Monday, June 17, 2013

Spezzatino: Mining for Mushrooms

I pitched the idea for this feature after working as a tour guide at the Bellevue Mine Tour in the Crowsnest Pass, Alberta. The stripping of the coal mine's seams had ended half a century ago and I would occasionally have people ask me if anyone had considered re-purposing the mine. I'd ask, "Into what? Perhaps an underground swimming pool (the abandoned shafts were flooded with water)?" "No," they'd say, "into a mushroom farm."

There were rumours of such a farm in Drumheller, Alberta, and in fact, one of the US' largest mushroom suppliers used an old mine site for decades before technology made other above-ground farm settings more profitable. I was fascinated by the idea of re-claiming abandoned mine sites and when the opportunity to write about mushrooms came up for Spezzatino (an on-line magazine based in Toronto), it seemed like a great way to learn more about the possibilities.

Read the full article here.This article also appeared in the American magazine Fungi, Spring 2011.

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