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Mushrooms among spectrum of seminars

By Geoff Parks

For the Capital Press

This year's Northwest Ag Show seminars feature a wide variety of subjects.

Mushroom cultivation is among the topics that will take center stage in the whirl of seminars held as part of the Jan. 28-30 Northwest Ag Show.

Mushroom cultivator and educator Peter McCoy will host an “intensive, two-and-a-half-day educational conference” covering the essentials of mushroom production and emphasizing techniques and tools that help keep costs and complexity to a minimum.

“This seminar is new for us this year,” said Amy Patrick, Ag Show director. “The focus of it is for participants to find out everything you need to do to raise your own mushrooms, and at the end of it, they are given some pure mushroom cultivars.”

The sessions are targeted at those wanting to start a small mushroom farm or grow their own edible and medicinal mushrooms for personal use.

McCoy, of Olympia, Wash., co-founded the Radical Mycology project as a way of helping “increase food availability ... improve soil fertility and clean polluted water systems.”

He said topics at the Ag Show — with titles such as “Cheap Spawn Production,” “Mycorrihizal Cultivation” and “Off-the-Grid-Methods for Resilient Lifestyles” — will include lessons on fungal and plant relationships; medicinal mushroom processing; outdoor mushroom forest planning and installation; and wild mushroom identification and cultivation.

The sessions will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Jan. 28, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan. 29 and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Jan. 30. Cost is $200 for the three-day course. Email radmycology@gmail.com to register.

A wide spectrum of other seminars will be featured over the three days of the Northwest Ag Show.

Those include sessions on:

• Understanding the New Health Care Options (Affordable Care Act) from 1 to 2 p.m. on Jan. 28.

• A Strawberry Presentation from 1 to 5 p.m. on Jan. 29.

• Basics of Installing Solar Power from 8 to 10 a.m. on Jan. 30.

• Renewable Energy Policy in Oregon from 10 to 11 a.m. on Jan. 30.

• A Truffle Seminar from 10 to 11 a.m. on Jan. 30.

• Basics of Installing Wind Power from 11 a.m. to noon on Jan. 30.

• Irrigation Efficiency Incentives from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 30.

• A Weather Seminar by the National Weather Service from 1 to 2 p.m. on Jan. 30.



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