Learning to grow mushroom with Carlos Briones Pérez

Learning to grow mushroom with Carlos Briones Pérez


One of our most unexpected and magical workshops in September was called Mushroom Growing in Urban Areas and it revolved around the theme of food sovereignty. In this single session, Carlos Briones Pérez, an ethnomycologist dedicated to the cultivation of culturally important mushrooms, began with a brief talk on the history of mushrooms in pre-Hispanic times and the first cave paintings, and then went on to the practical part in which they were able to create the suitable conditions for the cultivation of fungi. The workshop had the objective of disseminating and training the valedores in the cultivation of edible and medicinal mushrooms from easily accessible organic waste such as cardboard, cigarette butts and newspapers.

An additional benefit of this workshop is that the valedores who are interested find a space where to carry out this practice, as it has a “do what you can with what you have” approach.

A reflection by Carlos Briones

It was an unprecedented experience to be able to share with the valedores, authentic and very funny people, a little about the wonderful world of mushrooms and the art of their cultivation.

This activity is part of a social work that, as a biologist, and in collaboration with other colleagues in different facets of my career, we promote in various settings and between specific social sectors (generally the least informed on the subject), to inform, sensitize and make them aware of the environmental, cultural, and biotechnological potential of fungi to solve problems of current global interest.

The idea is to inspire people so they can become more actively involved in caring for the habitats of fungi and valuing their traditional culture; as well as providing them with the tools (biotechnological transfer) so they will be able to undertake an applied science project with fungi, which may have a positive socio-environmental impact on their communities. And this is where I see mushroom cultivation as an opportunity.

“If I were a botanist, I would do it through the promotion of orchards, if an entomologist, surely inspired by beekeeping. It is about giving back from our field of study, to the world ”.

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