In Search of Mycotopia: Citizen Science, Fungi Fanatics, and the Untapped Potential of Mushrooms

Category: Book
By (author): Bierend, Doug
Subject:  NATURE / Essays
  NATURE / Plants / Mushrooms
  NON-FICTION / General
  SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Ecology
  SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Mycology
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Published: March 2021
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 336
Size: 9.01in x 6.02in x 0.78in
Our Price:
$ 34.95
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

"Mushrooms are having a moment. [A] natural sequel for the many readers who enjoyed Merlin Sheldrake's Entangled Life."-Library Journal

"Bierend writes with sensual verve and specificity, enthusiasm, and humor. . . .[He] introduces us to the staggering variety of mushrooms, their mystery, their funk, and the way they captivate our imaginations."-The Boston Globe

"Nothing is impossible if you bring mushrooms into your life, and reading this book is a great way to begin your journey." -Tradd Cotter, author of Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation 

From ecology to fermentation, in pop culture and in medicine-mushrooms are everywhere. With an explorer's eye, author Doug Bierend guides readers through the weird, wonderful world of fungi and the amazing mycological movement.

In Search of Mycotopia introduces us to an incredible, essential, and oft-overlooked kingdom of life-fungi-and all the potential it holds for our future, through the work and research being done by an unforgettable community of mushroom-mad citizen scientists and microbe devotees. This entertaining and mind-expanding book will captivate readers who are curious about the hidden worlds and networks that make up our planet.

Bierend uncovers a vanguard of mycologists; growers, independent researchers, ecologists, entrepreneurs, and amateur enthusiasts exploring and advocating for fungi's capacity to improve and heal. From decontaminating landscapes and waterways to achieving food security, In Search of Mycotopia demonstrates how humans can work with fungi to better live with nature-and with one another.

"Comprehensive and enthusiastic . . . This fascinating, informative look into a unique subculture and the fungi at its center is a real treat."-Publishers Weekly


Review Quote*

Library Journal-

"The author's sharp ear for dialogue imbues his word portraits with vivid detail. . . . Mushrooms are having a moment. In Search of Mycotopia could be a natural sequel for the many readers who enjoyed Merlin Sheldrake's Entangled Life."

Review Quote*

Publishers Weekly-

"Comprehensive and enthusiastic . . . This fascinating, informative look into a unique subculture and the fungi at its center is a real treat."

Review Quote*


"As well as gaining new respect for fungi, readers will master new vocabulary on the order of frass, saprophytic, and microrrhizal. It sounds perhaps bizarre now, but humanity's future may depend on slime molds."

Review Quote*

"In Search of Mycotopia is for mycophiles everywhere, from old hands to young enthusiasts, profiling in lively prose the kooky, brilliant, and inspiring folks who are changing the way we understand fungi, nature, and ourselves."-Eugenia Bone, author of Mycophilia and Microbia

Review Quote*

"In Search of Mycotopia is as wondrous and hopeful as its awe-inspiring subject. Doug Bierend deftly extends the mycelial threads of his curiosity into the many communities that congregate around fungi, from academic researchers to hipster entrepreneurs to Indigenous groups engaged in cultural mycoremediation. The resultant book is a masterpiece of intersectional fungal anthropology that will send you running for the mushroom stand at your nearest farmers market-and may even inspire you to venture forth on some forest forays yourself."-Ben Goldfarb, author of Eager

Review Quote*

"Fungi are nature's alchemists, the circulatory and nervous system of the forest ecosystem, and the providers of nutrition, healing, remediation, and spiritual awakening. In this compelling book, Doug Bierend awakens the myco-nerd in each of us, uplifts the stories of queer, Black, and young citizen scientists, and challenges us to ameliorate our fungal illiteracy. Bierend convinces us that the healing of our planet requires that we remember the fringe and oft-forgotten fungal kingdom."-Leah Penniman, cofounder of Soul Fire Farm, author of Farming While Black 

Review Quote*

"What if our world were connected by unseen strands, by dynamic webs of life that maintain nature as we know it, a largely hidden substrate capable of healing us, feeding us, teaching us, churning death into life, sustaining the soil, plants, and animals? Well, it is, actually. Amiable, brilliant, and endlessly curious, Doug Bierend is the perfect guide to both the marvelous realm of fungi and to the radical human subcultures that have sprung up to celebrate it-citizen mycologists, cultivators, and activists from the Ecuadorian Amazon to the Pacific Northwest. In Search of Mycotopia is a fascinating, humble, and hopeful book, a glimpse at a cosmos of which we are not the center; in which everything is interconnected, and life humbly, quietly persists."-Ben Ehrenreich, author of Desert Notebooks: A Road Map for the End of Time

Review Quote*

"There's a fungus among us, and it's all good. As Doug Bierend's engaging journey through mycoculture reveals, it's time to make like a mushroom, join the club, and grow a distributed, curious, and sustainably prosperous world together-from the bottom up."-Douglas Rushkoff, host and author of Team Human

Review Quote*

"Doug Bierend's book is a vivid trip past the flora and fauna of this world and into the reigning kingdom of Fungi. The most mind-altering forays take readers far beyond psychedelic ‘shroomer culture, which turns out to be one in a collection of subversive subcultures of enthusiasts, scientists, and citizen scientists from all walks of life. Written by a playful and candid storyteller, In Search of Mycotopia vindicates the mushroom, the literal and symbolic fabric that tightly binds together all life."-Caren Cooper, author of Citizen Science