Comprehensive Online Guide to Mushrooms and Fungi
As anyone who has read about Paul Stamets' work knows, fungi are a hugely important part of our troubled eco-systems. They are the ultimate recyclers — breaking down organic matter and returning nutrients to the soil. Many of them also transfer nutrients between different plants — helping to regulate the overall health of the ecosystem. It's no wonder then that many environmentalists, myself included, are getting increasingly interested in fungi, mushrooms, and what we can learn from them. Wild claims abound, from enhancing ethanol production to cleaning up oil spills to growing our own insulation, it seems certain that there will be many uses for the members of this often overlooked kingdom. But where do those of us not wanting to boost our biofuels production go just to learn about the fungi and mushrooms (mushrooms being the fruiting bodies of fungi) that we find in our yards or other environments? MushroomExpert.com seems as good a place as any
Edited by author and mushroom expert Michael Kuo, MushroomExpert.com features comprehensive advice on everything from preserving mushrooms to taking spore prints. It also includes descriptions and keys for over 700 different mushrooms, some excellent photography, and sound advice. From a break down on mushroom toxins to some very sage warnings about eating any mushrooms you're not sure of (can be briefly summed up as "don't eat anything for a number of years until you REALLY know what you are doing") , to perhaps our favourite — an essay entitled "What's this thing in my yard" - which sets out to explain what folks are finding on their lawns and, more importantly, why they should leave them be:
"But before I explain why you can't get rid of your mushrooms, please take a moment to consider that you have come to a mushroom lovers' Web site (or you have contacted me or a mycologist and been directed here), wondering how to kill mushrooms. It's a bit like going to or contacting BaldEagleInfo.Com and asking them how to shoot eagles. I used to send out a pretty snitty form e-mail ("Dear Sir or Madam") to people who asked me how to kill mushrooms, but I realized I was being a bit of a jerk, and that people deserve a decent explanation."
More on TreeHugger about Fungi and Mushrooms
Hair and 'Shrooms to Clean Beaches
Adding Fungi Can Boost Ethanol Production
Shrooms to Grow: Home-Grown Insulation Gets Fungi
Can Mushrooms Lubricate Your Chainsaw, Feed Your Dog and Save the World?