Ekofungi, a bio-innovative spinoff from the University of Belgrade, has partnered with leading scientists from the mushroom industry and the worldwide network of Blue Economy practitioners with a unique proposal. The team is putting together a definitive guidebook to grow a human-scale mushroom business: sustainable, beautiful and profoundly ingrained into the local community, be it rural, peri-urban or inner-city.
The guidebook will inform, instruct and inspire anybody with the willpower to harness the exceptional potential of mushrooms for developing their communities, using local resources to create healthy food, value and jobs, while building resilience, providing food security and discovering biodiversity.
Mushroom production is rooted in science, yet its manifestation in practice is an art. The fungal organism is uncompromising in its relation to key environmental parameters, which to a large degree determine success or failure of mushroom production – and the mushroom business. Rooted in this knowledge and experience are open source best-practices that are replicable, and yet flexible for custom-tuning. This allows entrepreneurs to seize upon local advantages, granting efficiency and financial feasibility and contributing to the local community.
The guidebook will share an intimate and thus personal understanding of the fungal organism, her needs and behavior, and will present first-hand accounts from entrepreneurs around the world that have successfully developed innovative solutions to meet her needs.
Look forward to the Guidebook for the Small Mushroom Business by the end of the year.
At the height of the Balkan Wars in the 1990s, the University of Belgrade pioneered the feeding of spent mushroom substrate as feed for animals. It was successfully implemented and scientifically documented. Ivanka Milenkovic, who was part of the original scientific team later became the Entrepreneur of the Year in Serbia and has an impressive track record in research, teaching and sharing the art and science of mushrooms.
The Blue Economy is the “Do Tank” of the network of ZERI organization which has been recognized as one of the leading innovative policy think tanks in the world. Gunter Pauli, founder of ZERI and author of The Blue Economy was inspired by the research findings of Prof. Shuting Chang in the early 1990s, and the work of pioneers in the social sciences of mushrooms like Ivanka Milenkovic, Carmenza Jaramillo and Chido Govera.