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Save the date

Other upcoming winter programs by the Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones include:

› Feb. 15: “Save the Pollinators, Save the World” with Ann Brown and Craig Walker

› March 5: Annual Native Plant Symposium, featuring keynote speaker Larry Mellichamp (early registration discount through March 1)

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Tradd Cotter, founder of Mushroom Mountain, will deliver a lecture and conduct a workshop this weekend.
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Tradd Cotter is the author of "Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation."

The Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones and the Tennessee Aquarium will present mushroom expert Tradd Cotter in two programs this weekend.

Cotter is a mycologist (an expert on fungi) and founder of Mushroom Mountain, a world-class laboratory and research facility in South Carolina that houses more than 200 species of fungi. Among the missions of the facility is to offer creative ways to apply cultivation skills for food production, mycoremediation of environmental pollutants and natural alternatives to chemical pesticides.

Cotter also is the author of the best-selling book "Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation."

First up is a lecture, "Soul Mates for Life: Native Plants and Their Fungal Partners," from 6 to 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 8.

As Cotter explains: "In order to sustain life on this planet, a complex matrix of organisms has evolved to orchestrate the balance. Plants and fungi have merged and continue to unveil the benefits of collaborating with nature. We have a lot to learn from these relationships, and understanding the respect they have for each other can teach us more than just soil biology. Our native plant communities are communicating through their own internet, reaching out to other organisms to help repair the ecosystems that perpetuate life on this planet."

The lecture will be held on the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga campus. Details will be sent in a confirmation email with registration and payment of the $10 fee.

Cotter will end his visit with a Mushroom Cultivation Workshop at Crabtree Farms, 1000 E. 30th St., from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9.

Participants will leave with an understanding of the best ways to cultivate mushrooms at home or on a farm and maximize production. Topics include the life cycle of fungi, woodland mushroom farming, indoor production and organic pest management.

The workshop is limited to 30. Cost is $30 for Wild Ones or Tennessee Aquarium members, $40 for nonmembers.

Links to registration for both events can be found at tennesseevalley.wildones.org.

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