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In Search of Mycotopia

by Doug Bierend

Cookery, Food and Drink eBooks of the Month Lifestyle and Health Mind & Body - books to help you be better Popular Science

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An interesting and immersive book about the undeveloped potential of mushrooms. If our relationship with nature interests you, if you believe that in order to thrive we should live in harmony with nature, then I can highly recommend reading In Search of Mycotopia. Doug Bierend is an American journalist who writes about science and technology, food, education, and how we can live in a sustainable world. Here he looks at the potential of fungi, and we meet a variety of people and ideas that could contribute to our working in harmony with nature. The author challenges the reader throughout this book, he questions our idea of expertise and asks us to look at fungi in a completely new way. The various chapters include a section at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in London where it is clear that amateurs and experts have worked together throughout its history in the study of fungi. This is readable, inclusive, and the big messages that I kept hearing throughout this book, were about bringing people together and working together in order to gain a better relationship with nature. In Search of Mycotopia highlights the importance of fungi in an eloquent and engaging way.

Liz Robinson

In Search of Mycotopia Synopsis

From ecology to fermentation, in pop culture and in medicine - mushrooms are everywhere. With an explorer's eye, author Doug Bierend guides readers through the weird, wonderful world of fungi and the amazing modern mycological movement.

In Search of Mycotopia introduces us to an incredible, essential and oft-overlooked kingdom of life - fungi- and all the potential it holds for our future, through the work and research being done by an unforgettable community of mushroom-mad citizen scientists and microbe devotees. This entertaining and mind-expanding book will captivate readers who are curious about the hidden worlds and networks that make up our planet.

Bierend uncovers a vanguard of mycologists; growers, independent researchers, ecologists, entrepreneurs and amateur enthusiasts exploring and advocating for fungi's capacity to improve and heal. From decontaminating landscapes and waterways to achieving food security, In Search of Mycotopia demonstrates how humans can work with fungi to better live with nature - and with one another.

In Search of Mycotopia Press Reviews

With a fresh and welcoming voice, Doug Bierend takes us on a journey through the far-reaching branches of the modern mycocultural movement. As his search for mycological knowledge expands across the pages, so do we also find ourselves enmeshed in the underground world of citizen scientists, DIY mushroom growers, and landscape healers. Bierend presents voices that are rarely heard elsewhere, and rarer still is his holistic approach to such a diverse and dynamic community. This book offers a rich glimpse into a rapidly growing culture, as well as inspiring insights on the many ways that you can get involved in the future of fungi. A much-needed compass for the ever-evolving landscape of mycology, and a vivid portrait of fungi and the humans who work with them, In Search of Mycotopia is a must-read for anyone wanting to join in the fungi fun. -Peter McCoy, author of Radical Mycology

In Search of Mycotopia is a must-read! Leaving no stone unturned, Bierend covers everything from cultivation to psychedelic studies, providing insight into how critical fungi are toward healing the planet and its inhabitants, and ultimately encouraging readers to become a part of the community. Nothing is impossible if you bring mushrooms into your life, and reading this book is a great way to begin your journey. -Tradd Cotter, author of Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation

Doug Bierend's book is a vivid trip past the flora and fauna of this world and into the reigning kingdom of Fungi. The most mind-altering forays take readers far beyond psychedelic 'shroomer culture, which turns out to be one in a collection of subversive subcultures of enthusiasts, scientists, and citizen scientists from all walks of life. Written by a playful and candid storyteller, In Search of Mycotopia vindicates the mushroom, the literal and symbolic fabric that tightly binds together all life. -Caren Cooper, author of Citizen Science

There's a fungus among us, and it's all good. As Doug Bierend's engaging journey through mycoculture reveals, it's time to make like a mushroom, join the club, and grow a distributed, curious, and sustainably prosperous world together-from the bottom up. -Douglas Rushkoff, host and author of Team Human

What if our world were connected by unseen strands, by dynamic webs of life that maintain nature as we know it, a largely hidden substrate capable of healing us, feeding us, teaching us, churning death into life, sustaining the soil, plants, and animals? Well, it is, actually. Amiable, brilliant, and endlessly curious, Doug Bierend is the perfect guide to both the marvelous realm of fungi and to the radical human subcultures that have sprung up to celebrate it-citizen mycologists, cultivators, and activists from the Ecuadorian Amazon to the Pacific Northwest. In Search of Mycotopia is a fascinating, humble, and hopeful book, a glimpse at a cosmos of which we are not the center; in which everything is interconnected, and life humbly, quietly persists. -Ben Ehrenreich, author of Desert Notebooks: A Road Map for the End of Time

Fungi are nature's alchemists, the circulatory and nervous system of the forest ecosystem, and the providers of nutrition, healing, remediation, and spiritual awakening. In this compelling book, Doug Bierend awakens the myco-nerd in each of us, uplifts the stories of queer, Black, and young citizen scientists, and challenges us to ameliorate our fungal illiteracy. Bierend convinces us that the healing of our planet requires that we remember the fringe and oft-forgotten fungal kingdom. -Leah Penniman, cofounder of Soul Fire Farm, author of Farming While Black

In Search of Mycotopia is as wondrous and hopeful as its awe-inspiring subject. Doug Bierend deftly extends the mycelial threads of his curiosity into the many communities that congregate around fungi, from academic researchers to hipster entrepreneurs to Indigenous groups engaged in cultural mycoremediation. The resultant book is a masterpiece of intersectional fungal anthropology that will send you running for the mushroom stand at your nearest farmers market-and may even inspire you to venture forth on some forest forays yourself. -Ben Goldfarb, author of Eager

In Search of Mycotopia is for mycophiles everywhere, from old hands to young enthusiasts, profiling in lively prose the kooky, brilliant, and inspiring folks who are changing the way we understand fungi, nature, and ourselves. -Eugenia Bone, author of Mycophilia and Microbia Booklist-

As well as gaining new respect for fungi, readers will master new vocabulary on the order of frass, saprophytic, and microrrhizal. It sounds perhaps bizarre now, but humanity's future may depend on slime molds.

Publishers Weekly-

Comprehensive and enthusiastic . . . This fascinating, informative look into a unique subculture and the fungi at its center is a real treat.

Library Journal-

The author's sharp ear for dialogue imbues his word portraits with vivid detail. . . . Mushrooms are having a moment. In Search of Mycotopia could be a natural sequel for the many readers who enjoyed Merlin Sheldrake's Entangled Life.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781603589796
Publication date: 15/04/2021
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing Co
Format: Hardback

ISBN: 9781603589802
Publication date: 01/03/2021
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing Co
Format: Ebook

Book Information

ISBN: 9781603589802
Publication date: 1st March 2021
Author: Doug Bierend
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing Co
Format: Ebook
Genres: Cookery, Food and Drink, eBook Favourites, Lifestyle & Health, Mind & Body, Popular Science,
Categories:

About Doug Bierend

Doug Bierend is a freelance journalist writing about science and technology, food, and education, and the various ways they point to a more equitable and sustainable world. His byline appears in Wired, The Atlantic, Vice, Motherboard, The Counter, Outside Magazine, Civil Eats, and numerous other publications.

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