Using mycelium to composte Humanure?

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Humanure Composting Research: Using mycelium to composte Humanure?
Author: Demeter (Demeter)
Friday, May 25, 2012 - 2:16 pm
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Mycelium is the vegetative state of a fungus. When it is time for it to sexually reproduce, some sort of spore-producing structure sprouts. The fancier ones are called mushrooms. You see the less spectacular spore-bearing structures as green or black dust (spores) on your bread or cheese.
The unique feature of fungi is that they get their nutrition from the environment, often from dead or dying organisms. The more complex ones can secrete substances that digest the stuff they are living on.
If it weren't for fungi, we would be hundreds of feet deep in dead trees, animals, etc. Mr. Stamets' book is not a news flash. But he is drawing public awareness of a highly beneficial group of organisms.
As to the practicality of using fungi to compost Humanure, they invade the pile when it cools down. If you are doing cool composting, the invasion will happen sooner. Many fungi secrete natural antibacterial substances. The research abounds, starting with Dr. Fleming's discovery of penicillin. The Actinomycetes (which produce streptomycin) are responsible for the lovely smell of aged humus.
I think it's best to just let the compost pile be the community that it is and let each component do its part in destroying pathogens.

Author: Copperweaver (Copperweaver)
Friday, May 25, 2012 - 1:47 pm
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I recently read Paul Stamets book 'Mycelium Running: How mushrooms can help save the world' The book discusses the amazing properties of mycelium as well as a variety of techniques for working with mycelium and mushrooms to heal eco-systems and ourselves. I was wondering if anyone is doing research or is aware of research that uses mycelium to composte humanure? Would it be possible to kill pathogenetic bacteria with the proper mycelium?

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