Fungal Fellowship: Field & Forest Product's Citizen Science Program
Mushroom/fungi cultivation can be complex and overwhelming endeavors. The USA has 9 climate zones but the implication of temperature range is just the tip of the iceberg regarding fungi. Moisture demand, soil type, flora, fauna, watershed geography are all intrinsically related to understanding the behavior of fungi, indoors and out, planted by us or other vectors.
Here at Field and Forest Products, we can test out fungal species and match to wood type with our surrounding ecological niches. We can also mimic niches indoors, attempting to recreate successful environments. While we are able to import some non-local resources to test (for example, different wood species and agricultural byproducts not grown regionally), it makes so much more sense to attempt experimentation in the region the activities are to be used. It is also absolutely true that experimentation takes both financial and often experiential intellectual resource, and not everyone is able to risk time and treasure to get answers.
Momentum in the Citizen Fungal Community
In the last few years, hundreds of people have jumped on the pendulum of "basement" cultivation and usually we generate more questions than answers. What a resource we have in our collective curiosity! The down-side to all our enthusiasm is that Science takes methodology, design and careful record keeping to obtain answers that will at least point us in the right direction. We can get some reasonable answers on "what works" with very narrowed down questions such as "will black walnut work with shiitake cultivation?" Other questions like "which mushroom species should I add to my hugelkultur bed," will require more design.
How FFP can Help
At FFP, we are able to provide both spawn and direction if needed with your project. With more complex questions, we also can help interpret your results.
How do I get Involved?
As with all science projects, asking the question first is the key to good design. If you have a question that has not been answered, let's work together. If you can find an answer, so many fellow cultivators will benefit, moving understanding and appreciation of the fungal world forward.
This is a program in which you can submit a study, or work to answer some of studies we have already designed. We will provide the spawn and guidance, in exchange for your time and communication. Together we can work to build a database of experience and demystify fungi!
Have an idea? Fill out this Citizen Science Application (don't worry, it's short), send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll be in touch! Or, explore the categories below for inspiration!
Interested in collaboration on a larger scale?
Field and Forest Products is committed to research within the industry. We are always open to exploring grant opportunities and forming collaborative partnerships on larger projects. Do you have a research topic? Please contact us to discuss how we can work together!