Mushroom Expert Offers Series of Educational Events

The Cornell Small Farms Program is welcoming mushroom expert Tradd Cotter to Ithaca, NY, for a number of events that will share how mushrooms can integrate into agriculture, medicine, sustainability and more. Join us the second week of October to learn from Cotter, a microbiologist, professional mycologist, and organic gardener from South Carolina. 

Cotter and his wife, Olga Katic, began their business, Mushroom Mountain, with a laboratory in an apartment closet in Boynton Beach, Florida. Now, they own over 50,000 square feet of cultivation, mycoremediation, and medicinal research projects under-roof in Easley, South Carolina. Cotter and Katic explore applications for mushrooms in various industries while maintaining over 200 species of fungi for food production, mycoremediation of environmental pollutants and natural alternatives to chemical pesticides. 

Supported by the Cornell Small Farms Program and the FARM OPS project, the School of Integrated Plant Science at Cornell University, Bramble Herbal Collective, and Wellspring Forest Farm, Cotter will be leading several events, which are open to the public, on October 7 and 8. 

Monday, October 7

Mycopesticides: Collecting and Cultivating Target Specific Fungi for Insect and Weed Control

Held at 12:20 p.m. 

Join us on the Cornell University campus, Plant Science Building in Room 404, and discover the lessons fungi teach us about balancing the challenges to crop and landscape issues at home and on farms. By understanding the ways fungi work, you can “teach” them to suppress a wide range of crop pathogens, nuisance insects, and more. This event is free, and no registration is required. 


Mushroom Foray with Tradd Cotter and the Cornell Mushroom Club

Held from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Meet us in front of the Plant Science Building on the Cornell University campus and join in for a visit to a local forest. Here we will locate, identify, and learn about wild mushrooms with Tradd and other Cornell University mycologists. This event is free, but attendance is limited to 30 people. Up to 20 Cornell University affiliates can ride in vans, others will have to drive themselves or carpool. 


Tuesday, October 8

Veterans in Ag: The Future of Medicinal Fungi

Held from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Learn basic mushroom cultivation principles, how the chemical properties of fungi are affected by their environment, and how you can create potent extracts and innovative medicinal and culinary products for home, family or your business. This event is held at EquiCenter Farm in Honeoye Falls, NY, and is part of a series of training workshops for veterans interested in agriculture offered through Farm OPS, a project of the Cornell Small Farms Program. Veterans interested in these programs must be enrolled at a VA facility in NYS (VISN2 area). 


Community Mushroom Medicine

Held from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

How can we learn from fungi and harness their power to create our own life sustaining medicines? Join us at Bramble Collective in Ithaca, NY, to hear from Tradd Cotter, who has been exploring and innovating the wide range of ways we can partner with fungi for personal and planetary health. This event is offered with a suggested fee scale of $15 to $20, with no one turned away for lack of funds. Attendance is limited to 20 people.

Steve Gabriel

Steve is an Extension Specialist focused on specialty mushroom production and agroforestry. Throughout his career, Steve has taught thousands of people about the ways farming and forestry can be combined to both benefit the ecology and economies of small farms.  He is also a farmer, author, hiker, and musician.