Fungi with a fun guy

Published 10:00 pm Monday, May 22, 2017

The Pacolet Area Conservancy and Walnut Creek Preserve invite the public to attend a free presentation by Tradd Cotter, a mycologist and founder of Mushroom Mountain, called “Amazing Fungi – The Dark Matter that Bounds all Life.” The program will be held at the Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center at Walnut Creek Preserve on Saturday, May 27, at 10:30 a.m.

Join mushroom expert, Tradd Cotter, for a fascinating lecture on native plants and their fungal partners. In order to sustain life on this planet, a complex matrix of organisms has evolved to orchestrate the balance. Plants and fungi have merged and continue to unveil the benefits of collaborating with nature. We have a lot to learn from these relationships, and understanding the respect they have for each other can teach us more than just soil biology. Our native plant communities are communicating through their own internet, reaching out to other organisms to help repair the ecosystems that perpetuate life on this planet.

Tradd 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 22  years.

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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.

His primary interest is in low-tech and no-tech cultivation strategies so that anyone can grow mushrooms on just about anything, anywhere in the world. Mushroom Mountain is currently expanding to 42,000 square feet of laboratory and research space near Greenville, S.C., to accommodate commercial production, as well as mycoremediation projects.

Tradd will have copies of his book, “Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation,” for sale after the presentation for those interested. PAC also has a field trip/farm tour planned at Mushroom Mountain on June 14. Visit,, to register and sign up at PAC by emailing,

For more information or directions to Walnet Creek Preserve, contact the Pacolet Area Conservancy at 828-859-5060 or e-mail The next PAC/WCP program will be held on June 17, when Tanya Poole, NCWRC education specialist, will present, “For the Love of Bats!” at the Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center at 10:30 a.m.

For more information about Walnut Creek Preserve, visit Please note, Walnut Creek Preserve is private property and guests are only allowed on the property by invitation (a planned event or scheduled group). 

– article submitted by Pam Torlina