Nag Thompson on Mushrooms

I’m not literally on mushrooms, of course, silly. That sort of subject matter would most certainly not be appropriate to be recorded and then made accessible for the general public. But you have to admit my choice of language makes for quite an eye-catching title, yes? Don’t try to convince yourself that it isn’t clever.

I had the pleasure of being a guest presenter for Westdale Secondary School’s garden committee right here in Hamilton this week on Tuesday (11th February 2014). I gave a one hour demonstration of how to propagate and culture oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) from stem cuttings of mushrooms purchased at the store in used coffee grinds. This was the shortest and least intense of the two presentations I have given on this topic, but I believe they were both equally rewarding.

My first presentation was for a much larger audience (40+ adults compared with a dozen teen-age girls) and I spoke for a wholly unexpected 2 and a half instead of an hour and a half as planned and advertised. Oh well, nobody left so I suppose I couldn’t have possibly been that boring. I had great questions, an amazing venue (the pulpit of a Lutheran church on King Street West) and support left, right and center, so it pretty much went as well as it could have. I was additionally rewarded with a new network of like-minded individuals who also wish to contribute their knowledge to improving the diets, nutrition and self sufficiency of their community members.

I plan on having a second presentation to make up for the entirely seasonal winter-like weather that Saturday morning, which caused white-out conditions on highways and irritated all the homeowners that would now have to shovel their driveway and clear and salt the sidewalks. It was a bit messy getting to the venue myself, but there were many friends and yet-to-be-friends that were unable to make it due to nature’s lack of cooperation and sympathy. There will be more information on that upcoming presentation once I finalize the when and where. You can read up on all of that on the Event page, whenever I feel like finishing it and posting a link to the main event page on Facebook. In all due time.

Anyways, after the attendants of my second presentation at Westdale had cleared out the head manager of the garden committee invited me to participate in a short interview so that she could prepare an article discussing mushroom cultivation for her column in the school newspaper. I embraced the idea and the two of us sat down to have a chat. The discussion can be viewed HERE on Soundcloud. It’s 23 minutes and 14 seconds long, so you might want to make yourself comfortable, take a seat and whip yourself up a coffee / tea or pour yourself a beer (depending on what time of day it is or how little you care about the time of day). Enjoy the nerdiness.

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