Welcome, welcome. You're listening to the mushroom revival podcast. I'm your host, Alex Dora. And I'm so happy to have you. Wherever you're listening around the world. Welcome to this space that we can geek out about mushrooms. We have a whole website, head over mushroom revival.com. But you know, we have an amazing guest today. I'm super happy to bring Chris on, Chris, how you doing? Doing great today. Wonderful day. He awesome. Telluride, Colorado. Hell yeah. Awesome. Do you want to introduce yourself to the listeners who may not know who you are and given the deets? Sure. So my name is Chris Holstrom. And I live outside of Telluride, Colorado, in southwest Colorado, and have worn many, many, many, many hats. But one of those hats is as a fungal file and helped out with the Telluride mushroom festival and then sort of took it on for a quick year of transition. And I have just been in there ever since I was fortunate enough after hearing Paul Stamets talk at the festival, to be able to do some training with him. And then I'm also been involved in permaculture for decades have taught design courses. Got one coming up this weekend, and not a design course. But talking about community permaculture. So this all fits very well together. And I'm also a county commissioner, San Mateo County, Colorado. And one of the things that I like to bring to many of our discussions is the appropriate analogy of networking to the mycelial web. And so I bring that up all the time. And some people get it and some people don't. But it's really fun. But yeah, I'm delighted to be here, Alex, thank you. Yeah, I'm excited to see you in Telluride coming up it, you know, in like a month. I'm super excited. And I've seen you teach, I think every year since I've joined, and it's been almost 10 years since I've been going so are you teaching again this year? Yep. Yeah, I do the free workshops in Elk Spark, just showing some of the really basic cultivation techniques and talking about whatever people want to talk about, because I think that happens when you go to a mushroom festival or when you're involved in trying something new. So I'm just delighted to, to be a part of that and working on some other aspects of the festival now as well. And I've meant to your workshop, but for anyone who hasn't or maybe are looking to go to the Telluride mushroom Festival this year, maybe they don't even know what it is, why don't you give kind of the lowdown of what the festival is and what you're going to teach. And if it's for free, maybe people don't even have to buy a ticket. And if they're in Telluride, they can just show up to elk Park and get the info from you. You bet. So the workshops I teach are free, and they're in Elk Park and elk Park is where the festival has tents set up so people can bring in any mushroom that they find. And we have experts available to identify them. And then we laid them out on tables. So passers by can come in and just see the amazing variety of what's available here. And so red mushroom Festival this year starts August 17. And so there are a number of free events. And there's an amazing lineup of speakers in all realms. So it started off it was really more it's 4040 of the 45th year, it was more entheogenic focused. And then over the years we've evolved and we have, we have a myco remediation track, we have a cultivation track, we have a culinary track, and we have the entheogenic track as well. I've had people from Johns Hopkins talking about their research. It's amazing. You could say mind blowing, but it is amazing. And you don't have to be into the entheogens to have a really great time at the festival. The two workshops I do are one is cultivating on straw, and other sorts of waste materials, like coffee grounds, cardboard, things like that old jeans. And then the other is more on logs. So drilling into logs. We have a oak forest around here, scrub oak, so we use that and just show people some of the techniques that are really not that hard to get into for beginners to start feeding your fungal file needs. That's amazing. And yeah, I've seen there's a ton of people that bring their little kids I refer to it as a big family reunion for mushroom lovers. It is super beautiful. I'm just the location Telluride you live in Telluride a little time outside of Telluride half an hour outside of Telluride up on a mesa that's even more beautiful, in my opinion. Wow. Then tell you right so it is a stunning place. I find that really hard to believe it feels like out of a backdrop of a movie. I look at the mountains and the scenery and I'm like, someone's just gonna drop the curry. One of these days like it's just it's unreal. I even without magic mushrooms. It is it is just sparkling and gorgeous and beautiful. And you have a farm right outside Telluride. Is that right?
I'm tim thompson farm and the Thompson comes from a Scandinavian legend of a mischievous gnome that guards farm. So that's pretty appropriate. What do you know the story? Yeah, that I mean that's it's basically yeah, there's a great kids book by Astrid Lindgren, beautifully illustrated and it is it's the top 10 goes around and checks on all the farm animals and you're supposed to give them porridge Christmas Eve or something, but is known to be mischievous. And so when things go missing, or we don't understand why something happened on the farm, we blame it on the Tomten what inspired you to name your farm that was it working with mushrooms, and they're kind of mischievious? Or do you do identify as did mischievious gnome yourself? I think it was more married name is Holstrom, which is nice and Swedish. And it's just a legend that absolutely makes sense when when you see dumped in the farm and the magic of the area. It fits perfectly with what we were trying to achieve on the farm and, and sort of a playfulness. And I love gnomes. So you know, it works well. The Asiago Yeah. So if someone drives in, you know, and they take a tour of the farm, what, what should they expect to see? Can you give kind of a auditory walkthrough of Tom Tim farms and absolutely. So yeah, we're at 9000 feet in elevation. And we are in scrub oak, but we look out on amazing peaks. And over the years, it's definitely evolved and continuing to evolve. But we now have two greenhouses so we have a 1500 square foot sort of stick built greenhouse with polycarbonate on the south side. And then we also have a 33 foot dome, where we can grow in both of those year round without heat. And then we have a fenced in garden area that is we have shrunk what is under cultivation because of the drought. So we now this year have like five beds growing. So we're constantly evolving. We're off grid. So we're solar and wind power with a little with far too much of a generator backup, but we're working on that. It is a magical place. I mean, Telluride itself is magical. And then then our place up on the mesa, I say half an hour from town, but a world away in some ways, because it's very, it's very quiet. And it's peaceful and still stunningly gorgeous. We developed it over the years, we've had farm interns because we've gone from, from what we have now is really our lowest production for some time. Up until last year, we were members of the TED farmers market operates under my nonprofit.
And we would go to and sell to farmers at the farmers market doing a lot of salad greens, things like that, sometimes mushrooms, and over the years had folks come up and be farm interns. So live up on our spot with NTPs are yurts it's just been again and my seal serial network of people that continues to this day. I just had lunch with an intern from 20 years ago. Wow, that was a thrill. Wow, that's super special. That's cool. So when people come they get to tour the greenhouses. And one of the Getting back to mushrooms. One of the cool things in our larger greenhouse. This was probably 12 years ago, I had an intern who was crazy about mushrooms. And I also have a friend who had pulled a whole truckload of fissile from his property. And he was like, Do you want my weeds enough? Like, are you out of your mind? And then because it was right before mushroom festival, we got to thinking it's like I wonder if you could grow mushrooms on that. So my intern at the time wrote up a little grant and presented it to my friend with the thistle. And he actually funded a small mushroom, we created a small mushroom room inside the greenhouse so that we can control the environment. And we did a really fun experiment. We did a combination for combinations from 100% straw to 100%, dried and chopped thistle. That was a pain in the
butt, but for those who are combinations, and then we did three kinds of pasteurization. So we did sort of the rotting type of pasteurization, the lime, chemical pasteurization and the heat pasteurization. And then we inoculated that with oyster mushroom and just tracked the production over time. And it was a really fun experiment, and it ended up that 100% thistle, he pasteurized had the most yield over time. Oh, cool. That's awesome. It's super cool. It's still a pain to deal with drying and shredding. This, I bet. Yeah. But that's the How did you get into mushrooms? You know, it was the Telluride mushroom festival, you know, it was in my backyard and aren't good times. It was lucky ever forever the mushroom dude. And so just kind of got very, very lightly introduced to it there and then heard Paul Stamets speak and that just really fired up so many areas of interest. And then I was working for the Telluride Institute in a different capacity. And when the Solomons who started the festival this
They did they needed to retire from running the festival. There was no one else that stepped up to the plate. So Johnson, Jesse, and I stepped up to the plate and took it on that year.
It was it was a little little challenging. And then luckily right after that the Telluride institute itself, stepped in and said, yes, we'll take this on. And I'm just thrilled that they've done so well. And we still have many of the same players. But it feels like it's got a really solid home now and with Britt running things, yeah, it just feels great. And I'm on now on the board of the chariot Institute. So excited to work on some new possibilities. What I'm working on, which isn't confirmed yet is the possibility that someone might do like my intern did get inspired at the festival, have an idea and need a little bit of seed money to start a experiment. I'm hoping that we can set that up so that people could apply and you know, we choose one, and then they'd have to come back and report the next year. So I say not confirmed yet. But I'm hoping that that happens. Fingers crossed. Yeah. All of these where you are the projects that you're working on, they all sound incredible. But I'm sure they haven't come without their difficulties. I mean, just running a farm period is extremely difficult. And then you know, you're running an off grid farm, you're running a permaculture farm, you're weaving mushrooms into it, helping organize festivals you're teaching, you're doing so much. You're helping organize interns, that is so hard. I mean, you're doing a lot. So what would you say, has been the most difficult in your journey? And maybe that's hard to pick. But whatever first comes to mind. Have you ever had a time where you felt like you wanted to give up? And what did that look like? And how did you overcome that? Not so much giving up. But I think the biggest challenge came, we have not really gotten out of drought. 2002 was horrific, and just really changed my mindset and dealing with a farm. Because I knew I couldn't produce the way I really wanted to without that water resource. So that has been probably the most difficult. But that's a part of growth is evolution, and then opening up the farm to what ever seemed to come for the future, actually ended up being really good. So this year since our farms were growing so little. And last year, we actually partnered with a third Institute for a new year. And we are housing scientists now. So cool, the scientists are one was working on our our local climate action plan and promoting renewable energy. He's now got his master's, he's still living with us for another few months, which we love. And then the second one is working on doing carbon balance research in the Fens, the high altitude wetlands that we have. So evolved, again, we're not growing a ton of food, but we still have this community, our mycelial network has gone in a slightly different direction. And that's been great. And I guess the second challenge is all of this has been out of pocket. So without deep pockets or with large holes in my pocket, we do what we can. And again, we try to respond to what people are interested in when they come to the farm, and facilitate that as much as possible. And now we're we're starting to think about a succession plan for the farm, I'd still I don't want to sell to some rich person who's just going to scrape everything and build a big house, I want to get it into the hands of someone who would continue the growing as much as possible and continue to be supportive of the community and, and housing, which is a huge issue in our recent region. So yeah, definitely multipurpose. I want to get more into your education history as an educator, especially around sustainability. But I also wanted to counter that previous question with what has been the most fulfilling time in your life around operating this farm being into mushrooms being an educator around Telluride mushroom festival in general, has there been a shining moment in your rich life that has stood out the most as being you know, the most rewarding? Man, there are so many. And I think a big huge part of that is the community that we've created through the interns, the farm interns, and then I couldn't pin it down. It's like the, the mycelial network and connecting people. I mean, just learning how to do that and just opening up to everybody's desires and their expertise and, and then seeing, I think that's one of the things that is the most impactful in my experience was the the connections. And now I'm actually my I think my job really is making connections connecting people locally. We have a salinity project where they had to quit because they were injecting saltwater deep in the earth and was causing earthquakes. Will now my friend actually Dan Collins, who's the president of the Telluride Institute. He's looking at the potential and sharing with his professors at Arizona State. The idea of May
Making energy they call it blue energy from membranes that are used when you go from for osmosis. So when you go from a high concentration to low concentration, so you know, connected the folks with the salinity project with Dan, and we're gonna go to the plant and see, you know, could we use this problem? Again? This is permaculture. Right, the problem is the solution. Could we use this problem of high saline water that comes drains off the LaSalle mountains and create an opportunity for renewable energy, basically, so we're solving the problem of too much salt going into the Colorado River and creating an opportunity with energy production, just like the fissile who knows where that'll go? Yeah, exactly. Yeah, totally. It's already in front of us. And we have to mimic nature. Yeah, I do want to get into kind of permaculture principles and, and really how fungi weaves into permaculture itself. And you know, making a farm. But I read in a bio online that you've been educating the public and youth for over three decades around sustainability issues, just like we're talking about, including renewable energy, food security, waste reduction, and quote, unquote, out of the box systems thinking to contribute to regional solutions to current challenges. And there are so many challenges in our world, especially with having access to social media and the internet. We're just simply bombarded by all the challenges in the world. And as an educator, and as a solution based thinker. Do you have any kind of like easy solutions for everyday people like Joe Schmo people that might not have permaculture farms or whatever? What easy solutions can everyday people implement into their lives to just be a little more sustainable? Sure, well, yeah, I was fortunate enough to help start and run our first sustainability, nonprofit in the region. So it was fun, because I got to pretty much do whatever I wanted. And I was interested in food and farming and as well as the renewables and, and waste reduction. So that was great. And then I have taught Permaculture Design off and on for for years. But I think when I got out of my permaculture design course, granted, that was several decades ago, I was overwhelmed. It's a cash. Where do you begin? And I think the message is begin with one thing, start with one thing. And for me kidding into mushroom season, it's, do you drink coffee? What do you do with your coffee grounds? Do you have cardboard? Do you just throw it away? Do you recycle it? So think about and I think that's one of the fun things about the workshop we teach is think about those materials that are that we consider waste, and how those might be something else. So super simple, and fun thing to do is just start growing some oyster mushrooms on your coffee grounds, and see where that leads a container plant, even from an apartment, start growing something because that activity and then that result is just a teeny tiny bit of that positive feedback that I think we are all starving for. Yeah. And then connect, connect with other people in the region. So maybe you don't have a farm. But maybe someone down the road, you know, is connected with one and you could go see it and help out and reap some of the words perhaps because some of the mushrooms are definitely eat some of the mushrooms. So I think that's it, it's just pick one thing that seems accessible. Think about a waste as a resource, and try something and then realize that you're gonna fail, you know, and if you're not failing immunity, you're not trying to harm them. So keep trying keep trying something else. Is it a different kind of mushroom? Is it a different substrate? Is it a different thing altogether? You know, you don't? You're not interested in mushrooms. I can't imagine why. But maybe there's something else that you brainwashing. Yeah, I mean, I've had this thing, because I know when the meal services and Amazon that really big, talking to our waste people, our cardboard production in our region, went through the roof until second wouldn't be cool. If we could just deal with a portion of our cardboard and grow mushrooms.
Why not? Take someone to come in and do the work and you know, put the idea together, and then do the work funded, do the work. But I think there's all sorts of opportunities there. And I'm hoping I always hope that people who come to the festival or who are learning will try some of that. And always happy to connect with people who want to try something different because that's, that's the fun part of being human, I think. Exactly. Yeah. And for those folks who maybe tried it and they're growing mushrooms now on their their coffee grounds and they have a little bucket underneath their sink or something like that and want to take it to the next step. Or maybe you know they already have a permaculture farm or garden in their backyard and whatever scale and they're looking to incorporate more mushrooms or fungi in their garden or farm or maybe they want to have a garden there or farm someday in the
feature, how do you incorporate fungi and mushrooms into your garden and farm kind of back to one of those challenges, we are in a very, very dry part of the country. And so growing mushrooms in a very dry region has been challenging certainly on the farm. So had to really look at microclimates on the farm, where they might fit where we might have success with that. That's one of the reasons the greenhouse is nice, because there's a controlled environment there. So we've done we've done an outdoor stropharia bed with some success. Another graywater system trying so fair, we have not had success with that one yet. We've done log inoculations with shitai and had decent success with that. So again, just at the farm level, is looking at the resources you have whether it's considered a waste now or straw straw is hard to come by here, but we have tons of woodchips. So that's kind of our resource that we play with. I just picked up a bunch yesterday of oak chips. So just kind of Yeah, finding what permaculture you're looking at, looking at the margins, valuing the margins, trying things that are different, trying to obtain a yield. I mean, we're not just doing this just for fun. We're trying to, you know, have good mushrooms. And on a farm case, perhaps you're trying to bring in an income. Got to put food on the table. Mushrooms itself a lot of money at our farmers market. Yeah. And most farmers markets. So yeah, kind of figure out what your goal is what you'd like out of it. And then also, I think it's very important to listen to the land. Because that ought to give you some input. Look at your microclimates, do some research on mushrooms, I mean, what do you like you don't want to stick when you're doing vegetables, you don't really want to grow something you don't want to eat. So which mushrooms do you really like, and I advise, start with the easiest, so that you can get some success and there's great companies out there with spawn and plugs, bong, if you don't feel like going out and finding the the local native kind and expanding that, and then just Yeah, start. So like say we started with just a rectangular bed with chips that we inoculated and had a little bit of success with that it was out in the open baked too hard, you know, so minimal success, but then the the logs, we found a shady spots a shady or spot still have issues with June when the leaves aren't out and appear, and it's hot and dry. But just kind of figuring out where the best spot is, and then how much you can or need or want to manage them. Because if you have the resources of time, water to manage, like a mushroom bed, outside in your farm, you can have really good success. I'd say we're always just trying to lowball what's super easy, that doesn't take a lot of input or totally and see what happens there. And again, we've talked about this biomimicry. It's like, look at where mushrooms grow in nature, and then on your property or whatever you're stewarding, what might be a good spot for it. Yeah, I've done so many complicated systems with growing mushrooms, but also food in vegetables and algae and all these different things and insects and animals. And it's just like the simplest methods are so rewarding. You know, if you can just throw some stuff together in like five minutes, and then have a bunch of food come from it, it feels really good. And if it's cheap, and it just is really easy, and you get some food that you actually like from it. I feel like those are the best for me. And so for in a dry climate, you talked about a few different things from stropharia to Toki logs. Do you have that go to kind of easy solution in your climate that you like you have a number one mushroom is your go to mushroom to grow. I think there's two I think that should Toki on the oak because we have a ton of scrub oak which is really just the right size, consider three to four inches in diameter. There's a lot of it. So that's a go to Anisha I'd love she talkies. That's probably my favorite mattress, okay. And it was quite successful. And one of the things we did knowing that we have this hot dry June is I put the logs behind our house so that the snow would slide off the roof and cover them up for the winter and then be a little moister. Oh nice in the summer and then moved them out to the shady spot once the leaves came out in June. Again, we're at 9000 feet. So it's a little different. Where we are then certainly where Paul is in Pacific Northwest. So yeah, and I don't know suddenly feels like a little bit like gaming the system right when you just you're using a waste product and you get something really great out of it. It's like
and what is the other one?
Oyster? Yeah, just because it's really easy. It's a super it's kind of hard to fail with oysters. It is Do you brought up growing it on your genes before they literally grown anything? Yeah, they'll grow on anything. So I think that's a awesome big
Dinner mushroom to grow just because it's very forgiving. It's very adaptable. And it can grow on a lot of stuff. Like I say, if you can't get straw, you try coffee grounds or cardboard or there's just so much out there. That needs to be decomposed. Right? Totally, it is the perfect beginner mushroom. And not all areas work with this mushroom but wine cap, I lived in the Northeast for pretty much my whole life. And that was just amazing for wine cat kintra fair. Yeah, I mean, it was just abundant, it was too easy to grow kingster feria where I was, because the climates were just perfect for it. And, you know, we could easily get woodchips anywhere and you just throw spawn in there, you don't have to be clean at all, you could actually be very dirty.
They actually like it more. And I mean, they're not the best mushroom to eat. Honestly, there's I'd much rather eat oysters tataki. But they're cool looking mushrooms. And if you already have a garden, you can just throw it in there. And I've done guerilla gardening with stropharia if these paths are about to be mulched, and they have the big wood chip pile, they're about to mulch like a walking path or something, you just throw a little bit you know, even stropharia butts like the the bottoms of a mushroom into the pile, and they'll make their way into there and you come back next season. And there's sure fairy all along the path. Love it. So for me in the northeast, that was just so easy to grow that type of mushroom, and I give everyone this advice is to look for a big mushroom farm near you, or a small one, I mean any mushroom farm, they typically have to be wary of yields and shelf space and things like that. And so they'll only grow maybe one or two flushes of a mushroom, mushroom block. And so a lot of mushrooms from in these farms are grown in these plastic bags. They're called blocks of like these cubes of sawdust that are, you know, in other nutrients that the mycelium weaves into this like hard block. And then after one or two flushes or growths of the mushrooms that that pop up, they throw them out back as compost. And people usually they give them for free to people, sometimes they charge, maybe $1 a block or something like that. But they continue fruiting. And people can pick it up. And you know, depending on how big the farm is, some people can come with like 30 foot U hauls and just stuffed to the brim. And just their entire backyard could be mushroom blocks, and they can literally get 100 pounds of mushrooms in a day, depending on how big the farm is. And it's just, it's free or insanely cheap, no labor, I mean, you just have to pick up the mushroom blocks and put them down on the ground. And that's pretty much it. And maybe, you know, depending on where you live, you might have to sprinkle it with your hose a couple of times, but maybe not. If you got some evergreen trees or something like that, you just throw them under the tree. And they'll fruit on their their own. So I give everyone that advice of like, if you're trying to get into growing mushrooms, and you're lazy or you're too busy, then just like they already did the work for you. You could just take their compost, right of their problem or their waste stream is your solution. And that's kind of a hack that I've been telling people ever since I started teaching about mushrooms, and it's so funny to see people's like light bulbs come on. And then I hear from them like a year later. And they're like, I just have like, infinite amount of mushrooms for free now, and this is great. This is the best life hack ever. So that's a fun little trick for people. This might be a hard question. And it's kind of a big broad one. But if someone was looking to make their own, and you kind of answered a lot of this already, but if someone was looking to make their own permaculture farm and mushroom centered permaculture farm from scratch, day one, how do they start it? Well, well, first, you better have done some research. And I think mycelium running has a little section on it, you know, on permaculture farm, which was good, but yeah, do the research on mushroom growing, but also, it's gonna depend on where you are. But I think the idea of mushroom beds as understory for vegetables is really fascinating. And there's been some research done on that not a ton, because some veggies don't like it and some do. So that would be one thought is to incorporate that if you're looking to do you know, multi species food production would be looking at that as an understory and then yeah, just kind of planning out
rescuing a waste stream, because there's waste streams everywhere, whether it's mushroom blocks, or coffee grounds or cardboard or whatever I would rather than buying an input like straw, which is if you can find it in our region is like $8 a bale so that doesn't really work very well. I like the free bit. So think about that. Think about flow. Think about the type of mushroom Think about the I would visit places who are doing it large or small scale and learn from them. Use the experts that are out there come to the festival, you'll learn a lot. Tread cutter does a whole day previous to or prior to the festival, he does a whole day of cultivation workshops. So I would highly encourage you to do that. And then start playing around with it on a small scale before thinking about going large scale. So again, permaculture, small flow solutions, don't dive in, spend a lot of money and then go well, this didn't work just like start small going, Oh, this is cool. It worked. It was free or cheap. And I want to expand it. And then I would also encourage you to always consider what you're doing a big experiment, but then report out and talk to people and teach people and share what you've learned, as well as your the fruits of your labor. Because that is a huge and important part of spreading the mycelial Web of Knowledge. And then we've been talking all about food. But I think the other one of some other really cool things that don't want to leave out are some of the innovations that are coming through companies like Ecovative that was at the mosh fest, like five years ago, maybe what's happening in terms of packaging, in terms of building materials. I mean, that's, like I say mind blowing, it's what these entities can do the mushroom, the fungal world can do so much for us. And yeah, we can eat it and enjoy it and have fun that way. But there's more. And I think that's one of the reasons I get so excited. Talking mushrooms and talking about possibilities and making connections because there's way more out there than than we understand. My daughter gave me a present that was seedlip, which is like a non alcoholic beverage. Oh yeah. And it came in mushroom heavy packaging. Yes. So cool, because I wasn't expecting that. And the card also had seeds embedded in it so you could plant the card. But I was so thrilled to see that. Because when Ecovative came to the festival, they were just really starting up. And now they have really become a leader in you know the packaging, which is which is a huge again, the styrofoam packaging, huge waste issue that we have not yet figured out. Although I hear there's a bug little eat it. Now that's polystyrene. But either way, so it's just yeah, the world, the fungal world has so much to share with us. And yeah, just find a place that makes sense for you to start. And don't worry about how tiny it is. Just start doing something. I mean, if even if it's just trying a different mushroom at the farmers market, so you know what it tastes like? That's progress.
Yeah, I'm blown away by the work that Gavin and Eben are doing over at Ecovative. And I was blessed that Gavin opened up his facility in New York and give us a tour. I don't know how many years ago, but just so amazing. I was blown away at the innovative technology that they've incorporated in their company and their engineers. They're not mycologists. But they've been able to take that background and weave in amazing, just brilliant technology and into mushroom cultivation. And I was like, I've known mushroom cultivators that have been doing this for many generations and your style of cultivation blows it out of the water. And they're so futuristic. And you know, I would love to see pretty much all the toxic materials be replaced with fungal materials. And yeah, it was super cool that I don't know if you saw it. Maybe it was their first year. I think they brought it back a couple years. But they have the trailer their mini house on the trailer with the fungal installation they brought to Telluride. Super cool. I mean, if anyone doesn't know Ecovative definitely look them up. They're really amazing. And trot Carter, who you're talking about before is a great educator. He has a great book out there. And that's a good transition. I mean, there's so many incredible ways in which fungi can help our world and our human species. Be more in alignment with nature, which we are a part of, and we like to forget a lot of us that we are part of nature, but what research in mycology in general, would you love to see more of in this space?
Unknown Speaker 34:11
Yeah, I think one of the things we the Institute, we tried to do a little experiment on the valley floor with myco remediation because we have mine tailings there. Yeah, again, we ran into sort of both a labor issue in terms of people to kind of check on it and a water issue. So again, continuing on that micro remediation area. I can't be there's so many I personally, my friend Tim Erdman actually built a little trailer that came from us, it's still here. We were just talking the other day about expanding that we wanted to build a whole little tiny house out of the mushroom materials and so maybe we'll get to that someday. Amazing. But the research I think that's going on is amazing in terms of breaking down these super toxic neurological poisons. To me that's already happening in terms of something that's not happening. What We're doing a lot of work here at the county on soil health. And I think it would be really interesting to look a little deeper at the nexus between, you know, how you could incorporate mushrooms fungi into some of the standard farmer rancher practices to see if we could get more moisture retention in the soil. That would be I'm always fascinated by that. And it's a, it's a huge deal here with the whole water situation, including not enough water in the Colorado River for all the states that draw off of it. So that would be one that would be fascinating for me to see someone start working on is a little more in depth with the soil, soil organisms and soil moisture issues.
Yeah. Turning dirt into soil. Yep. That's where it's at. Yeah, we're turning soil into dirt faster than we could turn dirt into soil. So that's the million dollar question, especially in our world of water wars. That is such an interest. I just had a four hour conversation about water wars with some folks. And it's, it's very interesting. Yeah, the monopolization on water, and it's not hypothetical buying access to the waterways. Yeah, that's gonna be a prime commodity pretty soon, you know, who are worried about gasoline, but it's really the water. That's Topic number one.
Unknown Speaker 36:23
Yeah, if you're a land manager in the southwest, that is your primary concern is like, that is a huge issue across our states and with the drought and people are seeing the headlines on Facebook, and MSM about Lake Mead and Lake Powell dropping below the level needed to produce electricity. So it's really going to start compounding. So yeah, what role can fungi play in that? I bet there's one or two?
Well, if there's any hydrologists listening right now, and you're interesting in finding solutions, and you find a solution, I would love to bring you on the show, and let's talk about it. But in the meantime, Chris, thanks for coming on. And where can people find you maybe if they want to visit you, I don't know if you're open to visitors, or interns, or if you have a website,
Unknown Speaker 37:10
don't have a website, but I am on Facebook. And it's Thompson farm, that's t o m, t n, as in Nancy. So Thompson farm. And I respond to that my email is K Holstrom, h o l STR O M at Gmail. So I love to make connections. And we have visitors up at the farm all the time. And again, that's part of the that's really the reason the farm exists. It's not to make money. It has made a tiny bit of money, but never very much. It's to be a conduit for education and information and a place where those 20 somethings that are out of college, but don't know quite what to do you they've come up and experimented with stuff and have a whole nother family now with us. And so we love to have people come visit. And even if you can't come visit or come to the mushroom festival, of course, but engaging in conversation and email discussion and sharing ideas is I think that is the most helpful thing that we can do right now.
Absolutely. This might be released post Telluride. But I will see you in Telluride. And for anyone who is listening to this, I might have already seen you or maybe I'll see you next year. We'll see when this gets released. But definitely come every year and people who haven't come to Telluride definitely come it's, you know, an experience of a lifetime and definitely worth it. It's quite memorable, and you will meet so many new people and just, yeah, create a family in a community that you can keep coming back and through that community. It's it's a mycelial web, it is infinite. everyone that you meet will know 800 Other people that you will love and it's a really good network and the mushroom scene.
Unknown Speaker 38:51
One of the coolest things we did was after the festival was after a Paul Stamets lecture, they handed out balls of yarn. Across the audience, there were probably 300 people in the audience. And then we created our own mycelial web by throwing the balls around and still have that big wad of yarn somewhere but but it's just it really is fascinating to think of all the connections and the mushroom festivals always mid August here in Telluride. But even if you can't come, you know at least go take a ramble in your own woods in nature and look because they're out there and consider the different psychological societies. Even if you're on Facebook, you can see what other people are finding. Again, I think our real calling right now and maybe the mushrooms are calling is that creation of networks, when our societal networks seem to be failing us. We can do something different and outside just so appreciate the opportunity to come on and chat with you. It's been a joy and I can't wait to see you.
Likewise. Yeah, and it's funny even in from August to September, there's like a mushroom festivals that I saw. Yep. And even not even in the United States, I feel like there's two or three in Mexico. There's in September, I'm going to one in Europe. I mean, there's, they're starting to pop up all over the place. So if you can't go to Telluride, there's a bunch all over the place and just Google it. You know, there's Facebook groups, there's networks all over the place, and you will find a local mushroom community, a local mushroom farm. There's mushroom people popping up all over the place, which is amazing. And it's beautiful. But yeah, thanks for coming on. And thanks, everyone for tuning in. For another episode of the mushroom revival podcast. I love each and every one of you sending a big Virtual hug wherever you're tuning in from around the world, head over to our site, mushroom revival.com. We have a whole list of products from tinctures to capsules, to powders to some pretty freakin delicious gummies that we just launched. And we have a whole bunch of blogs and all of our podcasts are on there with all our links and everything as well. Reach out, stay in touch. I would love to hear from you. If you have any questions, we have got a whole team of myco experts that that can answer your questions and please leave a review that goes a really long way we don't charge to to have this podcast on we don't have a Patreon or anything. So leaving a review goes a long way and telling your friends you know we want more mushroom people doing cool research, doing cool stuff in the mushroom scene and we want more people getting out in the woods and reconnecting to themselves in nature. And so tell your friends tell your family, tell the random person checking you out at the grocery store how cool mushrooms are and let's get the mycelium web rolling and let's connect everyone to how cool mushrooms are so much love and may the spores be with you
Transcribed by https://otter.ai