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Australian medicinal fungi, their cultivation and conservation.

Australia has a diverse range of endemic fungi, some of which are considered traditional medicines - endermic species of Ganoderma, Turkey Tail, and Lion’s Mane. With the awareness of how fundamental fungi are to ecosystems around us, how can we better observe and interact with these species? There are concerns about the ethics of wild harvesting, and questions about what fungi are being harvested given there is uncertainty about what species may be present in our forests. How can we be more ethical in our use of these species, and minimise our dependence on endemic populations? This lecture will be an introduction to mushroom cultivation, as an extension to the 2021 EFF talk discussing Australian medicinal fungi. In this workshop, I will introduce the lifecycle of fungi before discussing methods for obtaining small samples of mycelium for propagation from wild mushrooms. I will then discuss the sustainable cultivation of fungi through low tech methods. Through carefully culturing from wild specimens we can help conserve species by reducing wild harvesting, and providing them new habitats within gardens or urban environments.