My guest today is Lindsey Bender, the chief mycologist for Field and Forest Products, Inc., a mushroom spawn and supply company located in Wisconsin.
I met Lindsey at the Pennsylvania Mother Earth News Fair in 2018 when I stopped to check in with Laura of Field and Forest, who I’ve gotten to know over the years through phone calls asking questions about mushrooms and other products and meeting one another at the fair several years ago. This time Lindsey was along for the trip. Once we started talking about all things fungi, she started answering some of my questions in very technical ways that lead us to talk about her background. Through that I learned she became a mycologist after many years studying biology at the undergraduate and graduate levels, which we get into in more depth during her introduction.
In this interview, you’ll hear about her work on keeping the genetic lines of the fungi used for spawn production healthy and experiments related to the interactions between fungi, plants and soil microbiology. She also shares why some mushrooms are commercially viable, and others are not, including some of our favorites like morels and why those cannot reliably be grown from spawn, and different ways to shock fungi to force fruiting and induce mushroom production.
Whether you are new to mushroom cultivation or been growing for years, there’s something here for everyone to learn more about fungi and mycology.
Find out more about Lindsey and Field and Forest Products, Inc. at fieldforest.net.
What did you think about this conversation with Lindsey? Does it change your view of mushrooms, mushroom growing, and what is possible?
Let me know. Leave a comment in the show notes,
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From here the next conversation is my interview with Fred Provenza as we talk about his book Nourishment: What Animals Can Teach Us About Rediscovering Our Nutritional Wisdom.
Until the next time, spend each day learning more a fungi and taking care of Earth, yourself, and each other.