Telluride Mushroom Festival: “Rad Tradd” Cotter Back With Exciting Updates!

Telluride Mushroom Festival: “Rad Tradd” Cotter Back With Exciting Updates!

Since 1981, the Telluride Mushroom Festival has celebrated all things mycological, from the newest advancements in mushroom science to its famous mushroom cook-off. The 39th annual Telluride Mushroom Festival takes place Wednesday, August 14 – Sunday, August 18.

According to Festival Director Dr. Britt Bunyard of Fungi Magazine, the theme this year is “Healing the Mind, Healing the Planet.” The program features a raft of myco luminaries including Prof. Emeritus of Pharmacology at Purdue Dr. David Nichols; founder/director of Chile’s Fundación Fungi; Giuliana Furci, founder/director of Chile’s Fundación Fungi; ; the “Wise Woman of the San Juans,” Katrina Blair; Mushroom Mountain’s Tradd Cotter.

Check out the online schedule.

Tickets/passes here

“Rad Tradd” Cotter  is the keynote on Saturday night. Hs subject:“Molds and Mycorrihizae: Down the Rabbit Hole.” He will also be talking about The Blue Portal, the facility he and wife Olga set up in Jamaica for mediated psilocybin sessions.

Please scroll down for more on Tradd and check out his podcast.

A perpetually late hare? A grinning cat? A Red Queen?

Maybe not. Nevertheless, Tradd Cotter plans to lead us down a rabbit hole as in “Molds and Mycorrihizae: Down the Rabbit Hole,” the title of Tradd’s keynote address at the 39th annual Telluride Mushroom Festival on Saturday night, August 17, 8 – 9 p.m.

“The future of fungi is knocking on our door, and we need to recruit more myco-warriors to realize that our dream can become a mycotopian society. This late night revival is a call to action, the time to assemble our collective mycelial push to create global change and to cement the visions that are the foundation of the Telluride Mushroom Festival. Come join the earth army and march our way to make this world the envy of the galaxy! No topic is safe, be prepared to cringe or celebrate the moment of truth.”

Throughout the weekend, Tradd is everywhere you want to be. In addition to his keynote address, Tradd is scheduled to expound on the latest and greatest in mycoremediation; mushroom-infused brews (with the Telluride Brewing Company); myceliated building materials; and the Cotter’s psilocybin treatment center in Jamaica, The Blue Portal, where attendees get to experience a mediated psilocybin session under the watchful eyes of trained guides. (For more on The Blue Portal, go here.)

For the record, psilocybin is legal on the island and tolerated for consumption, although “illegal” to cultivate per a UN resolution globally. The Blue Portal is modeled on the John Hopkins program, which targets very specific, very challenging health conditions.

Also in Jamaica, with the support of the minister of agriculture, the Cotters are leveraging Caribbean mushroom research to solve tropical challenges such as termites in sugar cane fields, cacao blights, coffee pathogens, while encouraging and empowering locals in villages, especially women, to grow and sell mushrooms to supplements their income.

Tradd Cotter has been a star presenter at the Telluride Mushroom Fest since 2012.

And, as those who have been to his talks and demonstrations know, Tradd is rad.

Just ask and he will affirm the fact that hope for the planet really does spring eternal from way underground on up – in the form of mycelia and their fruit, aka mushrooms. And we need that hope more than ever because the earth is increasingly fragile due to climate change and its corollaries: mass migration and starvation. Could mushrooms provide even a partial answer to food shortages, global pandemics, and more?

Tradd and Olga’s Mushroom Mountain is focused on nothing less than the emerging needs of the planet.

In 2011, at age 38, Tradd Cotter returned to school and won Clemson University’s “Student Entrepreneur of the Year.” Since then, he (with Olga at his side since 2005) has been unstoppable.

Mushroom Mountain first began in 1996 as a concept for a farm of the future. It was not until 2005, when Tradd Cotter and Olga Katic met, that plans emerged for what would evolve into the coolest, privately owned mushroom research facility in the country, arguably in the world.

From humble beginnings – housing a laboratory in a two-bedroom apartment closet in Boynton Beach, Florida – Olga and Tradd moved the whole operation to upstate South Carolina and begin an expansion that is now a world-class laboratory and research facility. The lab was constructed to EPA and FDA standards and now houses more than 200 species of fungi, most of them native isolates from the Eastern United States. Over the past two years, spawn sales have doubled.

Mushroom tree at the Cotter’s Mushroom Mountain.

The facility itself occupies over 50,000 square feet of available space under one roof for cultivation, mycoremediation, and medicinal research projects.

Mushroom Mountain U. is an online teaching platform that offers courses in everything from ways to grow mushrooms at home to tincture-making. Plans include an expansion of the facility to accommodate a library and live classrooms for indoor workshops and lectures and much more.

Also over the past year, Tradd and Olga created a medicinal extraction company, MycoMatrix, which sells additives derived from various species of mushrooms to be used to enhance a wide range of products from beer and juices to baby food, skin and pet care products.

The couple continue to explore what mushrooms can do for the environment, including ways to clean up plastic waste and oil spills.

For more on Tradd Cotter check out his podcast:

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