A Better World
Working With Fungi
“Fungi act as central agents in all cycles of life,
and it is time that they begin to form a central role in all aspects of human life.”
—Peter McCoy, Radical Mycology
We live in an exciting era in the history of human-fungal relations. With an unprecedented ability to both cultivate fungi with ease, as well as understand the profound ecological significance of these species, humans today are offered unprecedented fungi-based solutions for addressing many pressing global issues.
Fungi are keystone species in all ecosystems, fulfilling unique roles that increase plant and animal health, while stabilizing bioregional nutrient cycles across vast periods of time. Though rarely discussed in most schools, a holistic understanding of fungal ecology provides a novel paradigm for viewing the world: one in which life is influenced more profoundly by these overlooked organisms than by the flora and fauna more commonly discussed.
By growing mushrooms and other fungi at home, in community-centered farms, or in larger contexts, modern mycologists can directly apply the ecological insights offered by fungi to their surroundings, with an increase global food security and improved means to conserve fragile ecosystems being just some of the benefits this intersections provides.
Gourmet and medicinal mushrooms can also be grown on many urban and agricultural residues that have no other practical value (apart from composting). Once accepted on the scale that vegetable gardening and farming currently receive, these solutions will soon help people around the world eliminate the waste of many finite resources while producing healthy soils, nutrient-dense food, and potent natural medicine. In the world’s increasingly populated cities, mushroom cultivation – with its low light requirements and ability to readily utilize vertical space – offers a practical solution to increasing fresh food supplies in dense urban cores. Fungal cultivation also refines crop, water, and livestock management practices, helping close the last loops in even the most holistic living system designs.
In habitat revitalization and remediation efforts, fungi increase soil fertility, create fodder for wildlife, and reduce the effects of pollution in contaminated sites, thereby transforming abandoned tracts into productive farmlands and gathering spaces for community engagement. Through these and many other practices, applied mycology offers local economies new employment opportunities, all of which can easily be taught to people of any background or degree of physical ability.
At MYCOLOGOS, we believe mycology is one of the most important and holistic fields anyone can study. With viable solutions for numerous social, ecological, and economic issues, the technical sciences of mycology stay uniquely balanced by its various arts and the inspiring insights they lend to the complexities of history and the mysteries of the natural world. Discovering these and many other benefits of working with fungi has been among the greatest gifts we have found in this world. For though we might try, we have yet to find a single aspect of this study that lacks a vast potential for inspiring its students and changing the world for the better.
The Future Is Fungi
It was from an awareness of these important points that MYCOLOGOS was founded in 2017 by author, mushroom farmer, and mycology educator Peter McCoy to teach the technical and applied aspects of mycology.
And yet, from our founding we have always considered the most important aspect of our work to not merely be in the sharing of knowledge, but in the creation and support of a mycoculture: a global community of highly educated fungal advocates, cultivators, and allies working to apply this knowledge for the greatest good. We believe that the growth of such a community is critical for not only increasing the world’s myco-literacy (i.e. awareness and understanding of fungi), but also in the refinement of ever more regenerative ways of life.
Through our catalog of courses and their immersive, interdisciplinary curricula, we also offer you not just a variety of means to appreciate fungi, but new ways to see the world. Fungi are all around us, performing incredible deeds that exemplify many of nature’s principles on what it means to be in good relation with your environment. A deep study of mycology provides life skills for not just appreciating these acts, but to apply them throughout your life and livelihood. We also see fungi as powerful allies – teachers, perhaps – in the work of remembering our so-often forgotten connection to the ecosystems that sustain us. On many levels, working with fungi reinvigorates historical connections to the environment that humans once shared through tending and foraging for crops. Fungi are woven into the human story. They permeate the mythologies and customs of traditional cultures – influences that retain a legacy in many modern cuisines and healing practices, and that continue to inspire all who study them.
Through all these routes to working with fungi, one finds the ability to increase resilience, diversity, wealth, and the preservation of memory throughout their life and local community, while also supporting the health of the world at large. For us, this work is not just about sharing our deep passion for fungi, but about helping enhance the quality of life for all of the world’s inhabitants.
In this call, we invite you to join us and the whole MYCOLOGOS community in the next era of the mycocultural revolution.