Study ‘Mushrooms, Molds, and Mycorrhizae’ at The School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College

News Release — Sterling College
Feb. 23, 2017

Contact:
Christian Feuerstein, Director of Communications, Sterling College
802.586.7711 x164 • cfeuerstein@sterlingcollege.edu

February 23, 2017 • Craftsbury Common, VT • Mushrooms are delicious and full of nutrients, but they are also surprisingly powerful tools for both ecologically-based farming and remediation and prevention of pollution. The School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College is offering a new course in “Mushrooms, Molds, and Mycorrhizae” for those interested in exploring the cultivation and ecology of these fungi.

This intensive four-day course, held from June 1-4, 2017, is designed to guide students through mushroom ecology and basic identification, farm reproduction methods and cultivation, mycoremediation, and medicinal mushrooms, extracts, and tinctures.

Instructor Tradd Cotter is enthusiastic about the many uses of mushrooms. “Considering the mushroom’s versatility in agriculture, medicine, and in the laboratory,” he said recently in an interview with National Geographic, “there’s not much they can’t do.”

Cotter is a microbiologist, professional mycologist, and organic gardener, who has been tissue culturing, collecting native fungi in the Southeast, and cultivating both commercially and experimentally for more than twenty-two years. He is the author of Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation (Chelsea Green, 2014). In 1996, he founded Mushroom Mountain, which he owns and operates with his wife, Olga, to explore applications for mushrooms in various industries and currently maintains over 200 species of fungi for food production, mycoremediation of environmental pollutants, and natural alternatives to chemical pesticides.

Beginners and advanced students alike will walk away with the knowledge and skills needed to accomplish a range of personal or professional goals, including: cultivating fungi on small and large scales, incorporating edible mushrooms and beneficial fungi into garden designs, identifying wild mushrooms, cultivating and preparing medicinal mushrooms, and cleaning contaminated soils and polluted water through mycoremediation.

The class is being offered at Sterling College as part of the School of the New American Farmstead, its continuing education program that provides a variety of classes and workshops for aspiring agrarians, artisan food enthusiasts, and environmental stewards. These hands-on short courses in small-scale food production and sustainable farming offer one-on-one mentorship, inspiration, skills, and new perspectives that will feed the body, the mind, and the spirit.

This is the second year of the visionary School of the New American Farmstead, the creation of President Matthew Derr. Under President Derr’s leadership, the College has launched the Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems; made substantial progress on renewable energy; transformed its agricultural facilities; and set records for enrollment and fundraising.

The School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College is generously underwritten by two great Vermont businesses: Chelsea Green Publishing, the preeminent publisher of books on the politics and practice of sustainable living, and Vermont Creamery, an award winning creamery offering fresh and aged goat cheeses, cultured butter, and créme fraîche that combine the European tradition of cheesemaking with Vermont’s terroir. Both Chelsea Green and Vermont Creamery are partner businesses that share a deep commitment to the environmental stewardship mission of Sterling College.

Online registration is now open, but spaces are limited. Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Academic credit is available for all courses. For more information this course and to register, visit www.sterlingcollege.edu/mushroom.

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