - Connecting to Natural Spaces, Finding a Sense of Belonging (feat. Adam Haritan)

Today we are blessed by the presence of Adam Haritan, founder of Learn Your Land. Adam started the famous Learn Your Land platform in 2014 out of a desire to connect naturalists with people who wanted to learn from naturalists.  Learn Your Land is an advertisement-free media channel, helping people to improve their nature skills one species at a time. He spends most of my days either looking for mushrooms/plants/trees, researching mushrooms/plants/trees, filming mushrooms/plants/trees, or editing videos and content around mushrooms/plants/trees. Before his life became dedicated to this project, Adam studied classical piano and euphonium, toured as a drummer with a heavy metal band until his academic pursuits led him to study nutrition and dietetics at the University of Pittsburgh.  I’m excited to probe the depths of a naturalist who has dedicated so much time and effort to help us all learn more about the land under our feet.   

Topics Covered:   

  • Charting a New Life Course Through Nutrition  
  • Learning from Mentors and Naturalist Groups  
  • Western Pennsylvania Mushroom and Wild Food Community  
  • Finding Purpose in Sharing Information About Nature  
  • Foraging in Western Pennsylvania  
  • Connection with Land as Essential to Human Health  
  • Tips for Other Educators  
  • Content Creation as a Disciplined Learning Process  
  • Foraging Wild Water, Medicine and Food  
  • Land and Belonging  
  • Transcending Dystopian Futures  
  • Significance of Land Trusts & Giving Back to Natural Spaces  
  • Learning Each Mushroom that Crosses Your Path  
  • Future Projects for “Learn Your Land”  

Episode Resources:   

Feb 01, 2021
Ep. 67: Tiger Mushroom Farms - Working to End Hunger, Growing A New Future (feat. Te'Lario Watkins II)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are excited to have a conversation with Te’Lario Watkins II, founder of Tiger Mushroom Farms. Te’Lario started his mushroom farm at the age of 7 on the heels of a Cub Scout Project. Now at age 12, Te’Lario is a speaker, author, Hunger Hero and nonprofit Founder. He grows shiitake mushrooms in his basement and oyster mushrooms in a spare bedroom.  Te’Lario sells them at a farmers market and local restaurants. Te’Lario’s mission is to help end hunger and encourage kids to eat healthier. He has worked with No Kid Hungry to raise awareness and funds to end hunger. He volunteers with Food Rescue US and delivers unsold food from restaurants to food pantries. Te’Lario recently started his own nonprofit “The Garden Club Project” to help his mission to end hunger. This summer, Te’Lario’s nonprofit delivered over 2,000 pounds to a local food pantry in his community. Te’Lario was recently “gifted” a microgreen business and plans to donate some of the proceeds to his nonprofit to help his community even more.   

Topics Covered:  

  • Inspired by the Cub Scouts    
  • Discovering Mushrooms for Winter Growing  
  • "Back to the Roots" Grow Kits  
  • Birth of Tiger Mushroom Farms  
  • The Rise of Kid-preneurs  
  • Writing a Children's Book  
  • Making Healthy Delicious & Famous Shiitake Bacon  
  • Te’Lario’s Mission to End Hunger  
  • No Kid Hungry, Food Rescue & the Garden Club Project  
  • Future Plans for Te’Lario and Tiger Mushroom Farm  

Episode Resources:  

Jan 27, 2021
Ep. 66: Madagascar's Marasmius & the Ecology of Monkeyflower Endophytes (feat. Jackie Shay)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the pleasure of learning from Jackie Shay. Jackie is a fungal evolutionary biologist and microbial ecologist fascinated with the intimate history and future significance of symbiotic relationships between plant hosts and their microbial communities. Her goal is to use integrative techniques to explore these interactions in the natural world and learn how we can apply these partnerships to promote conservation and resilience through climate change. Jackie received a master's in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology from the Desjardin lab at San Francisco State University studying the evolution of wood decaying mushrooms (Marasmius) from Madagascar. She is currently a Ph.D. student in the Sexton and Frank labs in the Quantitative and Systems Biology Program at the University of California, Merced. This interdisciplinary team has set out to uncover the mystery behind the Monkeyflower microbiome and discover whether these microbes influence their plant hosts across its range. 

Topics Covered:  

  • From Urban Dweller to Forest Lover  
  • Desjardin Lab at SFSU  
  • Marasmius Research in Madagascar  
  • Unseen Ecological Importance of Saprobic Fungi  
  • Fungal Genetics  
  • Importance of "ITS" Region in Fungal Gene Sequencing  
  • Discovering New Species of Marasmius  
  • Monkeyflower Microbiome  
  • Bioinformatics  
  • Endophytes Defined  
  • Endophytes and Climate Change  
  • Mysteries of "Dark" Endophytes  
  • We Need More Mycologists!  
  • New Pedagogic Career Path & Future Plans  

Episode Resources:

Jan 20, 2021
Ep. 65: Forage Colorado - Finding Wild Food & Connection in the Rocky Mountains (feat. Orion Aon)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are privileged to get to speak with Orion Aon, founder of Forage Colorado. Orion is a Colorado transplant with a lifelong passion for the outdoors and anything there is to do in them. He loves to hunt, fish, forage, camp, wander and wonder, look at trees, you name it! Orion grew up in Santa Fe, NM where he first started mushroom hunting with his family looking for king boletes, chanterelles, and hawk's wings - like a treasure hunt in the woods that got him hooked. In 2008, he moved to Colorado to attend CSU where he would study Natural Resource Management and Fisheries Biology. In 2015 Orion started Forage Colorado as a place where he could share his passion for Colorado foraging with others. His first big project was writing a series about Colorado morels, which has helped a lot of people who didn’t even know there were morels in Colorado to find their first ones. He now offers private foraging classes and does talks, events, and leads forays for his local mycological society. 

Topics Covered:   

  • Family Tradition Becomes a Passion for Foraging  
  • Colorado Mycological Societies  
  • Unique Mushroom Habitat of the Southwestern US  
  • Mysteries of Colorado Morels  
  • Finding Mushroom Spots on the Rocky Mountain range  
  • Foraging as a Source of Connection  
  • Wild Food Sustainability  
  • "Forage Colorado" Passion Project  
  • Cooking with Foraged Finds  
  • Educating Through Social Media  
  • Studies in Natural Resource Management  
  • Career with Colorado State Seedling Nursery  
  • Treatise on Dandelion  
  • Foraging Books and Future Plans  

Episode Resources:   

Jan 14, 2021
Ep. 64: Magdalena - Anthropology, Ethnobotany & Colombia's River of Dreams (feat. Wade Davis)

Wade Davis is Professor of Anthropology and the BC Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at the University of British Columbia. Between 2000 and 2013 he served as Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society and was named by NGS as one of the Explorers for the Millennium. He has been described as “a rare combination of scientist, scholar, poet and passionate defender of all of life’s diversity.” His work has taken him to unique biomes across the world including East Africa, Borneo, Nepal, Peru, Polynesia, Tibet, Mali, Benin, Togo, New Guinea, Australia, Colombia, Vanuatu, Mongolia and the high Arctic of Nunuvut and Greenland. An ethnographer, writer, photographer and filmmaker, Davis holds degrees in anthropology and biology and received his Ph.D. in ethnobotany, all from Harvard University. Through the Harvard Botanical Museum, he spent three years in the Amazon and Andes as a plant explorer, living among 15 indigenous groups in eight Latin American nations while making some 6000 botanical collections. Davis is the author of 320 scientific and popular articles and 23 books and as a professional speaker for 30 years, has lectured at over 200 universities and 250 corporations and professional associations.  One of only 20 Honorary Members of the Explorers Club, his incredible list of awards, medals and accolades would warrant its own podcast. We’ve connected here today to introduce our audience to this incredible explorer, give some of his background and dive into his newest work about one of the most biodiverse and culturally relevant countries in the world – Colombia and it’s great river the Magdalena. 

⚠️ There were some issues with audio capture at certain points in the interview. After 12 minutes you get through the roughest patches, but I encourage you to listen in even to the rough bits! There is gold here 💛  

Topics Covered:  

  • Anthropological and Ethnobotanical Influences at Harvard  
  • Richard Evans Schultes & David Maybury-Lewis  
  • Cross-Disciplinary Importance of Anthropology  
  • Emergence of Concepts of Conservation & Biodiversity   
  • Magical, Animated Worldview vs. Inert, Material Worldview  
  • Indigenous Shaman as Natural Philosopher  
  • Psychedelic Renaissance  
  • Colombia & the Magdalena River  
  • Scale & Impact of Cocaine Trade on Colombia  
  • Colombia's Ongoing Civil War  
  • Enshrining Indigenous & Environmental Rights  
  • Coca - Divine Leaf of Immortality  
  • Colombia’s Outrageous Biodiversity  
  • Resiliency of Colombian People  
  • Hopes for the Book & Future of Colombia  

Episode Resources:  

Jan 06, 2021
Ep. 63: Marin Mushrooms - Macro Photography, Myxomycetes (Slime Molds) & Tiny Fungi (feat. Alison Pollack)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are fortunate to be joined be Alison Pollack. Alison is a photographer specializing in making large the diminutive dwellers of the forest - Myxomycetes (commonly referred to as slime molds) and tiny fungi. Her passion is finding, photographing, identifying and sharing these miniature worlds to bring awareness to the fascinating organisms that exist right at our feet in the forest but are largely hidden to the naked eye.  Alison has always had a casual interest in photography, but when she retired from the field of air quality consulting she upgraded to a DSLR and began shooting landscapes at home and while traveling - hiking with her husband throughout the world. It wasn’t until she found and photographed her first slime mold, however, that she got serious about mushroom and myxo photography. Alison’s photographs have been featured in numerous publications, including Colossal, Bored Panda, MyModernMet, the German National Geographic magazine GEO, Der Spiegel, and the Sunday New York Times Magazine. Known as “Marin Mushrooms” on Instagram, her widely shared posts have inspired people to slow down on their hikes to search for these tiny life forms that she loves.   

Topics Covered:  

  • Alison’s Discovery of Slime Molds  
  • Searching vs. Foraging  
  • How to Find Myxomycetes and Ascomycetes  
  • Cultivating Myxomycetes  
  • Capturing the Miniature World of Myxos  
  • Photography in the Wild and in a Studio  
  • Evolution as a Photographer  
  • Equipment for Ultra-Macro Photography  
  • "Focus Stacking"  
  • Microscopic Captures  
  • Myxobacteria  
  • Power of Fungi Community  
  • Breaking Through Internationally  
  • Future Events and Exhibitions  

Episode Resources:  

Jan 02, 2021
Ep. 62: Myco Lyco - Fungal Frequencies, Biodata Sonification & the Music of Mushrooms (feat. Noah Kalos)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are blessed by the presence of Noah Kalos, founder of the groundbreaking Youtube and social media channels “MycoLyco”. This work is a blend of his passions for nature, mycology and electronic music. He originally got hooked on electronic music production at the age of 17, but in the past 6 years Noah took that passion to the next level, getting deep into digital music hardware and electrical engineering. Noah majored in studio art at Oberlin College and then spent 5+ years living in the woods transitioning between outdoor roles as a camp counselor and nature therapist. During his time in the wild, he became familiar with all kinds of wild foods and has been a longtime mycology enthusiast. In the wake of the pandemic, Noah decided to focus on growing mushrooms. His plan was to convert his music studio into a mycology lab, but after a fateful connection between mycelium and synth electrodes, the studio and lab became one in the same. Now with his MycoLyco project, Noah has been giving us all a window into the incredible musical frequencies of fungi.

(Intro and Outro music is the sound of mushrooms from the new MycoLyco album!)

Topics Covered:

  • Noah’s Origin Story  
  • Years Spent Living in Nature  
  • Mushroom Cultivation & Cordyceps  
  • Marriage of Synth and Mushroom - Birth of Myco Lyco  
  • Waves and Resistance Converting into Digital Sounds  
  • Biodata Sonification  
  • Responses to Stimuli & Rhythmic Spiking Behaviors  
  • Hooking up Crystals, Cacti and Orchids to the Synthesizer  
  • Unique Hallmarks of Mushroom Sound Waves  
  • Is there Sonic Communication Between Mushrooms?  
  • Mycelium Sentience  
  • Fungi Offering New Perspectives  
  • Explosion of Citizen Science and Autodidactic Learning  
  • Tips for Exploring Modular Synth  
  • Future Plans for Myco Lyco  

Episode Resources:

Dec 28, 2020
Ep. 61: Fly Agaric - A Compendium of History, Pharmacology, Mythology, & Exploration (feat. Kevin Feeney PhD)

Today we have the privilege of speaking with Kevin Feeney, PhD, JD. Kevin is a cultural anthropologist and lawyer currently working as a Program Director and Instructor in Interdisciplinary Studies – Social Sciences at Central Washington University. His primary research interests include examining legal and regulatory issues surrounding the religious and cultural use of psychoactive substances, with an emphasis on peyote and ayahuasca, and exploring modern and traditional uses of Amanita muscaria, with a specific focus on medicinal use and preparation practices. His research has been published in the International Journal of Drug Policy, Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, Human Organization, and Curare, among other books and journals. He is a current board member of Cactus Conservation Institute, which is dedicated to the study and preservation of vulnerable cacti and is also a member of Chacruna’s Council for the Protection of Sacred Plants.   

Topics Covered:   

  • Kevin’s Formative Experiences with Amanita muscaria  
  • Amanita’s Biochemistry and Psychoactive Compounds  
  • Gordon Wasson’s Famous Analysis of the Vedic “SOMA”  
  • Breakthroughs on Soma’s “Three Filters” with Trent Austin  
  • Hypothesized Migration of the Mushroom Cult  
  • Recurring Mushroom Symbology Found Across Cultures  
  • Is Santa Claus an Amanita Shaman?  
  • Tales of Medicinal & Shamanic Uses from the Indigenous Koryak and Sami Peoples  
  • “Killer Details” in Examining Archaeological & Mythological Evidence  
  • Discernment When Interpreting Folklore and Historical Texts  
  • Viking Berserkers, Odin and the Mead of Inspiration  
  • Amanita Muscaria Motifs in Celtic and Irish Folklore  
  • Did a Worldwide Amanita Muscaria Cult Influence most Spiritual Traditions?  
  • Inspiration for Writing the Book & Hopes for the Future  

Episode Resources:   

Dec 23, 2020
Ep. 60: Exploring the Endless Wonders of Truffle Fungi (feat. Dr. Matthew Smith)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are joined by the distinguished Dr. Matthew Smith. Dr. Smith is an Associate Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Florida and the curator of the UF Fungal Herbarium (FLAS). He teaches the UF mycology course and takes on the responsibility of identifying unknown fungi for a variety of Florida stakeholders, including the UF Plant Disease Clinic, UF-IFAS Extension Service, and the UF Veterinary School. His broad range of interests spans fungal ecology, evolution, and systematics. Dr. Smith has worked extensively on the biology and systematics of hypogeous fungi (“truffles”) and the ecology of plant-symbiotic ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi. However, he has also studied a variety of other fungal groups, including plant pathogens Armillaria mellea ("oak root fungus") and Claviceps purpurea (Ergot disease of grasses) as well as the nematode-destroying fungi (Orbiliales and other Ascomycota). Dr. Smith’s work combines the synergistic use of molecular, morphological, and culture-based methods in both laboratory and field settings.

Topics Covered:

  • Mycology Journey from Sonoma California to University of Florida  
  • What is a "Truffle"?  
  • Biology of Truffles  
  • Convergent Evolution of Truffle Fungi  
  • Edible Truffles & Genus Tuber  
  • Zygomycetes  
  • North American Truffles  
  • Commercial Truffle Farming  
  • Truffle Foraging & Truffle Hounds  
  • Role of Birds in Truffle Reproduction in Southern S. America  
  • Applied Uses of Mycorrhizal Fungi  
  • Tropical Ectomycorrhizal Fungi  
  • Gondwana & Biogeography  
  • Florida Museum of Natural History  

Episode Resources:

Dec 16, 2020
Ep. 59: Mushroom Revelations & the Unseen World of Microbia (feat. Eugenia Bone)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are blessed to have the company of Eugenia Bone. Eugenia is a nature and food journalist, as well as an author and speaker, whose writing is primarily about the connections between food, sustainability and the natural sciences.  Her work has appeared in many books, magazines, and newspapers, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Saveur, Food & Wine, Gourmet, and The National Lampoon. A member of the American Society of Science Writers,  founder of Slow Food Western Slope in Western Colorado, and former president of the New York Mycological Society,  she has lectured widely in venues like the Denver Botanical Garden and the New York Public Library. Eugenia is the author of six books, including the mushroom lover must-have “Mycophilia” and her most recent work Microbia: A Journey into the Unseen World Around You. Eugenia has lectured widely in venues like the Denver Botanical Gardens, the New York Public Library, and the Stone Barns Center. She’s currently featured in “Fantastic Fungi”, a movie about the magical world of fungi and their power to heal, sustain and contribute to the regeneration of life on Earth.   

Topics Covered:   

  • Winding Road to Mycophilia  
  • How Basic Scientific Literacy Improves Your Life  
  • Diverse Mushroom Community  
  • Fungi as the Glue of Plants, Soil & Community  
  • New York Mycological Society  
  • Mushrooms in Urban Ecosystems  
  • Fungi as a Gateway to Learning  
  • Cooking & Preserving Mushrooms  
  • Exploring the Microbial World  
  • Symbiosis & Dysbiosis  
  • Our Gut Microbiome  
  • Limitless Applications of Endophytes  
  • Psilocybin Therapy  
  • Eugenia’s Favorite Forage Grounds and Mushroom Recipes  

Episode Resources:   

Dec 09, 2020
Ep. 58: Unwinding Mushroom Mysteries, Decoding Fungal Genetics (feat. Todd Osmundson PhD)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the pleasure of speaking with the distinguished Todd Osmundson PhD, Associate Professor of Biology at The University of Wisconsin Lacrosse. Todd is a faculty member in the Department of Biology and his research specialties include studying the ecology, genetic relationships, geographic distributions, and conservation biology of bacteria and especially fungi, using fieldwork, microscopy, and molecular genetic (DNA-based) tools. His professional mycology career really began during a fateful encounter with a local mushroom club in Montana. Todd has conducted mycological fieldwork in the U.S., French Polynesia, China, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Svalbard, Thailand, and Australia. His varied research projects have seen him span alpine, arctic, tropical, and temperate habitats in search of fungi. There are few people more familiar with the process of finding, observing, extracting DNA, and genetically sequencing fungi. Let's learn more about where “we” are in cataloging fungal populations, what that means for mycology and how citizen scientists can be a part of this process.

Topics Covered:

  • Seizing Opportunity to Begin a Mycology Career
  • Morea & French Polynesia
  • Model Ecosystem Modeling with Genetics
  • PCR Analysis and Sequencing
  • Interpreting Genetic Data
  • Challenges of Identifying Fungal Species
  • What are Clades and How Do We Use Them?
  • 165 Million Species of Fungi?!
  • Microsporidians
  • Mysteries of Burn Morels
  • Differentiating Individuals with Genetics
  • Fungal Herbarium Collections as Genetic Vaults?
  • Biogeography & Evolutionary History
  • Diversity Surveys & Fungi Conservation

Episode Resources:

Dec 04, 2020
Ep. 57: Secondary Metabolites, Mycotoxins & Fungi in Food Systems (feat. Professor Tom Volk)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the humbling privilege to speak with Tom Volk, Professor of Biology at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Specializing in Mycology and Forest Pathology, Tom teaches courses on Mycology, Medical Mycology, Plant-Microbe Interactions, Food & Industrial Mycology, Advanced Mycology, Organismal Biology and Latin & Greek for Scientists. His website, Tom Volk's Fungi has a popular "Fungus of the Month" feature, and an extensive introduction to Queendom Fungi. Besides dabbling in mushroom cultivation, Tom has worked intimately with the genera Morchella, Cantharellus, Hydnellum, Armillaria and Laetiporus, a lineup of edible varieties that will make every forager’s mouth water. He has also embarked on several medical mycology projects, investigations into prairie mycorrhizae, mycoprospecting, and fungi that are involved in coal formation. He also has conducted fungal biodiversity studies in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Alaska, and Israel. Having lectured in 35 states so far, Tom is a popular speaker at many amateur and professional mycological events throughout North America, including NAMA and NEMF forays. Not the least of his accolades, Tom was named President of the Mycology Society of America in 2017.

Topics Covered:

  • An Obsession with Mycology is born
  • Forest Pathology
  • Primary & Secondary Metabolites
  • Evolutionary Origins of Metabolites
  • Mycotoxins
  • Aflatoxin
  • Is Organic Produce More Susceptible to Mycotoxins?
  • Aspergillus, Penicillium and Fusarium
  • Future of Mycelium-based foods
  • Lifecycle of Morel Mushrooms
  • Medicinal Compounds in Mushrooms
  • Citizen Mycology
  • Mycology in Academia
  • Fungi in Coal Formations

Episode Resources:

Dec 04, 2020
Ep. 56: Wood-Decomposer Fungi & Mycelium Network Architecture (feat. Professor Lynne Boddy)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are joined by the distinguished Lynne Boddy, Professor of Microbial Ecology at Cardiff University. After undergraduate studies in Biology and Mathematical Statistics at the University of Exeter, she was interested in any and every type of ecology. A fortuitous position at the University of London led her to studying wood decay processes, which would turn out to be the subject of her PhD. That work snowballed into a 40-year exploration of wood decay processes with fungi at its core. As well as scientifically challenging and environmentally of massive consequences, mycelia and their interactions have a huge aesthetic appeal for Professor Boddy. There are so many burning questions when it comes to fungal biology, fungi’s relationships to food sources, fungi’s relationship to other fungi and other microorganisms that she, along with around 40 PhD students, post-docs and other co-workers, have striven and are striving to answer. Lynne’s passion for fungi laces out into studies of mycorrhizal fungi, the rising amateur mycologist community, and nearly every other aspect of how fungi will change human lives. There is an obvious joy in her communication of this information to both student audiences and to the public at large. We’re about to enter an exciting world of fungal battles, life and death struggles, epic hunts for food and the complexities of non-human intelligence.

Topics Covered:

  • Professor Boddy’s PhD Research
  • Wood Decay Processes
  • Fungi's Role in Wood Decay
  • Endophytes
  • Fungal Competitive Strategies
  • Resource Unit Restricted Fungi 
  • Cord-Developing Fungi
  • How Does Mycelium Choose Where to Grow?
  • How Does Mycelium Pass Information?
  • Mycelium Network Architecture
  • Does Mycelium Have Memory?
  • Heartwood Rot Fungi
  • Impact of Climate Change on Fungi
  • Importance of Amateur Contributions

Episode Resources:

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour (@welcome_to_mushroom_hour)

Music by: Ancient Baby (   
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano (   

Nov 30, 2020
Ep. 55: EcoAgric Uganda - Mushroom Farming, Empowering Women, Protecting the Vulnerable (feat. Josephine Nakakande)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are excited to travel to Uganda to speak with Josephine Nakakande. Josephine was a founding member of The Environmental Conservation & Agricultural Enhancement Uganda or “Eco-Agric Uganda” and has been the Executive Director of the organization since 2018. Eco-Agric Uganda is a Ugandan Community-based NGO. major focus was improving food security, nutrition, and income among critically vulnerable women through sustainable farming practices. However, over time, they have included interventions like HIV prevention and control, sanitation and environmental strategies that affect agriculture. They have explored a unique, holistic approach to supporting households with interventions like; training adolescent girls with vocational skills so they can support their children. The organization now has over 65,000 beneficiaries with well-established offices in Hoima Kibaale and Wakiso districts. It also started an international volunteers program and since 2017, Eco-Agric Uganda has hosted over 162 volunteers from all over the world. One of Eco-Agric’s biggest projects is their mushroom farming project in partnership with the Marr-Munning Trust. Farmers are trained on how to grow and manage mushrooms in their gardens and the materials needed in mushroom production.

Please help empower women and protect the critically vulnerable in Uganda! You can help by donating your time, your mushroom knowledge, your expertise and/or money to EcoAgric Uganda.

Topics Covered:

  • The Story of Josephine
  • Women and Agriculture in Uganda
  • Challenges Women Face in Uganda
  • Founding EcoAgric Uganda
  • Agricultural Programs in Wakiso and Hoima Districts
  • Grassroots Community Organizations
  • Impact of UC Davis Trellis Fund
  • Developing Systems to Help Critically Vulnerable Populations
  • Economic Development & Vocational Training
  • Mushroom Cultivation in Uganda
  • Importance of Mushrooms as a Source of Food & Income
  • Plans to Scale Mushroom Farming Program
  • Importance of Volunteer Organizations
  • EcoAgric Future Plans - A Call to Action!

Episode Resources:

Nov 23, 2020
Ep. 54: Woodland Cravings - Permaculture, Agroforestry & the Sacred Act of Foraging (feat. Scott Stimpson)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are excited to chat with Scott Stimpson. Better known for his incredibly popular social media accounts “woodlandcravings”, Scott has been foraging for over 8 years across 18 different states in the US. Growing up in Broward County Florida, Scott was immersed in a diverse culture and developed a love of foods from all over. His love of food naturally led to a love of cultivation and appreciating the culinary abundance that is all around us in nature. Not until Scott learned the word “permaculture” did he know the path he had to take.  His passion for agroforestry, foraging and mushrooms eventually led him to the mushroom mecca, the Pacific Northwest. As a student of working with the land in all these varied disciplines, Scott has developed an intimate relationship with natural systems. His lifestyle revolves around a symbiosis with the land and he is keenly aware of a responsibility to act as a shepherd of our Earth. As part of his great work, Scott shares his knowledge about permaculture techniques and ethical foraging with others, both online and in-person. For anyone who has followed Scott’s work, it is clear his passion and gratitude for nature’s culinary bounty are present in equal measure. I’m excited to learn more about this sacred relationship we have with the land that provides for us and how to give back as much as we receive. 

Topics Covered:

  • Scott’s Early Influences & Love of Food   
  • Path Towards Permaculture  
  • Florida Foraging Safari – Citrus, Smilax, Hog plums & Lactarius Indigo  
  • Primal Connections to Foraging for Food   
  • Shift from Florida to the PNW   
  • Foraging as a Sacred Practice   
  • Understanding Ecology & Sustainable Foraging  
  • Integrating Agroforestry   
  • Responsibility that Comes with Sharing Wild Food Information  
  • The Importance of Hidden Knowledge  
  • Honoring Indigenous Space  
  • Mushroom Recipes & Preservation Techniques  
  • Wild Food Inspiration in the Restaurant Industry  
  • Future of Woodland Cravings  

Episode Resources: 

Nov 19, 2020
Ep. 53: Mycorrhizal Planet - How Symbiotic Fungi Support Plant Health and Build Soil Fertility (feat. Michael Phillips)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the good fortune to be joined by Michael Phillips. Michael is a farmer, writer, carpenter, orchard consultant, and speaker who lives with his wife, Nancy, and daughter, Grace, on Heartsong Farm in northern New Hampshire. On the farm, they grow apples and a variety of medicinal herbs. Michael’s orchard, poetically dubbed Lost Nation Orchard, is part of the Holistic Orchard Network, and he also leads the community orchard movement at He is the author of The Apple Grower, The Holistic Orchard, and teamed up with his wife to write The Herbalist’s Way. While all these works are milestones in regenerative orcharding and permaculture farming practices, we’re going to focus on his most recent work, the paradigm-shifting and mind-blowing Mycorrhizal Planet. More than just a celebration of the incredible mycorrhizosphere, this book makes you appreciate the complex ecosystem that is soil and how interactions at the microbial level on up effect everything that is birthed from a patch of Earth. This book will make you see your own lawn or garden as a complex ecosystem, awash in organic processes that, with the proper understanding and techniques, you can facilitate to build healthier soil, teeming with mycorrhizal fungi.

Topics Covered:

  • Microorganisms in the Soil & The Underground Economy
  • Endo and Ecto Mycorrhizal Fungi
  • Mycelium Transport Networks
  • Rudolph Steiner
  • Complex Intelligence of Nature
  • Plant Nutrients & Plant Metabolism
  • Non-Disturbance Principle
  • Importance of Cover Crops
  • Ramial Chipped Wood & Hügelkultur
  • Mycorrhizal Diversity & Plant Quorum Sensing
  • Using Beneficial Fungi in Our Farms, Gardens & Potted Plants
  • Farming Mycorrhizal Fungi
  • Nancy’s Influence & the Herbal Husband

Episode Resources:

Nov 15, 2020
Ep. 52: Shared Cultures - Foraging, Fermenting & the Magic of Koji (feat. Eleana Hsu)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the honor of chatting with and learning from Eleana Hsu. Eleana is a fermentress focused on transforming foods with the magic of microbes and koji. What makes her most excited is creating new food products and flavors using local produce, different types of beans, and whole utilization techniques. Eleana has experience teaching koji workshops in the Bay Area and crafting ferments for local popup dinners and events. Koji is a filamentous fungi that has been used to ferment food since 300 BC. By employing this wondrous organism in a sort of alchemical, culinary transmutation may play a big role in the future of food as we know it. Currently, she is working on launching unique great tasting fermented food products in the Bay Area with her company Shared Cultures. 

Topics Covered:

  • Curing Depression by Foraging in Nature  
  • Mushroom Hunting & Favorite Edibles  
  • SOMA Camp  
  • Fermentation – Transforming our Food with Microorganisms  
  • The Magic of Koji Enzymes  
  • Lipase, Protease, Amylase  
  • Fermenting Inspirations  
  • Uncovering a Family History with Koji  
  • Chinese Cuisine made with Koji  
  • Fermented Fungi as the Future of Food  
  • How to Make Miso and Soy Sauce  
  • Lessons from Becoming an Entrepreneur  
  • Finding Fulfillment  
  • Shared Cultures Products & Future Projects  

Episode Resources:  

Nov 09, 2020
Ep. 51: Planet Fungi - Capturing Mushrooms with World-Famous Photographer Steve Axford

Today on Mushroom Hour we are blessed to have the chance to chat with international fungi photographer Stephen Axford.   

Watch the new "Planet Fungi - Northeast India" documentary made by Steve Axford and his partner Catherine Marciniak:   

Stephen is an ambassador for Sony Australia and has an international reputation as a specialist in nature photographer with a particular passion in macro fungi photography. He also has a unique expertise in time-lapse photography of fungi. The beauty and scientific accuracy of Stephen’s fungi photography have captivated national and international media, fungi experts and the general public, with a following that stretches from Patagonia to Vladivostok. His photographs have appeared in international books and magazines, including: Nat Geo Magazine in Spain/Portugal, Geo Magazine in Germany, Roots Magazine in Holland, Guardian Observer [UK], Daily Mail UK, Civilization Magazine of Beijing in China and Sciences et Avenir science magazine in France to name just a few. In recent years, Stephen has shared the science of fungi and his experiences photographing fungi to packed houses in presentations in Australia, China and Chile. A new direction in his work is his collaborations with international universities and fungi organizations to photograph and document fungi in forests around the world.   

Topics Covered:

  • Origin Story of Steve Axford  
  • Mushrooms of Australia  
  • Secrets of Fungal Photography  
  • The Breakout into Worldwide Recognition  
  • Fungal Diversity in Yunan, China  
  • Hidden Fungal Hotspots in Southeast Asia  
  • "Planet Fungi" Documentary  
  • Fungi as a Nutrition & Economic Resource  
  • Exploring Assam & Meghalaya in Northeast India  
  • Time-lapse Photography  
  • Partnership with Catherine Marciniak  
  • Australian Fires & Fire Obligate Fungi  
  • Sharing the Mystery, Wonder and Appreciation of Fungi with Others  
  • Future Documentary Plans  

Episode Resources:   

Nov 04, 2020
Ep. 50: Return to Nature - Herbalism, Rewilding & Overgrowing the System (feat. Dan De Lion)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are joined by Dan de Lion of Return to Nature. The mission of Return to Nature is to provide a safe and healing teaching bridge for individuals and communities to recognize Nature as a continual and abundant provider of nourishment, medicine, food, and sacred connection, and to help reconnect the perception that Nature is the very source of our sustenance as humans. By teaching about the edible and medicinal aspects of wild plants, medicinal herbs, and mushrooms, Dan aims to help move humanity towards a Nature appreciation based paradigm which inspires people to forage, wildcraft, create tools for survival and primitive art, treat their own ailments with what nature provides, and get a little probiotic dirt under their fingernails. Engaging with Nature and tapping into ancient and sacred ways to directly carve our intuitive practice and reawaken a self-reliant depth within that seems so lost in today’s society. Once we recognize and reclaim our oneness with Nature and look around with new eyes we realize an ever present bounty Mother Nature provides and we just may see that we have never left Eden. 

Topics Covered:  

  • The Origin Story of Dan De Lion  
  • Herbalism - Medicines & Food All Around Us  
  • Reductionism vs Systems Thinking  
  • Interconnectedness & Correspondence - As Above, So Below  
  • Rewilding - Genetic Memory, Instinct and Pattern Recognition  
  • Social Alchemy  
  • Rise of the Machines & Transhumanism  
  • Biomimicry  
  • Psychedelics at Society’s Crossroads  
  • Localize and Overgrow the System  
  • Benevolent Activism  
  • Internet Freedom  
  • The Global Elite  
  • The Power of Ritual  
  • Autumn Olives, Garlic Mustard, Plantago  
  • Return to Nature Classes and Future Plans  

Episode Resources:   

Oct 30, 2020
Ep. 49: Changing the Narrative - Reclaiming Ecological, Economic, Social and Political Power (feat. Antonio Cosme)

Antonio Cosme is an indigenous (Coahuiltecan and Boricua) writer, public speaker, entrepreneur, radical economist, educator, artist, beekeeper and farmer from Southwest, Detroit. Much of his work has been dedicated to lecturing, writing, and acting in opposition to the neoliberal assault on Detroit and water. Antonio has a unique gift for connecting social movements with struggles for land reclamation and intersectional environmental justice.   

Setting down in urban SW Detroit, our guide Antonio helps us clear the mists of our historical amnesia. We face the genocide and removal of indigenous people from the land and how that is directly connected with the degradation of Michigan's environment and clear-cutting of old growth forests. That foundation of injustice shaped how a land evolved and we find the mentality echoed throughout Michigan's history right up to the incredible loss of civic rights for black and brown communities after the 2008 financial crisis. Through experience in local politics, Antonio found he could have the most impact in addressing the repercussions of these social, economic and political forces as a community organizer.   

In wrestling with massive issues, Antonio sought replenishment through a relationship with nature and the land. In creating an urban farm from derelict properties stolen by banks, he found a powerful ally in mushrooms. As he began cultivating and foraging for fungi, he recognized their ability to heal soil, but also heal people. Through projects like Black to the Land and his work with the National Wildlife Federation, he is exposing children from inner city Detroit to the power of natural spaces. While it can be hard to mobilize POC communities who are the most impacted by urban pollution, he hopes by having people fall in love with nature they can take up their rightful place on the front lines of championing environmental justice.   

Wading through more and more examples of systemic inequality, we have to ask - can the US political system actually offer lasting solutions when it comes to making positive environmental, social and economic change? What Antonio proposes is a continued effort from the grassroots and local government level on up to shift our cultural narratives around economics, environment, land and US history. By escaping the polarizing political party lines, we can find a populist common ground and collectively dictate a new path centered on fundamental human values like access to clean food and water, access to nature, access to education, access to land, and access to meaningful work.   

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour (@welcome_to_mushroom_hour

Music by: Ancient Baby (   
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano (   

Episode Resources   
Antonio Cosme IG: 
The Soul of Soil (book): 
The Entrepreneurial State (book):
Hajoon Chang (economist):
Ryan Gates (inspiration):

Oct 26, 2020
Ep. 48 - Embracing the Land, Facing Colonialism and Honoring Indigenous Culture (feat. Amber of Moon Mountain)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are grateful for the opportunity to speak with Amber, one of the founders of Moon Mountain. Moon Mountain is a 40-acre biodynamic farm, wild food refuge and all-around sacred space located in the beautiful Michigan wilderness among some of the oldest mountains in the world. This compound functions as a demonstration site for regenerative agricultural practices and serves as a “hands on” medicinal plant classroom for their rural community.   

We venture to those untamed wilds of Upper Penninsula of Michigan and hold space with our gracious host Amber. Today, the combination permaculture farm and wild-food forest she manages with partner Ryan is impressive, but it was a future that she did not quite envision. In creating this sanctuary, they both had to address their centers of alienation, leaving behind some of the traditional values of modern society. They followed a lifepath that resonated most clearly with heart and mind - honoring the mystery of what it would become along the way.   

Alongside their ongoing explorations of ancient land-based practices like polyculture, agroforestry, lunar observation, crop rotations and water harvesting, Amber takes us into the deep forests of the Huron mountains to share in a rich bounty of edible mushrooms. Her work with fungi has taught her to slow down, listen to nature and understand the cycles of the environment around her.   

In exploring this deep communion with the forest and the land, those of us who are European-American run into a deep-seated anxiety. How do we develop an authentic relationship with land that was stolen? How do we acknowledge and authentically support the indigenous communities that were displaced and then dispossessed of these "wild" spaces? In a modern context, is reconciliation possible between European and non-European communities in the US given histories of systemic imbalance? Amber offers her deep work around this subject and acknowledges that her path may not be for everyone. She outlines a process of moving through our fear and anxiety, learning about and showing up to support indigenous and POC communities and expanding into stages of personal growth that will cascade into restructuring unequal systems. And while these topics can be isolating, we need to have more open conversations, face the issues and leave behind the vestiges of colonial culture.   

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour (@welcome_to_mushroom_hour

Music by: Ancient Baby (   
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano (   

Episode Resources   
Moon Mountain Website:   
Moon Mountain Instagram:   
Freedom House Farm (Inspiration): 
Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz - Indigenous People's History of the US (Book):   
Linda Black Elk (Inspiration):   
Braiding Sweetgrass (Book):   

Oct 23, 2020
Ep. 47 - Bioluminescent Mushrooms, Psilocybe of Mexico and the Power of Citizen Mycology (feat. Alan Rockefeller)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are blessed to speak with our very special guest Alan Rockefeller. Alan is a mycologist who has undertaken extensive field and lab research on the mushrooms of California and Mexico. He has been collecting mushrooms for 17+ years and has focused on the taxonomy and photography of Mexican mushrooms for the past 11+ years.   

Our epic journey brings us back to the dawn of the new millennium when a young Alan Rockefeller first became spellbound by fungi. A few years into his mycology explorations, he had a chance encounter on with a biologist in Mexico who was posting amazing fungal finds. Alan made a connection and began traveling to Mexico each year to seek out rare fungi.   

Since he began these adventures, he has played a central role in mapping fungal diversity throughout different climate ranges in Mexico. This includes some of the most in-depth field observations in the world when it comes to those incredible bioluminescent and infamous psilocybin containing fungi. We'll cover it all - how bioluminescence occurs in biology, the evolutionary significance of bioluminescent enzymes and psilocybin compounds in fungi and how Alan goes about finding the rarest varieties of these fascinating organisms.   

The epitome of the self-taught naturalist and citizen scientist we'll learn the secrets of how Alan gained his vast taxonomic knowledge. Just "showing up" and pursuing his interests he has been able to collaborate with leading academics in the field of mycology. Alan then reveals how we can all contribute to the science of mycology by making good observations in the field and cataloging them effectively for posterity. We get a masterclass on cataloging field finds including how to take good photos in the field, record relevant observations, preserve dried specimens and even how we can sequence the genome of our fungal finds. This is an incredible opportunity to soak up wisdom and experience from a legend in the field of citizen mycology.   

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour (@welcome_to_mushroom_hour)

Music by: Ancient Baby (
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano (

Episode Resources
Alan Rockefeller FB: 
Alan Rockefeller IG: 
New Bioluminescent Mushrooms in Mexico (Article): 
Alvalabs (Resource): (Resource): 
Mycena Perlae 🍄: 
Panellus stipticus 🍄: 
Neonothopanus Gardneri 🍄: 
Psilocybe moseri 🍄: 
Lepitoa Trichroma 🍄:  

Oct 18, 2020
Ep. 46: Modern Foragers - Foraging, Cooking and Preserving Wild Mushrooms (feat. Kristen and Trent Blizzard)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the glorious opportunity to speak with Kristen and Trent Blizzard from Modern Forager. This fungal dynamic duo started out as online marketers who turned a love of mushroom adventures into a calling, a community and an obsession.

Our mushroom hunting caravan makes it's first stop in the Midwest where Kristen and Trent grew up exploring nature and hunting those infamous Midwestern morel mushrooms. Once they found each other, they quickly found their mushroom foraging skills grow along with their relationship. They now travel across the US with their camper in tow, charting their calendar to follow the mushroom seasons. As we tag along for their journey, we'll meet amazing new friends and connect with foraging communities every step of the way.

During the foraging tour, a deeply ingrained passion for morels comes to the fore as we follow the couple's camper through the winding roads of the Western United States chasing wild fires. Our tech-savvy guides have crafted highly-detailed burn morel maps for almost every state in the Western US by collating wildfire perimeter data, satellite imagery and forest service road maps. Even with all of this data, how do they screen and predict which burns will yield morels? What kind of success rates can foragers have with the aid of these maps?

Cruising across the country and filling out bags and buckets with mushrooms is great, but now what do we do with all of our fungal treasures? Trent and Kristen have us covered with creative preservation techniques and amazing recipes from their new book "Wild Mushrooms: A Cookbook and Foraging Guide". Organized around 15 species of edible mushrooms, the book shares not only amazing recipes and preservation techniques, but also the stories of 25 foragers whose knowledge graces the pages of their work. This book was a labor of love for the couple who were completely new to writing! What was it like to achieve this massive undertaking and what is next for these modern foragers?

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour


Music by: Ancient Baby (
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano (

Episode Resources
Modern Forager Website:
Modern Forager IG:
Burn Morel Maps:
Wild Mushrooms: A Cookbook and Foraging Guide (Book):

Oct 14, 2020
Ep. 45: Meati - The Fungal Future of Food (feat. Tyler Huggins & Justin Whiteley)

Today we are excited to chat with Tyler Huggins and Justin Whiteley – cutting-edge food pioneers and founders of Meati, a fungi-based protein company. Meati's mission is to help provide the world with nutritious protein with minimally-processed, fungi-based meats with superfood-level nutrition that don’t compromise on taste or sustainability. Tyler and Justin believe that finding the right protein should be easy and consumers should never have to choose between health, taste, or the environment.

The story of Meati begins with two PhD students at the University of Colorado sharing a beer. Tyler was studying civil and environmental engineering, and Justin was in mechanical engineering. They shared a passion for helping people and the planet through engineering and science. Their first project together used fungi to produce battery electrodes and they ended up exploring loads of different applications of fungi as a manufacturing material. In their explorations of how to solve the world's problems using fungi, they realized one of the greatest potentials for a big, positive impact was to be found by focusing on food.

As it becomes apparent that feeding the world with animal-based proteins is unsustainable, their vision coalesced around the idea of a textured protein product made of mycelium. We learn that Tyler and Justin's vision is to create a true meat product that will actually be superior to animal-based meat in all the major categories: texture, flavor, nutrition and sustainability. Visiting the production floor, we get up close and personal with how Meati grows and shapes a unique strain of mycelium into the future of meat. How do they achieve the texture and flavor profiles chicken, beef and anything else they choose? How is it possible that their mycelium meat contains more protein than beef along with loads of fiber and a daily serving of vitamin B-12?!

Looking to the future, it becomes clear this duo has big plans for Meati. The production process they've engineered for creating their products is geographically agnostic, meaning you could set up fungal food factories anywhere in the world. That kind of production flexibilty combined with the exponential growth potential of mycelium hints at the possibility of a Meati empire that could span the globe. But how did these entrepreneurs get their start? And how close are we really to seeing a world fed by Meati? 

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour


Music by: Ancient Baby (
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano (

Episode Resources
Meati Website:
Meati IG:
Chanterelle (Mushroom):
Puffball (Mushroom):

Oct 09, 2020
Ep. 44: Medicinal Mushrooms - The Human Clinical Trials (feat. Robert Rogers)

Robert Dale Rogers has been an herbalist for over forty-five years, and is a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild. He earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta, where he is presently an assistant clinical professor in Family Medicine. He teaches plant medicine, including plant and mushroom medicine, aromatherapy and flower essences in the Earth Spirit Medicine faculty at the Northern Star College in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He is a Fellow of the International College of Nutrition, past chair of the medicinal mushroom committee of the North American Mycological Association, and previously served on the editorial board of the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms.

Robert Rogers discovered herbalism and the power of plant medicines as an enthusiastic botanist living in a hippy enclave in Alberta, Canada. He was struck with how little he knew about the plants and fungi he was discovering in the Great White North. He was blessed to learn from indigenous experts about the medicinal properties of these plants and mushrooms in the boreal forest. He then took this knowledge and applied it to family medicine, running a clinical practice for over 20 years.

In the effort to share knowledge of herbalism with the masses, he has published 56 books, including the incredible "Fungal Pharmacy: The Complete Guide to Medicinal Mushrooms and Lichens of North America". In our chat, Robert demystifies the medicinal powers of fungi and lays out the facts about specific medicinal mushrooms and their properties. We've all heard about immune-boosting properties and anti-cancer properties in medicinal mushroom varieties, but what does that really mean? What are the compounds that are responsible for these properties? How do these compounds like beta glucans and triterpenes actually work in our bodies? In our explorations, we even enter the mycelium vs. fruit-body debate and reach insights that are different than you might expect.

Learning about emerging models of holistic medicine, we dive into Robert's newest book, "Medicinal Mushrooms: The Human Clinical Trials". His impetus for writing the book was simple - provide the facts and information about the research on medicinal mushrooms. Both for consumers and for medical professionals who may have dismissed the actual potential of medicinal fungi without examining the full body of double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, human clinical trials. The evidence in this book is extremely compelling and offers hope for a future where these medicines are more thoroughly understood so as to be formulated into more potent natural medicines and applied for the highest good.

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour

Music by: Ancient Baby (
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano (

Episode Resources
Robert Rogers Website:
Medicinal Mushrooms - The Human Clinical Trials (Book):
Wolfiporia extensa (Mushroom):
Antrodia (Mushroom):
Tarnished Gold (Book):

Oct 05, 2020
Ep. 43: Lorelle Morel - Forest Biology, Fire Ecology and an Obsession with Wild Foods (feat. Lorelle Sherman)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the amazing opportunity to interview Lorelle Sherman. Lorelle is an accomplished field naturalist who has studied flora, fauna and funga of diverse ecosystems across the US. She received her BS in Forest and Wildlife Biology from the University of Vermont and received her Masters Degree in Forest Ecology at Oregon State University. 

In the wilds near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, we find a young Lorelle bounding across neighbors' yards to sneak away to the nearest woodland. She found a calling at the University of Vermont to explore nature and its wildlife more deeply and to share her passion with others. She would return after her college years to work with the Western PA Conservancy and become an environmental educator. What are some effective methods she has learned to communicate environmental information and inspire others to learn more about the natural world? 

Pursuing a Masters degree in forest ecology, Lorelle made her way to Oregon in the Pacific Northwest. Along with studying flora, fauna and funga interconnections in the forest, Lorelle has researched the tremendous importance of forest fires. Forests like the Cascade forests she has researched in the Pacific Northwest introduce us to the concept of fire-dependent ecosystems. There are plants and fungi that have evolved to rely on forest fires to reproduce and there are even birds that rely on fires to thrive! Applying this knowledge, we ask hard questions like, is human management necessary in forest ecosystems or is it best to leave it alone? Are prescribed fires a neglected tool that can help prevent more disastrous forest fires? 

Lorelle's deep passion for nature has always involved wild foods. Foraging has evolved from a teenage hobby, to leading groups at college, to now teaching others about wild food at the Wildcraft Studio in Portland Oregon. She believes everyone should be empowered to supplement their diet with wild foods from nature, so long as we remember the importance of sustainability. We'll learn about her new wild food business and how she is blending her passions to forge her own path into the forest. 

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour

Music by: Ancient Baby (
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano (

Episode Resources   
Lorelle Morel (Website): 
Lorelle Morel (IG): 
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy: 
"Edible Wild Plants" by John Kallas (Book): 
"Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast" by Jim Pojar (Book): 
WildCraft Studio: 
Rhizopogon (Fungi): 
Shaggy Mane (Mushroom):

Sep 30, 2020
Ep. 42: Red Glasses - England's Godfather of Mushrooms and Worldwide Forager (feat. Roger Phillips)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are honored to speak with our distinguished, bespectacled guest Roger Phillips. Roger is a natural nonconformist and a legendary godfather of foraging in the UK. Drawing upon decades of experience, his knowledge of wild food is unrivaled. Known as “Mr Mushrooms” he is an expert mycologist, renowned for his work tracking and recording more than 1,600 species of fungi in North America and Europe. Considered a pioneer in the use of photography for documenting and identifying mushrooms, he has written numerous guide books and resource materials.

Let's take a trip across the Atlantic, and back in time, over to the UK isles to find Roger Phillips at just 8 years old hunting wild nettles and bucket loads of mushrooms. His younger years saw him join the air force, work with a major advertising firm and eventually find his way to photography. As his obsession with documenting nature took hold, Roger began writing his own botanical guidebooks to European plants and mushrooms, and in so doing, was an early pioneer of the use of photography, in lieu of drawings, in his guides.

Roger reflects on the mycophobia that is deeply entrenched in British culture, but also how that is starting to change. There is a rich wild food tradition and has always been an incomparable love of gardening amongst the British people. Roger sees all of these traditions as connected, with gardening and foraging being disciplines that most people innately recognize as "moral" and "good".

Exploring his newest book, "The Worldwide Forager" we end up traveling all over the planet to learn about wild foods across cultures. Roger has a deep interest in First Nation Peoples in the Americas. Through his research on the wild food history of the Nez Pearce we learn about the consumption of wild camas bulbs. How much can we learn from First Nation peoples about wild foods and sustainable gardening? When it comes to mushrooms, we visit Italy to marvel at the oft underappreciated Caesar's amanita and Roger regales us with the story of how it may have been involved in a plot that brought down a Roman Emperor!

As our conversation winds down, we glimpse a future where cross-cultural sharing of wild food traditions leads to a more sustainable, more nutritious and scrummier future!

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour

Music by: Lyla Foy (   
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano (   

Episode Resources   
Roger Phillips Website:   
Roger Phillips IG:   
Worldwide Forager (Book):   
Nez Perce (Indigenous Tribe):   
Amanita Caesarea (Mushroom):   
Craterellus Cornucopioides(Mushroom):

Sep 25, 2020
Ep. 41: Edulis Wild Foods - Foraging Mushrooms and Restoring Vital Connection in the UK Isles (feat. Lisa Cutcliffe)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are excited to sit down and chat with Lisa Cutcliffe from Leeds, Yorkshire in the UK. Lisa is the founder, foraging-guide-in-chief and all-round mushroom-nut at Edulis Wild Foods. With a degree in biology, being a keen gardener, veg grower, and having a lifelong fascination with nature and wildlife, she is interested in all aspects of wild food and medicinals.   

As we explore the wilds of Leeds in England, we find a younger Lisa poking around the woods between classes at university. Her curiosity about using edible mushrooms in cooking led her down a pre-Internet road of discovery, seeking out information about mysterious kingdom fungi. It was the quest for her first porcini that brought her from Leeds to the "New Forest" in the South of England and set her down the path of edible mushrooms and wild food.   

Her love of mushrooms branched out into a love of plant foraging as she was determined to find edible foods across every season. Her journey came to a traumatic inflection point as a diving accident damaged her back and crippled her ability to go abroad and engage in the physical activity that was her passion. However, the regeneration from this experience pushed her to explore the UK Isles and rediscover herself, open up her love of wild foods and connect with an incredible community of wild mushroom and plant enthusiasts across the UK. How can foraging be used as a form of physical and emotional therapy to help us recover from trauma?   

Pursuing her passion for wild foods more intensively, Lisa felt the call to "find the others"! After connecting with and learning alongside other UK wild food experts, she became a founding member of the Association of Foragers - a network that provides collective support for professional foragers guided by an ethos of "Restoring Vital Connection". This influence and the community she was now a part of inspired Lisa to create her own wild foods business - Edulis Wild Foods.   

We'll take a walk in the shoes of a professional foraging educator and learn keen insights about the responsibility and realities of such a path. How do you know when you're ready to start teaching others? How does one balance a day job with the commitment to being a professional educator? For Lisa the most satisfying part of sharing her love of wild foods is seeing her students reconnect with nature and remember the ancestral connection they have to their land.   

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour

Music by: Ancient Baby (   
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano (   

Episode Resources
Edulis Wild Foods (website):   
Lisa Cutcliffe (IG):   
Association of Foragers (UK):   
Craterellus cornucopioides (mushroom):   
Chlorociboria aeruginascens (mushroom):   

Sep 23, 2020
Ep. 40: Entheogenic Evolution - Psychedelic Consciousness and Non-Duality (feat. Martin W. Ball PhD)

Today on Mushroom Hour, we have the honor of speaking with Martin Ball. Martin is a PhD, writer, independent publisher, energy worker, visionary artist, and musician. Martin earned his M.A. and Ph.D. from UC Santa Barbara in Religious Studies with an emphasis on Native American traditions, Philosophy of Science and Religion, and the Phenomenology of Mystical and Shamanic Experience, as well as the role of entheogens in religious and spiritual experience.   

Our saga into psychedelic spheres of awareness takes us beyond the bounds of ordinary five-senses consciousness, into a world that our guest Martin Ball has explored extensively. His journey into entheogenic realms of psychedelic experience began with psilocybin containing mushrooms. His own explorations continued into other tryptamine-based psychedelics (like DMT) and led him to unique understandings of the energetic and non-dual nature of our reality. For Martin, the method for coming to understand the true nature of reality is through direct experience and self-exploration and entheogens provide unparalleled tools for self-exploration.   

As we peer through the lens of Martin's psychedelic-informed worldview, we see the wisdom of the phrase "All is one". Everything in reality is made from the same energy that is pulled from a firmament of raw consciousness, that Martin is comfortable calling "God". This unitary consciousness forms all elements of physical reality through an on-going process of energetic transformations and interactions that function according to basic mathematical and geometric laws. Some of the highest order expressions of this energetic creation are us - human beings. Where do concepts like ego and soul fit into this unique perspective? How are tryptamine-based compounds useful tools for human suits and how do we best use them?

It was with the release of Mushroom Wisdom in 2006 that Martin started his career as a public advocate for entheogenic reform and education. We talk about the current changes our society is undergoing as so many people become disaffected by the meta egos that have historically organized human societies like religions and governments. We are in the midst of big changes when it comes to our relationship with psychedelic substances as more safe and productive methods for use are shared with the masses. How do psychedelics inform new worldviews and new models of human organization?

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour

Music by: Ancient Baby (   
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano (   

Episode Resources:
Martin Ball (website):   
Martin Ball (Patreon):   
Being Human (Book):   
Entheogenic Evolution (Podcast):

Sep 19, 2020
Ep. 39: Mt. Tam Psilocybin Summit - Psychedelic Gnosis and Enlightenment-Based Society (feat. Daniel Shankin)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are graced by the presence of Daniel “Sitaram Das” Shankin. Daniel is the founder of Mt. Tam Psychedelic Integration, which supports individuals who are exploring their consciousness for spiritual growth and transformational healing. He is the proud host of the Mt. Tam Psilocybin Summit which brings together leaders in the field of psychedelic science in a virtual summit for "Four Days Celebrating the Myth, Magic, Science, and Culture of the Sacred Mushroom".

The Mt. Tam Psilocybin Summit takes place 9/17/20 - 9/20/20. Mushroom Hour listeners can get discounted tickets here:
I will be moderating a speaker session and will be absorbing all the amazing material being shared!

Daniel's path began working at a yoga bookstore, pursuing gnosis from Eastern spiritual traditions like Buddhism and Hinduism. Books like "Be Here Now" were incredibly influential in his own psychedelic explorations and spiritual pursuits. Why do psychedelic experiences and Eastern mysticism seem to blend well together? Do both pursuits aim to take us to the same transcendental plane?

Through his work at Mt. Tam Integration, Daniel has extensive experience when it comes to preparing individuals for a psychedelic experience and helping them integrate back into sober consciousness after such an experience. He'll explain the preparatory importance of set and setting (including preparing one's own emotional state) and some of the tools he uses with clients like somatic anchoring. When it comes to integration, we learn how revelatory urges can be acted upon safely and effectively without hurting the people around us.

In the noble pursuit of shifting our current culture towards an enlightenment society, Daniel was called to create the Mt. Tam Psilocybin Summit. This conference brings together incredible speakers from around the world and of all different backgrounds. He thought this was one of the best ways he could contribute to the creation of a society based around positive values like love, grace and humility. As psychedelics suffuse into the mainstream, we look at the impacts of forces like capitalism and politics on the integrity of utopian psychedelic ideals. What is the future of psychedelic culture and will the current psychedelic renaissance help bring about an enlightenment society?

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour

Music by: Ancient Baby (   
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano (

Episode Resources:
Mt. Tam Psilocybin Summit (website):
Mt. Tam Integration (IG):
Mt. Tam Integration (website):
Be Here Now (book):
Neem Karoli Baba (Inspiration):

Sep 14, 2020
Ep. 38: Hiking the Long Trail - Forest Pathology, Fungal Relationships & Protecting Rare Plants (feat. Matt Berger)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the fantastic opportunity to chat with Matt Berger. Matt is a trained horticulturalist with a masters in forest pathology from West Virginia University. He currently works as a seasonal botanist for Sierra Pacific Industries and an Ecological Surveyor for the Great Basin Institute. 

Our adventure begins as we find Matt mid-expedition hunting for rare plants in one of his favorite plant habitats - the high desert and mountainous regions of Nevada. His background in forest pathology means he always has an eye on interactions between plants, fungi and insects. Even in the desert, fungi are omnipresent and Matt shares some of his experience with fungal pathogens that can be found on rare, desert plants he studies. How central is an understanding of fungi in understanding the big picture of forest pathology?  

Getting lost in the wild and cataloging biodiversity is something Matt is uniquely equipped for. He shares with us secrets of locating and identifying wild plant species and also encourages us to get out into big nature.  In the context of a fast-paced modern society, spending days and even months hiking a trail can take on a spiritual significance and profoundly change a person. Life-changing experiences hiking on the PCT trail spurred Matt's own passion for studying plant diversity and pursuing work in rare plant conservation.  

As we continue our trek across the great hiking trails of the American West, exploring deserts and mountain ranges, it becomes apparent just how many under-explored areas still remain. In the ranges of Nevada and California that are Matt's focus, each mountain can be a completely unique environment with entirely different species of plants and fungi! This means there is an incredible amount of biodiversity to research and catalog. We learn how researching biodiversity is integral to any conservation effort because you can't protect what you dont know is there! It would be putting it lightly to say Matt is obsessed with the conservation of rare plants. He explains how humans lose so much when we lose a species - both in it's potential value to humans and in it's intrinsic value as an organism that can never be replicated. We are called to get out into under-explored areas then catalog and protect the organisms we find!  

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour

Music by: Ancient Baby (   
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano (   

Episode Resources  
Matt Berger IG:  
Matt Berger YouTube:   
Great Basin Institute:  
Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer (Ambrosia beetle):   
Lewisia maguirei (Plant):  
Massospora platypediae (Fungus): 
Claytonia (Plant): 

Sep 11, 2020
Ep. 37: Mycomaker - Building Mycotectura and Spreading Mycophilia in Ecuador (feat. Nelson Dueñas)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are grateful for the opportunity to interview biologist Nelson Dueñas who is a founding member of the MycoMaker project in Ecuador. Mycomaker is an organization that was born in the minds of biology students in late 2016 and was founded by Nelson in early 2017. The group has undertaken keystone fungal projects including promoting mushroom cultivation, researching mycelium as a building material, and even researching potentials of mushroom grafting!

Touching down on the sacred grounds of the Yasuni National Park in the Amazon, we meet some unique jungle fungi - bio-luminescent mycena, alien cordyceps and many others which first captured Nelson's imagination. Ecuador is the home to some of the world's most precious environmental regions including the Yasuni National Park, the Chocó bio-region, Los Cedros bio-reserve and the Mashpi rainforest reserve. Unbelievably, Ecuador is home to 6.4% of all species on earth in just 280,000 sq. km. This includes an incredible array of endemic fungi. How is this insanely biodiverse environment under threat? How much untouched environment is left in Ecuador?   

Called to share his love of mushrooms and fungi, Nelson and a team including other biologists (and now designers and manufacturers) created the MycoMaker project. Inspired by the fungi visionary Phil Ross, one of their main goals was to pursue mycelium as a material. They dubbed their research in biomaterials "mycotectura" and began by creating art canvas from mycelium. In their materials research, the MycoMaker team experiments with many different species of fungi mycelium to explore the properties each can offer as a material aside from just durability. As we learn about their experiments in materials science, we glimpse a vision of a sustainable future that may find us living in domes made of mycelium.   

Mycomaker's mission includes sharing a love of mushrooms and making mushroom cultivation more accessible to every community in Ecuador. In 2019, they hosted a special mycotectura fair that brought in hundreds of people from all walks of life to inspire them with mycelium materials and mushroom cultivation. Nelson sums up his team's ambition as sharing a love of mushrooms, changing people's perceptions when it comes to fungi, and encouraging them to recognize the importance of funga to the environment. As our conversation winds down, we venerate the mystery and awe that mushrooms represent. When it comes to fungi, the more we learn, the more we realize we don't know.   

Episode Resources   
MycoMaker website:   
MycoMaker IG:   
Yasuni Rainforest:   
Phil Ross (inspiration):   
Nidulariaceae ("bird's nest fungi"):   

Sep 09, 2020
Ep. 36: Uncharted Mushrooms - Tropical Fungi in South America and Central Africa (feat. Prof. Terry Henkel)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are honored to be joined by Terry Henkel, Professor of Botany at Humboldt State University. Terry boasts a Masters in Botany from the University of Wyoming and a PhD in Botany from Duke University. Terry’s main body of research investigates macrofungal biodiversity and ecological relationships in the remote tropical rainforests of South America's Guiana Shield and the Guineo-Congolian region of Central Africa.

We venture to the heartland of Ohio and find young Terry Henkel exploring the outdoors and immersed in the transformative works of Alan Watts, Joseph Campbell and Andrew Weil. Terry discovered his passion for ecology and mycology at Ohio University before sinking his teeth into a PhD project studying arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in Wyoming.   

It was a fateful roadtrip from Wyoming to Florida which set Terry on a path to studying tropical fungi in some of the most unexplored areas on Earth. Falling in love with the jungles in Guyana, a remote country in northern South America, Terry discovered ectomycorrhizal mushrooms like amanitas, chanterelles and boletes that should not have been there! It is commonly assumed that in incredibly biodiverse tropical regions, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (which do not produce mushrooms) are the dominant symbiont with native flora. He quickly went in pursuit of backing to study this tropical mushroom mystery and it would become one of his main research projects for years to come. 

Initially, his mushroom findings were explained by areas of typically hyperdiverse tropical jungle that have been overtaken by woody-legume species. These species play host to a huge diversity of ectomycorrhizal mushrooms - many that are unknown to science! In trying to figure out if his tropical mushroom discovery was reported elsewhere, a connection was made with similar woody-legume dominated forests in Central Africa. Having researched these areas for decades, Terry is seeking answers to the burning questions brought on by his fungal discoveries. Why are mono-dominant forests appearing in such stark contrast with tropical mixed forests despite no evident changes in environmental conditions between the forest areas? How much fungal diversity has been found and how much is left to be discovered in Guyana and the Guineo-Congolian region? Do the similar jungle forests in Guyana and Central Africa hint at a bio-geographical history of being connected at one time as part of the "Gondwana" supercontinent?!   

As we hear the detailed history of his research and the amazing findings his team has made in terms of fungal diversity, we also learn about indigenous populations that have become critical allies in allowing this research to continue successfully. Part of the mission of this research is to provide training for local populations in cataloging biodiversity. In Central Africa, Terry's research team also plays host to PhD students to give them field experience and encourage more scientists in these biodiversity hotspots to research and protect the flora, fauna and funga that thrive there.   

Episode Resources
Prof. Terry Henkel's Academic Profile: 
Prof. Henkel's Tropical Fungi Research Website:
Gilbertiodendron dewevrei (Tree): 
Dicymbe (Tree): 
Laricifomes Officinalis AKA Agarikon (Mushroom):

Sep 02, 2020
Ep. 35: Growing Regenerative Art with Crystals, Algae and Mushrooms (feat. Chris Ritson)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are excited to interview biophiliac and artist Chris Ritson. His practice is informed by societies relationship to Nature, and ranges from video and installation to living, generative sculpture. He studied New Genres at the San Francisco Art Institute and has since exhibited internationally.

Taking a much needed vacation to the tropics, we visit Mt. Tantalus on the Hawaiian island  of Oahu. This is where we'll find native plant propagator, mushroom cultivator and sculptural artist Chris Ritson. To our resident alchemist, art is a process, initiated to produce phenomena which impacts the viewer with a novel perspective. Truly his practice in creating art is generative, unique and inspiring as he grows crystals, algae and mushrooms into pieces that quite literally take on a life of their own. Lifting the veil on his creative process, Chris reveals how his stunning creations are conceived and executed. Diving deeper, we get a sense of purpose and understand the message being conveyed with such organic works. How can art using expanding organisms trigger anxiety in us about the growth of a non-human "other" and our strained relationship with nature?

A passionate student of the mycelium, Chris guides us through the lush Hawaiian forests to forage for mushrooms. We'll learn how the lines between endemic, native and invasive fungi often blur given Hawaii's history of tourism, imports and a ethnomycological history that has not been fully uncovered. The unique mushroom artworks he creates are sourced from strains found in his own backyard then cultured and inoculated in his studio. What are the strains of polypore he uses to make such vibrant, living canvases? How has his relationship with fungal organisms influence his perspectives on spirituality?

It becomes clear that for Chris, a lifelong relationship with the resplendent environs of Hawaii has instilled a passion for protecting nature. His work highlights the relationship between natural systems and human society in a visceral and tangible way. Many artists convey a message of environmentalism with their work, but fewer consider how the creation of their work effects the very environment they are symbolically venerating. He articulates the idea that only by weighing the environmental, social and economic impacts necessary for its creation, can the intent of any artist's work of art be considered. What are some ways that artists who seek to highlight environmental concerns can offer solutions to the viewers of their art?
Episode Resources
Chris Ritson IG:
Chris Ritson Website:
Tantalus Botanicals Website:
Microporus Affinus (mushroom):
Pycnoporus Sanguineus (mushroom):

Aug 26, 2020
Ep. 34: Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast & the Future of Biodiversity Research (feat. Christian Schwarz)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are excited to have the chance to hear from our guest Christian Schwarz. Christian is a Research Associate at the Norris Center for Natural History and he is coauthor of "Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast" – the bible for California mushroom foraging.

Christian Schwarz has been intrigued by fungi ever since he inherited his first mushroom guidebook from his brother. That guide turned out to be irrelevant to his area and so his first year of foraging was spent using just his own powers of observation. What can foraging for mushrooms without a guide bring to a forager's ability to develop their own libraries of sensory perception?

As the author of Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast, we couldn't ask for a better guide to help us explore the mushrooms of California. Christian explains the foraging season, different bio-regions and the variety of fungi, including a plethora of endemic fungi that call California home. The book itself is one of the best resources available for mushroom hunters along California's coastline. What was the inspiration for the book and what was that journey like of cataloging 900+ types of mushrooms? And as someone who traveled throughout the state hunting mushrooms, what are some of Christian's favorite areas in California to mushroom hunt? The answer might not be what you expect.

Christian may best be described as a "biodiversiphile" - someone who loves biodiversity in all of its forms. As he eloquently elucidates the future of fungal diversity research, it becomes clear that amateur naturalists and citizen scientists have a huge role to play in the raw data collection and cataloging of biodiversity. We'll learn about the "Taxanomic Triangle" and pick up invaluable tips on how amateurs can structure their observations to contribute the best data possible to be used in future biodiversity studies. What are the six pieces of information in the basic biodiversity suite on a given organism? What insights about evolutionary history are we gleaning based on the massive influx of biodiversity data gathering?

Episode Resources
Christian Schwarz IG:
Mushrooms of Redwood Coast (Book):
Norris Center of Natural History:
Amscope Microscope:
Southwestern Research Station:
California Channel Islands:
Santa Cruz Mycoflora:
Damon Tighe:
Leptonia Carnia:

Aug 21, 2020
Ep. 33: Marrow of the Mountain - Defending Biodiversity in Ecuador (feat. Dr. Roo Vandergrift)

Today we are graced by the presence of Dr. Roo Vandegrift - queer scientist, illustrator and producer of the forthcoming documentary film Marrow of the Mountain. Roo received his doctorate in mycology from the University of Oregon’s Institute of Ecology and Evolution, doing much of his dissertation work on the ecology of fungi at Los Cedros, in Ecuador. 

Please support Roo's documentary "Marrow of the Mountain":   
Help their team bring international attention to the threat posed by international mining companies to biodiversity and environmental health in Ecuador! 

Getting lost in the jungles of Ecuador, we find Roo Vandergrift crawling through the undergrowth of the Los Cedros bio-reserve performing fungal diversity surveys. Originally studying the genus xylaria, Roo quickly fell in love with Los Cedros and his relationship with this vibrant and powerful land would change his life forever.

Multinational mining companies have bought the rights to huge swaths of the country, leaving Ecuador’s most sensitive and biodiverse habitats at the mercy of international mining interests. This happened suddenly, and without public knowledge or consent. We witness the deep impact of extractive industry on Ecuadorian lives, as three women struggle to protect their families and communities whilst the land is being sold out from under their feet. Told in the powerful voices of Afro-Ecuadorian farmer Isabel Anangonó, indigenous leader Filomena Rosero, and scientist and activist Elisa Levy, and following a scientific expedition into the heart of the rainforest, this film explores the impact of mining on people's lives with both beauty and stark candor. How did the International Monetary Fund set in motion circumstances that would clear a path for giant Australian and Canadian mining corporations to gain access to mining territories, even in areas protected by environmental legislation? How is a pending Constitutional Court Case ruling pivotal in the future of protecting Ecuador's biodiversity from destructive mining?   

Due to the COVID-19 lockdowns all people, including activists, have been forced inside. This has allowed international mining companies to continue their illegal mining and environmental destruction without any resistance. These same lockdowns have also meant that the documentary has been set back. So the Marrow of the Mountain team needs all of our support on their new Kickstarter! Empower this documentary activism and help defend biodiversity. 

Episode Resources 
Marrow of the Mountain Documentary Website:   
Roo Vandergrift IG: 
Reserva Los Cedros: 
Spatial Ecology of the Fungal Genus Xylaria in Cloud Forests (article):   

Aug 19, 2020
Ep. 32: Empowering BIPOC Communities by Going Back to the Land (feat. Indy Srinath)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are honored to be joined by Indy Srinath. Indy is a forager, educator, gardener, mushroom cultivator, and steward of both her environment and her community. Her work brings many of the principles that we discuss on Mushroom Hour - wild food, mycology, permaculture, environmentalism - into urban settings and into a relational context with BIPOC communities. 

Please support Indy's campaign to create a BIPOC community farm!   

Our journey begins in North Carolina where a high-school aged Indy, disillusioned by traditional education, starts to develop a relationship with the land. Before you know it, we're WWOOFing along the California coast, helping at organic farms and picking up land-based skills along the way. Returning to Asheville, NC to steward a 7-acre permaculture farm and cultivate mushrooms may seem like the dream to many of us, but it is just another stepping stone for Indy's ultimate vision. Changing scenes to the concrete jungle of LA, Indy employs the skills she's developed in herbalism, foraging and permaculture to purposefully empower chronically under-served houseless populations and BIPOC communities. What are some permaculture principles we can employ to grow food even in urban environments? Are urban agriculture and foraging useful tools in addressing major social issues like food apartheid in inner cities?   

Her mission brings some particularly poignant questions to the surface. America's undergoing a cultural reckoning as European-Americans (colloquially "White") are forced to reconcile their status quo with generational and systemic disadvantages BIPOC communities face. Amidst protest, desires to help and gestures of allyship, we are reminded that access to land, or a lack-there-of, lies at the heart of America's glaring economic, political and social imbalance. This difference in land access even spills over into land-based disciplines like farming and wild food foraging. Why are practices like farming and foraging largely the domain of European-Americans now, despite having indigenous and BIPOC roots? What are some strategies to correct this imbalance and help BIPOC Americans return to the land?   

As more minds turn to the idea of reparations as the most obvious solution to help heal a centuries-old trauma between European-Americans and BIPOC-Americans, Indy encourages us to remember that while interpersonal-reparations are a good start, what we really need are institutional reparations (ie. big banks, governments) to redress generational economic inequality. Ownership of land once more centers our conversation and provides a myriad of tangible solutions. How does a focus on increasing BIPOC ownership of land truly empower communities and address generational economic, political and social imbalances that America must reconcile if it is ever to become whole?   

Episode Resources
Indy IG:   
Fallen Fruit:   
Leah Thomas (Inspiration):   
Hypomyces Lactifluorum (mushroom):   
Cordyceps Militaris (mushroom):   

Aug 12, 2020
Ep. 31: How to Quit Your Job and Devote Your Life to Mushrooms (feat. John Michelotti)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are graced by the presence of John Michelotti. John is the founder of Catskill Fungi and past President of the Mid-Hudson Mycological Association (MHMA). His goal is to inspire people to partner with fungi to improve their health, communities, and the environment. 

Our journey takes us to the Catskill Mountains in New York state where we find a young John spending the summer on his grandfather's farm - whose grounds were some of the favorite mushroom foraging spots of Gordon Wasson! After spending a childhood in nature, John pursued many paths until his fateful connection with the Connecticut-Westchester Mycological Association. One the group's leaders, the mycology legend Gary Lincoff, become John's mentor and inspired him to dedicate his life to working with fungi. Sadly, Gary passed away in March of 2018. What was Gary really like and how did his unique background make him such a charismatic ambassador of the fungal world? 

John's pursuit of fungal abundance took him to the jungles of Ecuador as he had the transformative opportunity to participate in the Amazon MycoRenewal project led by Mia Maltz. Armed with more knowledge and an even deeper passion for fungi, John movedback  to the Catskills to his grandfather's farm and joined the Mid-Hudson Mycological Association. Inspired by his days with the Westchester Mycology Club, John set about building community and eventually became Association President. Catskill Fungi was born as another way for John to share knowledge and form community around a love of mushrooms via presentations, workshops and mushroom walks. Learning about how fungi improves our health, John mastered a triple extraction technique for making medicinal mushroom tinctures of the highest quality and even teaches others how to do the exact same process. Catskill Fungi now provides an assortment of medicinal mushroom tinctures made from local, foraged and organically-grown mushrooms like lions mane, reishi, chaga and turkey tail. Why does John feel its so critical to teach these skills to others even if it means selling less of his own products? 

Hearing John's story and his commitment to fungi moves us all to action and we'll feel the call of those immortal words of Gary Lincoff to, "Quit your job and dedicate your life to mushrooms!" Mushrooms and fungi are a key tool to improve humanity's outlook into the future. By pairing with fungi we all can pursue a life work that improves the community, the environment, and our personal health. It's easier than you think - you don't even need to quit your job! We'll become the extra-radical mycelia, reaching out beyond whats comfortable and transform the planet for the better! 

Episode Resources 
Catskill Fungi IG: 
Catskill Fungi website: 
Mid Hudson Mycological Association: 
Connecticut-Westchester Mycological Association: 
Gary Lincoff: 
Violet Tooth Polypore (Mushroom): 
Phaeocalicium polyporaeum (Mushroom): 
Amazon MycoRenewal: 
Mushroom Shed:

Aug 05, 2020
Ep. 30: Leah Mycelia - Making Friends with Mushrooms, Mycoheterotrophs & Slime Molds (feat. Leah Bendlin)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are graced by the presence of Leah Bendlin AKA Leah Mycelia. For anyone on Instagram or Facebook, you will know Leah for her near-encyclopedic knowledge of wild macrofungi, some of their underappreciated fungal brethren and even their distant cousins, the infamous slime molds. 

On our way to visiting her myceliated domain of Portland, OR we make a stop in Leah's home state of Wisconsin to learn a little from Leah's Dad - a biology teacher who was a huge early influence in Leah's exploration of nature. As she explored her own relationship with nature and her quest for more delicious wild things to eat, Leah discovered mushrooms and became obsessed with these enigmatic organisms. Her love of food is still at the core of her mushroom obsession. To date, she has eaten an unbelievable 252 species of mushroom! What are some delicious edibles that we don't even know about?   

As she has continued to develop her mycological repetoire, Leah has been able to tap into the extensive fungal community both in-person and online. Whether it's Facebook mushroom identification groups or local mycology clubs we'll feel the mush love and expand our knowledge exponentially. As citizen scientists have increasing access to vast amounts of information, the line between the professional and amateur scientist begins to blur. How do these communities overlap in practicing science and furthering the study of mycology?

Branching out beyond the confines of kingdom fungi, Leah will introduce us to some distant relations that either rely on fungal organisms or resemble them - Mycohetertrophic plants and the infamous Slime Molds! Mycoheterotrophic plants rely on the nutrient-sharing mycorrhizal fungal networks that connect 95% of land plants together. Are these plants strictly parasitic or do they offer some benefit to the fungi? Few people are as passionate about slime molds as Leah and she will demystify these single-celled eukaryotic organisms. Even though many of us associate them with fungi, slime molds evolutionary lineage shows they actually have less in common with fungi than we do! Due to their unique physiology and behavior, slime molds are frequently used in scientific research. What kind of unique clues about non-human learning and brain-free intelligence do slime molds reveal to us?

Episode Resources
Leah Bendlin (IG page):   
Disciotis Venosa (mushroom):   
Geopora Cooperi (mushroom):   
Cortinarius Caperatus (mushroom):   
Alden Dirks (Collaborator):   
Alison Pollack (Collaborator):   
Sarah Lloyd (Collaborator):   
Myxomycetes - A Handbook of Slime Molds (book):   

Jul 29, 2020
Ep. 29: Researching the Mysteries of the Mycorrhizal Network (feat. Professor Tom Bruns)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are honored to be joined by Professor Tom Bruns of the UC Berkeley Dept. of Plant & Microbial Biology. Tom’s primary focus has been fungal ecology, and most of his work in this area has been at the community ecology or autecology levels. 

The Professor breaks down some fundamentals about the study of ecosystems before he pushes us into the deep end or exploring one of his most researched subjects and one of the most ecologically relevant organisms on the planet - mycorrhizal fungi. It is impossible to overstate the importance of mycorrhizal networks. Ever since plants came out of the nutrient soup that is the ocean, they have enlisted the aid of fungal allies to survive and gather nutrients from the soil. Between the 2 main types, arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) and ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi, mycorrhizal fungi connect almost all plants on Earth into their nutrient-exchanging networks. But what are the differences between these groupings of mycorrhizal fungi? What, if any evidence, do we have of their evolutionary history?   

Much of Tom's research has focused on the ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi that dominate the temperate forests that many of us are familiar with in the United States. Walking us through the findings of his years of research, it becomes clear that our temperate forests cannot thrive or expand without EM fungi leading the way in colonizing new soil and partnering with new tree seedlings. With loads of EM players involved, and many lacking a big showy mushroom, there is still plenty of mystery when it comes to how mycorrhizal fungi establish themselves and reproduce. We learn about some of the factors that may contribute to successful propagation between different species and quickly come face to face with some of the burning questions when it comes to EM fungi - Why do the most desirable EM fungi like porcini and chanterelle spring up where they do? Is it possible to purposely inoculate trees and cultivate our favorite culinary mushrooms?? Is the ever-mysterious morel mushroom a mycorrhizal fungi?   

With the aid of ever-advancing sampling technology, we have a better picture than ever of what is going on in the mycorrhizal realm. Tom's lab has been on the forefront of using these cutting-edge technologies to piece together more and more information. As he continually trains amazing scientists to further the study of mycorrhizal relationships, Tom's own work has shifted to focus on how fungi recolonize areas devastated by wildfires. What role do fungi play in helping ecosystems rebound from fire? We wrap up our conversation learning about an infamous ectomycorrhizal fungi, the amanita phalloides or deathcap mushroom, in the context of cutting-edge research from his grad student Catharine Adams.   
Thanks for listening and Mush Love!   

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour

Music by: Ancient Baby (   
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano (   

Episode Resources
Professor Tom Bruns (profile and research papers):   
Tomentella Spore Dispersal via Soil Food Webs (paper):   
Catharine Adams (graduate student):   

Jul 22, 2020
Ep. 28: Fungi Foundation - How to Save the World by Protecting & Promoting Fungi (feat. Giuliana Furci)

This week on Mushroom Hour we are grateful for the opportunity to speak with our guest Giuliana Furci. Giuliana is founder and president of the Fungi Foundation and has been the greatest advocate for the study and protection of the Fungi Kingdom in recent decades in the country of Chile. She managed to make Chile the first country in the world to include fungi in its environmental impact assessment legislation. 

Giuliana's upbringing took her across the Atlantic as her family fled political persecution, but she returned to Chile as a young adult. Already armed with a passion for fungi, Giuliana made a life-changing decision to forgo studying abroad and instead would try to invigorate the mycological tradition in a largely mycophobic nation that did not have any avenues for studying fungi. That brave decision, and her perseverance in her mission to study fungi, has forever changed her country. 

After years of self-taught and self-led field mycology work documenting Chile's fungi, Giuliana founded The Fungi Foundation - the first NGO on Earth to be dedicated to promoting the knowledge, appreciation and protection of fungi. The Foundation has now expanded and supports many projects in Chile, but the biggest effort they have undertaken is their work in changing legislation to protect fungi. Giuliana and her team seized an opportunity to change environmental laws and implement a regulatory and enforcement framework that mandates all building projects in Chile must include an analysis of how they will impact local fungi populations, in addition to plants and animals. Chile is now the only country in the world that specifically protects fungi in its environmental legislation. How did they achieve this historical milestone? How does the shift from identifying "flora and fauna" to "flora, fauna and funga" fundamentally change our ecological perspectives as a society? 

Leaving the halls of government, we'll try to keep up with Giuliana as she traverses the country for months at a time, hoping to coincide with the appearance of mushrooms. From the Atacama desert to the mountains of the Patagonia, Chile's unique geography makes for an incredible amount of unexplored biodiversity, especially when it comes to fungi! We'll learn to never underestimate the power of an encounter with a fungus and Giuliana will educate us on the proper steps to scientifically document mushrooms we find in the wild. 

Thanks for listening and Mush Love!   

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour

Music by: Ancient Baby (   
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano (   

Episode Resources
Fungi Foundation Website:   
Calvatia Family (Mushroom):   
Mushrooms of the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada (Book):   
Mushrooms of California (Book):   
Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast (Book):   

Jul 15, 2020
Ep. 27: MushRoaming - Yartsa Gunbu Cordyceps of Tibet & Amazon Adventures (feat. Daniel Winkler)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are blessed to have the opportunity to interview Daniel Winkler. Daniel has been organizing mushroom focused eco-adventures across the world since 2007. His research on different species of Cordyceps has been featured in The Economist, National Geographic, New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, BBC World Service and more.

Emerging from the deep, Bavarian forests we meet a young Daniel who was foraging steinpilz (boletus edulis) when he was only 3-years-old! His academic studies saw him working on environmental and ecological issues and a sequence of synchronicity found him pursuing this work in Tibet. While he applied his training to benefit Tibetan communities, he soon found himself ensconced by the mysterious and highly-prized Yartsa Gunbu - the Tibetan catepillar fungus. We know this mushroom in the West as Ophiocordyceps Sinesis.

Daniel was one of the first westerners to deeply explore this famous zombie mushroom in the 1990's. Daniel will explain the unique ecology of the Ophiocordyceps Sinesis and why "CS-4", the strain that has been widely used in labs for testing medicinal properties and growing medicinal supplements, is likely not true ophiocordyceps sinesis! His fascinating research focused not only the physiology of the fungus, but also the history and ethnomycological implications of its use in Tibetan and Chinese culture. What profound economic impacts has the collection of Yartsa Gunbu had on the people of Tibet? How has this fungus had a massive influence in the diplomatic relations between Tibet and China for centuries?

Vicarious adventure abounds as we join a MushRoaming ecotour and experience the hunt for Yartsa Gunbu for ourselves. This pursuit of cordyceps then continues into the Amazon where an explosion of tropical biodiversity means we find a vastly more diverse collection of cordyceps species, including many that are unknown to science. What are any applications of these cordyceps species that can be found in the Amazon? Are there medicinal benefits that are yet to be discovered?

Thanks for listening and Mush Love!   

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour

Music by: Ancient Baby (   
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano (   

Episode Resources
MushRoaming website:
Yartsa Gunbu:

Jul 08, 2020
Ep. 26: Entangled Life - How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures (feat. Merlin Sheldrake)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the pleasure of speaking with Merlin Sheldrake, author of the groundbreaking fungal narrative, Entangled Life. Merlin is a biologist and a writer with a background in plant sciences, microbiology, ecology, and the history and philosophy of science. He received a Ph.D. in tropical ecology from Cambridge University for his work on underground fungal networks in tropical forests in Panama.   

Our voyage begins in the fertile jungles of Panama, teeming with biodiversity of all kinds. It's here that we find Merlin studying mycoheterotrophic plants and unlocking the secrets of the seemingly infinite web of mycelium that skeins out underneath the forest floor. His work in Panama captures our imaginations and peels up the edges of many key concepts that pop up again and again through the pages of his book.   

It becomes apparent that as our collective understandings of ecology and biology advance, we can no longer examine organisms in a vacuum, without understanding their complex relationships. Fungi so easily embrace this "intimacy of strangers" and have a seemingly unparalleled ability to form entangled relationships with other living things. Why are fungi in particular such potent scions of symbiosis?   

Riding tips of hyphae through rotscapes and the wood wide web, we'll marvel at the paradox of mycelium-based intelligence - living labyrinths that are seemingly processing information everywhere at once, and nowhere in particular. It is able to make decisions, it recognizes the limits of its physical form and it can adapt to changing circumstances, all without the help of a brain. Do analogies relating mycelium structures to our own brains aid or hinder our understanding of them? Why should we be careful when we examine fungi through an anthropocentric lens?   

Human society has been perpetually guided by fungal influences - both in our physical relationships with them and in the stories we tell about them. When we imbibe or ingest fungi, we participate in this ancient relationship as the fungal consciousness influences our human experience. And whether it was psychedelic entheogens that opened up doors of perception or invisible yeasts that magically created bread, beer or wine, the myths and rituals we developed around fungi also shaped the course of civilizations. How will fungi continue to influence the course of humankind? Where can we find hope in fungal solutions to human problems?   

Our wizened, fungal wizard Merlin beckons us to descend into the earth and find communion with our favorite, more-than-human organisms on their terms - and learn something about ourselves in the process.   

Thanks for listening and Mush Love!   

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour

Music by: Ancient Baby (   
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano (   

Episode Resources
Merlin Sheldrake's website:   
Merlin Sheldrake's IG:   
Entangled Life (Book):

Jul 01, 2020
Ep. 25: Sweden's Legends, Myths, Magicks and Mushrooms (feat. Saga Mariah Sandberg)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are excited to interview Saga Mariah Sandberg. Saga Mariah is an accomplished artist whose work focuses on mushrooms and other natural subjects. Her work has been described as authentic, beguiling, captivating and, perhaps above all, a beautifully curated celebration of Sweden’s natural systems.   

In this second part of our two-part interview, Saga will be our guide through the folklore, myths and legends of Sweden. This epic journey starts with a brief introduction to the indigenous Sami people, whose tribes inhabited polar regions across Europe and Asia. We quickly come face to face with everyone's favorite pirate traders - the Vikings. Best known for their fierce warriors, their clans of elite fighters who donned bear-skins and wolf-skins are the origin of the English words "berserker" and "werewolf". There is a legend that Viking berserkers used the delirium-inducing amanita muscaria to fuel their rage prior to battle - but is it true?   

Continuing our journey through time, we'll see that the peoples of Sweden have always sought the aid of shamans to access higher realms of consciousness. One of the most powerful spiritual conduits were master witches known as valas or völvas. These female mystics channeled spiritual power by performing a sejd (trance-inducing chant) and calling upon the aid of one's haugen (spirit or soul) with the help of a women's circle, a drum and a staff. Did entheogens or mushrooms play any role in the practices or powers of these wise women?   

Attuning with the realms beyond our own, we commune with spirit animals and spirit guardians and then dive into the realm of the Vaesen. The Vaesen is another dimension that is the domain of otherworldly beings including trolls, fairies and mushrooms! These spirits feature prominently in Swedish myths and their influence persists to this day. Because non-bracket mushrooms were considered of the Vaesen domain, they were avoided as "troll food" by ancient Swedes. Luckily this has completely reversed in more recent times as Swedes have begun to deify the mushroom! These ancient myths, folk tales and spiritual concepts we discuss echo through many parts of our modern society and still live on in modern Swedish culture and language.   

Thanks for listening and Mush Love!   

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour

Music by: Ancient Baby (   
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano (   

Episode Resources   
Saga-Mariah's Art & Illustration Website:   
Saga-Mariah IG:     
Vaesen Reading:  

Jun 26, 2020
Ep. 24: Saga Mariah Flora - Illustrating Biology & Sweden's Enchanting Mushrooms (feat. Saga Mariah Sandberg)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are excited to interview Saga Mariah Sandberg. Saga Mariah is an accomplished artist whose work focuses on mushrooms and other natural subjects. Her work has been described as authentic, beguiling, captivating and, perhaps above all, a beautifully curated celebration of Sweden’s natural systems.   

In this first part of our two-part interview, we travel to the beautiful Varmland region of Sweden, the land that our artist Saga Mariah calls home. We'll experience life on her family's farm through the curious & rebellious eyes of young Saga. This wild environment and her bold nature as a child led young Saga to develop a lifelong fascination with insects, plants, animals and of course fungi!

We'll venture deep into the woods and explore ancestral mushroom forage grounds that have been passed down from generation to generation - sometimes for hundreds of years. Like the forage patches themselves, Saga's mother passed down her knowledge of foraging to Saga when she was old enough to walk! This type of fungi hunting lineage is found throughout Sweden and it helps us understand how deeply ingrained foraging is in the culture. But how did an ancient cultural fear of all mushrooms eventually transition into such an intimate relationship with them?

Throughout the enchanting, winding paths of our conversation, we witness Saga's development as an artist. As a child discovering her natural talents, to her first art exhibit at 11 years old, through an academic career in design to her current work as a freelance illustrator and designer, she has blazed her own trail. She now produces amazing works rendering wild mushrooms and ecological biotopes with a captivating, "saturated" style that is all her own. We'll see her mission to educate with her ecological art come full circle as her works are showcased in Sweden's most well-known natural history museum. How does an artist find their own voice in both the composition, production and distribution of their art?

Thanks for listening and Mush Love!   

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour

Music by: Ancient Baby (   
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano (   

Episode Resources   
Saga-Mariah's Art & Illustration Website:   
Saga-Mariah IG:     
Violet Cortinarius:   
Varmland, Sweden:    

Jun 24, 2020
Ep. 23: Malama Mushrooms - Powering The Hawaiian Mycoflora Project (feat. Ben Lillibridge)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the blessing to interview Benjamin Lillibridge. Benjamin is the founder of Big Island based Mālama Mushrooms, a business focused on bringing superfood mushroom extracts to the masses for immunity, brain health, and energy support.   

This week's journey takes us to the Big Island of Hawaii - one of the most unique biomes on the planet. With Ben as our guide, we'll take a tropical tour through the fungal landscape of the Big Island, including a look at some of Hawaii's endemic fungi. We'll learn how a mission to catalog Hawaii's fungi was sparked during a Radical Mycology community gathering that inspired him to found the Hawaii Mycoflora project with Jeff Stahlman and secure grant funding. What kinds of unique fungi are endemic to Hawaii? How does the relatively young geography of the islands play a role in fungal populations?    

Ben has a rich background in agriculture and food systems, with years spent working on permaculture farms and with value-added food products. He has been able to leverage his knowledge and talents to found a medicinal mushroom company that employs ethical sourcing to deliver high-quality mushroom supplements. Staying true to his own integrity and love of fungi, Ben has been able to use his company's success as a platform. He plans to use the growth of Mālama Mushrooms to fund the creation of vertically integrated medicinal mushroom supply chains in Hawaii and fund his mycoflora research.    

We wrap up our conversation talking about Ben's work with the Clarity Project - an Oahu-based organization that hopes to create a conversation around the classification of psilocybin-containing mushrooms as medicinal substances. How important is it for people to share their psychedelic experiences as a community and how can that lead to safer practices when it comes to engaging with entheogens?    

Thanks for listening and Mush Love!    

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour

Music by: Ancient Baby   
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano   

Episode Resources   
Hawaii Mycoflora Project on iNaturalist:   
Mālama Mushrooms IG:   
Mālama Mushrooms Website:   
The Clarity Project:

Jun 17, 2020
Ep. 22: Fungi Academy - Sacred Mycology & Transformational Community in Guatemala (feat. Oliver Merivee)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are excited to interview Oliver Merivee. Oliver is the co-founder of the Fungi Academy, a paradigm-shifting community and a sacred mycology school in Guatemala, located on the magical Lake Atitlán.

Pack your bags and open your mind as we go on a world-spanning journey from Oliver's native Estonia over to Australia, hitchhiking across Mexico and winding up in Guatemala. His travels have given him a unique perspective on the human experience and the value of service to others. It can be liberating to take on the role of penniless traveler and rely on your faith in the Universe and synchronicity to provide what you need and take you where you need to go.

Everyone has felt the allure of idyllic communes or intentional communities at one time or another. We get the chance to be part of the tribe at Fungi Academy and hear about how their community operates. Oliver has visited many communities throughout his journey and has been able to absorb invaluable insights from each. He has held space with elders and seen what makes an intentional community thrive. What are the most important pillars of intentional communities that help them stand the test of time? How do intentional communities achieve symbiosis with their surrounding environment and help build more resilient societies?

We wrap things up with an expansive conversation about plant medicines and psychoactive mushrooms. The anecdotal evidence and growing scientific body of knowledge is offering hope that powerful therapies for the body, mind and spirit lie within our grasp. Responsible use of these natural substances encouraged Oliver to seek knowledge all over the world and Fungi Academy may not exist without their influence. How can we learn to use sacred mushrooms to help us embody principles of self-love and service to others?

Thanks for listening and Mush Love!   

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour

Music by: Ancient Baby   
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano   

Episode Resources
Fungi Academy Sacred Mycology Courses:
Fungi Academy IG:
Fungi Academy Website:
Intentional Communities:

Jun 09, 2020
Ep. 21: Mycosymbiote - Cordyceps, Citizen Science & Systemic Change (feat. William Padilla-Brown)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the extraordinary honor of interviewing William Padilla-Brown. Founder of MycoSymbiotics, William is a social entrepreneur, citizen scientist, mycologist, amateur 'phychologist', urban shaman, writer, you-tube vlogger, contributing editor for Fungi magazine, researcher, poet, and father. 

Venturing into the woods of Pennsylvania, we'll train our eyes to go foraging for wild cordyceps with a man who has played a major role in popularizing the cultivation of this zombie mushroom. William walks us through some of the fundamental biochemistry of this fiery fruit body including the compounds in cordyceps that make them world-renowned medicinal fungi. While reviewing some well-known compounds like the adenosine-derivative cordycepin, Will also shines light on some lesser-known compounds like cordynin. How much of cordyceps' medicinal potential has yet to be researched and uncovered? How many different species are there and do cordycep species besides C. Sinesis and C. Militaris show promise in terms of their use as medicinals?   

As a non-traditional educator and YouTube-university graduate, Will's journey has always involved novel methodologies when it comes to spreading scientific information across communities. We'll hear about his work in the lab and how he has given others the tools to practice the scientific method in their own home. Exploring the growing citizen science ecosystem, we'll glimpse a vision of a not-too-distant future where a decentralized network of home labs and community-based labs work together to push science forward. Can the application of models like community-based science and permaculture be enough to help manifest a better world? Is there an opportunity for a new, conscious generation to participate in what may be perceived as "broken" or "outdated" institutions to effectively subvert the dominant paradigm and create lasting, positive change?   

We wrap up our chat talking about POC involvement in the mycological and citizen science communities. Inclusion is critical and everyone needs to be exposed to this life-changing information. What are some ways event organizers and mycology clubs can engage with POC communities?   

Thanks for listening and Mush Love!   

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour 

Music by: Ancient Baby   
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano   

Episode Resources 
Mycosymbiote IG:   
William Padilla-Brown Facebook:   
Mycosymbiotics Shop:   
Globifomes Graveolens:   

May 27, 2020
Ep. 20: Yellow Elanor - Sharing a Love of Mushrooms with Self, Family, Community and the World (feat. Rachel Zoller)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the pleasure of speaking with Rachel Zoller. Under her moniker, Yellow Elanor, she has become a pillar in the online mushroom education community. She teaches classes and speaks at mycological events across the Pacific Northwest.   

We trek up to the wilds of BZ Corner, Washington to start exploring the forest floor with our master myco-educator! Rachel will guide us through the basics of mushroom identification, including the importance of engaging all of our senses in the process. We'll smell all the mushrooms we find, play with them and really experience the essence of these fungal treasures that we are seeking to understand.   

As an educator and someone who spreads the love of fungi into her community she'll illustrate how, when it comes to mushrooms and the 50-year old science of mycology, passion is enough to put an amateur in a place to make a real impact. We'll also get comfortable coming out of our shell to engage mycology clubs and the local mushroom community and watch our learning accelerate exponentially.     

As one of the most important roles she takes on, Rachel is the mother of two little mycophiles. For all you parents out there, she shares some invaluable advice when it comes to taking the little ones out mushroom hunting. How can your children, and your family dynamic, benefit from foraging for mushrooms together? How do you make sure mushrooms don't end up in a pocket or a basket that shouldn't be there?   

Thanks for listening and Mush Love!   

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour 

Music by: Ancient Baby   
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano   

Episode Resources  
Yellow Elanor IG:   
Yellow Elanor YouTube:   
Yellow Elanor Website:   
Mycena haematopus:   
Hericium abietis:  

May 20, 2020
Ep. 19: Fascinated by Fungi - Foraged Cuisine, Science Communication & the Hidden Universe of Yeast (feat. Dr. Gordon Walker)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the honor of speaking with the distinguished Dr. Gordon Walker. Gordon boasts a Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology from UC Davis and has had a passion for wild mushroom hunting that began at the tender age of 5.

Traveling to Napa County California, the heart of US wine country, we'll learn about the amazing powers of yeast, a fungi you may not even know is a fungi! We'll get a window from an expert into the complex, hidden ecosystem that is active on the microscopic level and the sequences of ecological succession at work that are responsible for some of humanity's most cherished culinary inventions - bread, wine and beer. How do yeasts actually power the different fermentation processes of wine, beer, kombucha and others? And how are yeasts, and fungi more broadly, being used to create the future of alternative proteins?

With his talent of communicating scientific information in a very digestible form, Gordon helps us understand some technical points when it comes to kingdom fungi. What are the differences between the two major fungi groupings of basidiomycota and ascomycota? How are species more fluid of a grouping system than we may think when it comes to fungi? What can fungi populations in general tell us about biodiversity and divergent evolution?

After we go out foraging for some of his favorite mushrooms, we get into the kitchen and learn some secrets from this Instagram and Tik Tok superstar about cooking with mushrooms. Gordon breaks down some basic principles of heat, moisture and fat content that we can all utilize that will turn our wild foraged finds into homemade delicacies.

Thanks for listening and Mush Love!   

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour 

Music by: Ancient Baby   
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano 

Episode Resources  
Fascinated by Fungi IG:
Fascinated by Fungi website:
Fascinated by Fungi Tik Tok:

May 13, 2020
Ep. 18: Breakfast of Champignonz - Exploring Nature as Therapy, Mushroom Taxonomy & Etymology (feat. Anna Henning)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the wonderful occasion of speaking with Anna Henning. She has been hunting fungi in the woods of central Massachusetts and eastern Connecticut for over 5 years, gathering edible and medicinal mushrooms along with knowledge, and friends along the way.

In the sleepy town of Cape Cod we'll meet a passionate self-taught mycology, taxonomist and etymologist named Anna, but you can call her "Breakfast". We wander the forests, with plenty of canine company, searching for mushrooms and also benefiting from some innate, therapeutic effects. Our culture is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of mental health and how each of us accumulates degrees of trauma and anxiety. Anna will use her knowledge of psychology to relate the feeling of connection we feel out in nature to tangibly improving mental health. Can our experiences in nature help us to heal the parts of ourselves that need it most? How does a relationship with nature intertwine with our modern psychological understanding of concepts like "attachment theory"?

Entering the domain of "binomial nomenclature", we'll cover the basics of scientific taxonomy and how the interlocking structure from "kingdom" down to "species" works. This leads us to in-depth exploration of etymology, the study of the origin of words and language. We'll hear some particularly intriguing, amusing and insightful examples of different fungi and how their names were derived. How did Greek helmets made from weasel-skin become the basis for  naming a mushroom? How does an understanding of etymology provide us a sense of connection?

Thanks for listening and Mush Love!   

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour 

Music by: Ancient Baby   
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano 

Episode Resources 
Breakfast of Champignonz IG:
Gyroporus Cyanescens:
Exsudoporus Frostii:
Calostoma Cinnabarinum:

May 06, 2020
Ep. 17: Corvidopolis - Art, Nature & The Mysteries of the Mushroom Tarot (feat. Chris Adams)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are excited to chat with Chris Adams - illustrator & print-maker from Corvallis, Oregon. Chris is the driving force behind Corvidopolis, an art & apparel company, and he is the creator of The Mushroom Tarot.

We'll gather our gear and hike through vast tracts of old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest to see how Chris transformed from an aspiring architect into a mushroom-obsessed artist. His own personal journey into mycology became an inspiration for the stunning art and graphic apparel that he creates today. We'll learn about how he started his business as an artist and screen-printer. And we'll even discover the artistic influences that helped create the unique Corvidopolis style that blends a love of nature with a healthy heaping of weird.

Chris' newest project is creating a full-color, 81-card mushroom-themed Tarot deck. The system of tarot is an ancient one that has seen many interpretations over the centuries. From the earliest cards passed along the Silk Road to the renowned Rider-Waite deck and more modern interpretations, the symbolism of the tarot has always found deep resonance with the many archetypes of human experience. Kingdom fungi also shows up symbolically throughout human history in art. We'll learn about this modern mycophile's journey of crafting his own understanding of the tarot system and the process of selecting fungal iconography that can invoke the same energies of the classic major and minor arcana. How does one find their own authentic path when crafting a new interpretation of a system that has such a revered and ancient history?

Be sure to support the Mushroom Tarot Kickstarter:

Thanks for listening and Mush Love!   

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour 

Music by: Ancient Baby   
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano 

Episode Resources 
Corvidopolis Website:
Mushroom Tarot Website:
Corvidopolis IG:
Mushroom Tarot IG:

Apr 29, 2020
Ep. 16: Scotland's Wild Food Stories - Pioneering Research on the Culture of Foraging (feat. Leanne Townsend)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the wondrous opportunity to interview Leanne Townsend. Leanne is the founder of Wild Food Stories which sees her leading a variety of courses, workshops and events throughout the year in Aberdeenshire, and throughout Scotland.

Let's travel to rural Scotland and hop from birch tree to birch tree finding beautiful golden chanterelles. We'll experience living and foraging in rural Scotland and then look more broadly at the wild food landscape across the UK. We'll also join the Association of Foragers and see the culture coalescing around wild foods. How is foraging culture viewed in the UK? What are the conversations surrounding forage culture and the opposing viewpoints?

Leanne is also an academic professional leading research with the James Hutton Institute. This role sees her analyze many dynamics effecting rural communities, including wild food! One of her new paths of research has given her the opportunity to examine different viewpoints in and about the wild food community. She aims to produce academic research on different foraging subcultures and foraging practices present in the UK, beyond just their economic impact. What are some of the questions her research is looking at? How can this research on foraging bring people together around an appreciation for nature?

Thanks for listening and Mush Love!   

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour 

Music by: Ancient Baby   
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano 

Episode Resources 
Wild Food Stories IG: 
Wild Food Stories Website:
James Hutton Institute:

Apr 22, 2020
Ep. 15: The Art of the Mushroom - Spirituality, Myth and Psychedelia (feat. Michael Campbell)

Today on Mushroom Hour we chat with my good friend, talented artist and fellow mycophile Michael Campbell. Michael is a sculptural artist based in the San Francisco bay area whose work explores our connection to the mysterious fungi kingdom. Be sure to visit the links below for information on his upcoming shows!

Join us as we enter the mind and studio of Michael Campell. Michael's fungi sculptures are colorful and mysterious, centering around mushrooms like amanita muscaria and psilocybe cubensis. We explore the inspiration for his evocative work and how he makes these incredibly realistic sculptures. Like branches of an oak tree, his body of work winds in different directions and the symbolism and inspiration for each is unique. From dome-worlds and teacup universes to mushroom-adorned Judeo-Christian statues, his genuine reverence for mushrooms shines through. 

The deep dive is inevitable as we discuss the artist's relationship with psychedelic mushrooms. How has the psilocybin experience inspired his current body of artwork, and more broadly his relationship with nature? The connections mushrooms have with spirituality, religious myths and death are evident through history, usually with evidence passed down through artwork. Michael's own work is certainly a channel that makes manifest the very same symbolism and themes that mushrooms seem to evoke.

Thanks for listening and Mush Love!   

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour 

Music by: Ancient Baby   
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano   

Episode Resources 
Michael Campbell IG: 
Corey Helford Gallery - Fantastical Beasts Show: 
Michael Campbell at Modern Eden: 
(BOOK) John Allegro - The Sacred Mushroom and The Cross: 
(REF) Plaincourault Chapel - Amanita Fresco:

Apr 18, 2020
Ep. 14: Decriminalize CA - Decriminalizing Psilocybin, Protecting Democracy (feat. William Goss)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the privilege of interviewing William Goss. William graduated with a B.S. in Plant Genetics from UC Davis, with a Fungal Biology and Ecology minor. He has taken a passion for mycology and turned it into an impressive and multifaceted career. In this interview, we focus on his efforts as an activist leader for the "Decriminalize California" organization. If you live in California, please see the links below to support Decriminalize CA and/or support their united effort to reform California's legislative process and defend citizen initiatives.

Join us on a trip to the sunny shores of California on the front lines of psilocybin mushroom decriminalization. We'll dive deep into the statewide legislative initiative currently being championed by Decriminalize CA. William will help us define what decriminalization really means and the reasoning behind the idea that psilocybin mushrooms should be decriminalized. We'll walk through arguments against decriminalizing psychoactive substances while also exploring the repercussions of the current drug war and prohibition. We even touch on the current clinical research on psilocybin as a therapeutic and if those efforts are mutually exclusive from decriminalization.

City councils of Santa Cruz and Oakland have passed resolutions that decriminalize various entheogenic plants and fungi - but are there still legal repercussions for possessing these substances? What is the importance and power of pursuing a statewide legislative initiative? How can the different decriminalize movements work together to achieve change?

As our conversation continues, we actually uncover a huge roadblock for citizen participation in government. California requires that any citizen group who wants to have a new legislative initiative put up for vote, must gather signatures from their fellow citizens "in-person". It seems that our civic processes have not caught up to the digital age and in the era of COVID-19, this deficiency could severely hinder our rights as citizens to effect change within our state government. This interview is a great discussion of the modern movements surrounding psilocybin mushrooms and also an important call to action for every citizen to make sure we preserve our civil liberties and citizen initiatives.

Thanks for listening and Mush Love!   

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour 

Music by: Ancient Baby   
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano   

Episode Resources   
Decriminalize CA IG:
Decriminalize CA Website:
** to Legalize Digital Signatures for Citizen-Led Legislative Initiatives**:

Apr 15, 2020
Ep. 13: Natura Design - Building a Better World with Mushroom Materials (feat. Ashley Granter)

Today on Mushroom Hour, we have the exciting opportunity to chat with Ashley Granter, ecological designer and co-founder of Natura Design.

Let's hop into Ashley's mobile mycology lab and get out in the woods. We'll got foraging for mushrooms, but instead of edibles we'll be looking for specimens that show potential to be used as a myco-material. Mushrooms are like witches & wizards of the forest, spewing forth an incredible array of chemicals that give them amazing properties. What do we look for in mushrooms that might be useful as a material? How do the properties of a mushroom fruit body translate to its mycelium?

We'll see how Natura's team uses mycelium to digest industrial waste streams and transform them into beautiful products. What are some of the practical applications of mycelium as a material - what can we make with it?! From consumer products to building materials to even far-out applications like circuitry, the possibilities seem endless. We wrap up with discussions of the future, including the importance of open source knowledge that allows more and more people to explore these exciting new fields of bio-design and bio-materials. Collaboration, creative thinking and not being afraid to try new things can lead to some amazing discoveries and expand the limits of what's possible.

Thanks for listening and Mush Love!   

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour 

Music by: Ancient Baby   
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano   

Episode Resources   
Natura Design IG:
Natura Design:

Apr 08, 2020
Ep. 12: Wholesun - Empowering the Medicinal Mushroom Industry, Shaping the Future (feat. Jme Bonfiglio)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the wonderful opportunity to interview Jme Bonfiglio, medicinal mushroom evangelist and founder of Wholesun Wellness.   

Our conversation begins as Jme lifts the veil and leads us through the vast landscape of medicinal mushrooms. Her own journey began with powerful healing experiences using chaga mushrooms. She soon found herself working with Paul Stamets himself in the heart of the US medicinal mushroom industry. 

We'll ask some big questions at the center of the "Shroom Boom" and see behind the scenes. Where are all the medicinal mushrooms coming from? How do you maintain integrity through the whole supply chain? Are the mushrooms being imported truly the potent medicines that manufacturers (and consumers) think they're buying? What are the standards when it comes to measuring compounds and general testing of medicinal mushrooms? 

Beyond just making high-integrity supplements, Jme aims to change the 'shroom supply chain game. This starts with hands-on, responsible sourcing and ultimately manifests in her ambitious plan to build a huge medicinal mushroom farm, testing and processing facility in the heart of Utah. Her goal is to help create a decentralized network of domestic producers that can meet the exploding mushroom demand and bolster economies around the country. 

And that's just the beginning! Hear more miraculous tales of the works wrought by this mushroom maven - fungi inventions that may stem the tide of endless plastic waste, promising therapeutic research being sponsored in Mexico that focuses specifically on psilocybin mushroom fruit bodies and an inaugural Utah Fungi Festival. Her passion for mushrooms is palpable and the scope of her projects is inspiring.   

Thanks for listening and Mush Love!   

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour 

Music by: Ancient Baby   
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano   

Episode Resources   
Wholesun Wellness IG:   
Wholesun Wellness:   
Utah Fungi Fest:   

Apr 01, 2020
Ep. 11: Masterclass in Transforming Ecology with Soil Biology & Mycoremediation (feat. Craig Trester)

On this episode of Mushroom Hour, we have the honor of interviewing Craig Trester of MYC.NYC.   

Strap yourself in for a mind-blowing conversation as Craig walks us through a veritable masterclass in soil biology and the soil food web, including the interactions of fungi and other microorganisms. He shares the secrets of working with the passive systems of nature to regenerate our environment through bio-remediation and myco-remediation. The constant theme is that everything starts with the cultivation of healthy, life-rich soil. How does fungi work with other microorganisms to create healthy soil? How can healthy soil kick-start a restoration of its surrounding ecosystem? What are the steps and ingredients in creating healthy soil?   

Taking this knowledge into the heart of New York City, we'll see how Craig is inspiring the next generation of young minds with an appreciation of mycology and soil science. We'll journey into creeks full of "black mayonnaise" and witness bio-remediation in practice and how the restoration of healthy soils really can restore an urban environment.     

The knowledge expounded in this interview is like a blueprint for tangible, positive change. The best tool we can give the next generations inheriting the Earth is this compendium of knowledge that can restore our natural ecology and, in so doing, change our social ecology with a shift from a scarcity mindset to a mindset of abundance. 

Thanks for listening and Mush Love!
Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour

Music by: Ancient Baby 
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano

Episode Resources   
Craig Trester IG:   
New York Mycological Society: 
Youtube - Professor Dave Explains: 
Adding Biology - For Soil and Hydroponic Systems (Elaine Ingham & Carol Ann Rollins): 
Teaming with Fungi (Jeff Lowenfels): 
Teaming with Microbes (Jeff Lowenfels): 
Teaming with Nutrients (Jeff Lowenfels): 
Oxford Press: Very Short Introductions:   
Microbia (Eugenia Bone): 
Mycophilia (Eugenia Bone): 
Mycorrhizal Planet (Michael Phillips):   
Mycorrhizal Symbiosis:

Mar 25, 2020
Ep. 10: Mixing Chemistry & Mycology in the Appalachian Rainforest (feat. Mandie Quark)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the joy of interviewing Mandie Quark AKA Mushroom Madman. Mandie is an intriguing blend of artist and scientist who has been completely taken over by mushrooms.   

Our journey takes us to the temperate rainforests of North Carolina - one of the only rainforests in North America. We start our chat with a brief history of Mandie Quark. Her impressive academic career saw her explore pharmacognosy, ethnobotany and eventually receive a Masters Degree in Biochemistry. Mandie made the decision to hang up her academic lab coat in 2018 to pursue an alternative career path centered around mycology with her partner-in-mushrooms, Michael Weese of MushroomLife.   

Our conversation takes us into mushroom foraging, mushroom identification, genetic sequencing of mushrooms how Mandie is sharing her vast knowledge of chemistry to further other citizen scientists' endeavors in the world of mycology. We wrap up talking about her upcoming "Chemistry for Mycologists" classes and an amazing "Rainforest Mycology Convergence" educational bonanza planned for Summer 2020.   

Thanks for listening and Mush Love!   

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour  (@welcome_to_mushroom_hour)   

Music by: Ancient Baby   
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano   

Episode Resources   
Mandie Quark IG: 
Mandie Quark Website: 
Michael Weese IG: 
Michael Weese Website: 
Book - Mushrooms of Northeastern North America: 
Book - Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm: 
Mushroom - Terana Caerulea:  

Mar 24, 2020
Ep. 9: Wild Kingdom - Medicinal Mushrooms, Regenerative Foraging and Spiritual Connection (feat. Neil Thenier)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the privilege of interviewing Mr. Neil Thenier of Wild Kingdom Extracts. Neil is a life-long forager, musician, and an IIN (Institute for Integrative Nutrition) health coach.

Our chat starts with an exploration of the compounds that make both medicinal and gourmet mushrooms such nutritional powerhouses. What are polysaccharides and terpenes and why are they good for us?  Neil’s team at Wild Kingdom creates amazing medicinal mushroom extracts that are optimized to supercharge your body using a dual-extraction method. But what are the differences between dual-extraction, alcohol extraction and hot water extraction and why does it matter? And is there a difference between compounds present in wild mushrooms compared to cultivated mushrooms?

Sustainability in foraging is a hot topic, so let's learn the methods Wild Kingdom uses to source medicinal mushrooms and how to implement some next level ecologically-friendly practices into your own foraging. We wrap up with a little perspective on the priorities of our modern, hyper-commercialized culture and how an explosion of interest in re-wilding is opening new possibilities for us to co-create a brighter future.

Thanks for listening and Mush Love!

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour 

Music by: Ancient Baby
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano

Episode Resources
Wild Kingdom Instagram
Arthur Haines (Research on Potency of Wild Foods)

Mar 18, 2020
Ep. 8: Let Wild Mushrooms & Plants be Thy Medicine (feat. Jess Starwood)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the joy of interviewing Jess Starwood. Jess is a master forager, plant-based chef, teacher, and herbalist with a Masters of Science degree in Herbal Medicine from the American College of Healthcare Sciences. She hosts wild food workshops in Southern California as well as other sites in the Western US and Mexico.

We kick things off with our own observations on how a connection to the natural world aids in balancing in our spiritual, mental and physical health. Then get your forage gear together for a trip into the wild, or maybe even just the backyard, to meet some amazing wild plants and mushrooms.  We'll chat about the nutritional virtues of wild foods that are all around us and how to embody what Jess calls "The Forager's Mindset" - What can we forage from forests (or even situations!) to make things work and tap into the invisible abundance at our fingertips?

Looking at foraging and its growing popularity in the context of a broader ecological framework, foragers are faced with some important questions. Is there enough wild food for everyone to go foraging in places like LA? What are sustainable practices we can be mindful of in picking wild plants and mushrooms? In the effort to manage invasive fungi and plant species, could be the best solution be found in learning how to harness and eat them?

We finish our conversation with a dazzling display of wild food recipes that will leave you feeling inspired.

Thanks for listening and Mush Love!

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour 

Music by: Ancient Baby
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano

Episode Resources
Jess Starwood Instagram 

Mar 11, 2020
Ep. 7: Gnome Life - Wild Mushroom Identification & Exotic Forage Adventures (feat. Tugrul De Luce)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the privilege of interviewing the distinguished Tugrul De Luce, or “Tug” for short. For the last 12 years of his life, he has ventured on an epic journey into the world of fungi. He has traveled into the wilds of North and South America with world famous mycologists, and has explored the frontiers of mushroom identification.

We start our conversation with the principles of wild mushroom identification. How important is a knowledge of trees when foraging and identifying wild mushrooms? What are the physical characteristics that matter most when you're identifying a mushroom? What can we learn from spore prints?

Before you know it, we find ourselves journeying between the jungles of Ecuador, Bolivia and Mexico hunting wild cordyceps and other exotic fungi. We'll hear about Tug's mentors and legends in mycology like Larry Evans and Alan Rockefeller. The conversation wraps up with a look at future projects that include responsibly exploring the therapeutic use of psychedelic mushrooms in Jamaica.

Thanks for listening and Mush Love!

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour 

Music by: Ancient Baby 
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano 

Episode Resources
Two Gnomes
Chester County Mycological Association (Pennsylvania)
Larry Evans
Institute for Psychosomatic Mycophagy 

Mar 04, 2020
Ep. 6: The Lion King - DIY Mycology & Lions Mane Mushrooms (feat. MycTyson Mushrooms)

On this episode of Mushroom Hour, we have the privilege of interviewing the man behind MycTyson Mushrooms. Myc has years of professional mushroom growing experience, founded the community and has spent the past 8 years on his own intensive cultivation and research projects. He's best known for his Hericium erinaceus or lions mane mushrooms!

Our chat starts by diving into the digital to talk about how online communities should provide safe spaces for new mycophiles to learn and grow in their journey of exploring mushroom cultivation. We reveal some sage wisdom and useful resources for those who want to start growing their own mushrooms. What is the most critical thing to have in your toolkit when you decide you want to dive deeper into the world of mushroom growing?

True to his nickname, we enter the lion's den and learn about the medicinal properties of lions mane and Myc's lions mane breeding program. Pulling from 30+ wild strains of this potent medicinal, he hopes to develop a powerful strain that will be a vigorous grower loaded with beneficial compounds (and maybe sporeless!). Finally, we talk about a new book in the works to help everyone grow lions mane and how MycTyson Mushrooms is planning to support mushroom farming efforts in developing countries.

Thanks for listening and Mush Love!

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour

Music by: Ancient Baby
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano

Episode Resources
MycTyson Mushrooms
Mushroom Cultivation by Peter Oei (book)
Fungal Pharmacy by Robert Rogers (book)
Lions Mane Research Articles 

Feb 26, 2020
Ep. 5: Wild Food Foraging & English Folklore with a Freudian Twist (feat. Fern Freud)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the distinct pleasure of interviewing Fern Freud, who comes to us all the way from Southern England. Fern developed her skills as a mushroom forager early in life and has since become a prolific plant forager as well.

With this member of the storied Freud family, we travel to the misty shores of England and explore UK foraging culture. Fern will lead our group through the woods and show us, not only an abundance of wild food, but also the bond that is formed by foraging in community. We'll talk about escaping the low-level stress of modern urban living and how spending time in the forest can recharge your spirit.

We finish the interview with a conversation about the role of folklore in culture and specifically the lore of the land in England. Could folk tales be time capsules of important herbal and medicinal knowledge passed down through the generations?

Thanks for listening and Mush Love!

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour 
Music by: Ancient Baby 

Episode Resources
Foraged by Fern
Lore of the Land (Book)

Feb 19, 2020
Ep. 4: Johns Hopkins Psychedelic Research - The Promise of Psilocybin Therapy (feat. Ian Geithner)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the privilege of interviewing Ian Geithner - a graduate student at the University of Maryland working in the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, under the mentoring hand of Dr. Roland Griffiths.

During our conversation we walk through the hallowed halls of Johns Hopkins into the cutting-edge world of therapeutic psilocybin clinical trials. We'll meet the researchers who have picked up the torch of psychedelic research and are exploring the frontiers of treating mental and emotional disorders like anorexia, depression and Alzheimers.

As a method of treatment, psilocybin shows unique promise to clinical research subjects. What are the physiological effects it has on our brains and how does it work to change the way our consciousness operates? What is the future of this research and are we at the beginning of a renaissance in psychedelic medicine? If these topics spark your interest and you feel a pull to get involved, we talk about opportunities both as a research subject and/or a clinical researcher in this promising field of holistic medicine.

Thanks for listening and Mush Love!

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour 
Music by: Ancient Baby 

Episode Resources
Johns Hopkins Psychedelic Research
Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics and Religious Experiences by Bill Richards
Roland R. Griffiths

Feb 12, 2020
Ep. 3: Community Mycology & Entheogen Decriminalization in San Francisco (feat. James McConchie)

On this episode of Mushroom Hour, we have the honor of interviewing James McConchie, the proprietor of San Francisco's own "Haight Street Shroom Shoppe".  This interview was conducted inside his 'shroom shop in San Francisco.

In this chat we go under the hood into the world of DIY mycology and learn about growing our own mushrooms. We'll try our hand at community building and see how a physical space where mycophiles can gather and explore their passion for mycology can be a positive influence on any community.

We also talk politics and learn about the decriminalization movements of entheogenic plants in California (in which James has been intimately involved). How is decriminalization different from legalization? How does the decriminalization of substances work at a civic level? We wrap with our postulations about about the therapeutic future for psilocybin, the future for mycology in general, and how mushrooms can nourish mind, body and spirit.

Thanks for listening and Mush Love!

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour
Music by: Ancient Baby

Episode Resources
The Haight Street Shroom Shoppe
Decriminalize California
Decriminalize Nature

Feb 05, 2020
Ep. 2: FreshCap - Activating Minds & Bodies via Education & Medicinal Mushrooms (feat. Tony Shields)

On this episode of Mushroom Hour we have the distinct privilege of interviewing Mr. Tony Shields of FreshCap Mushrooms.

During this interview we follow the windy trail of Tony's personal exploration through kingdom fungi. This journey saw him build his own mushroom farm, teach people around the world about cultivation, and ultimately dive into the world of medicinal fungi with his company FreshCap Mushrooms - all with the his wife and partner in fungi, Tegan, by his side.

Diving beneath the surface, we'll come to grips with some of the big questions surrounding medicinal mushrooms. Is there a difference between using the fruiting body of the mushroom vs. mushroom mycelium? What are the realities of sourcing the highest quality medicinal mushrooms and are all mushrooms from China bad?

Thanks for listening and Mush Love!
Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour
Music by: Ancient Baby

Episode Resources
FreshCap Mushrooms
Medicinal Mushrooms: A Clinical Guide by Martin Powell (can also be found on Amazon)
Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation by Tradd Cotter (can also be found on Amazon)

Jan 31, 2020
Ep. 1: Chaga - Potent Medicinal Mushroom from the Arctic Reaches (feat. Gavin Escolar)

On this episode of Mushroom Hour, we have the joy of interviewing Mr. Gavin Escolar of The Chaga Co. This interview was conducted inside the Chaga Co. Test Cafe in San Francisco.

During our chat we journey to the northern reaches of the world and explore the increasingly popular medicinal mushroom known as Chaga (Inonotus obliquus). What is it? Where does it come from? What can it do for our health? How can we use it mindfully and sustainably?

We also step into Gavin's shoes as an entrepreneur who has to balance ethical sourcing, innovation, and maintaining the integrity of this medicinal fungi as he offers his products to the world. Finally, we talk about the importance of getting out into nature (foraging!) and how exploring your passion for mushrooms can change your mind, body and spirit for the better.

Thanks for listening and Mush Love!
Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour
Music by: Ancient Baby

Episode Resources
The Chaga Co:
Chaga Wikipedia:
Chaga Research Articles:

Jan 24, 2020