paper, 339 p., $35.00
Fungi expert Paul Stamets proposes that mushroom culture may hold the means to save the environment. In this book, he explores several ways that they may be used to combat the various problems facing the world today. Coining the term “micorestoration” for the healing nature of the mycelium, the fungal network of cells, he reviews the various purposes and ecosystems where they can be selectively used. These include controlling silting and reducing upstream contaminants of waterways; improving the health of the forest system; neutralizing toxins found in soils; controlling pest populations; improving soil; supporting diverse food chains; and advancing sustainability wherever living things exist on the planet.
Even though the book is of a technical nature and comprehensive, readers will find the text understandable and interesting. It tells how, why, and where different species of mushrooms grow, how to cultivate them, and their many uses. The author relates his personal experiences using fungi for various purposes, not least among them for cooking. Extensively illustrated with photographs and drawings, this manual will assist the reader in identifying choice species.
— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden