Huge thanks to Tia Lombardi, Aimee Vincent, Andrea Anderssen and Steve Overman at the Presidio Trust, for supporting this Treatability Study!

Photo by Mona Miri

Visiting the site. Cynthia Knowles-SF Dept. Environment, Jennifer Gorospe-SF Mycelium Society, Steve Overman-PresidioTrust, Lisa Gautier-Matter of, Aimee Vincent and Jean Koch both with Presidio Trust.

The Presidio Trust is generously providing a 30 ft x 30 ft space for the Treatability Study.

The Presidio Trust’s Jean Koch and Greg are generously giving up some of their work space for this study!

Paul Stamets of explains to volunteers how the site will be set up

First the tarps and then the straw bales…

Paul Stamets of and Mario Quezada of discuss the hairmats.

For extra precautionary measures, 2 layers of pond liner are used to create the wells.

Separate areas are made to have concurrent studies with different methods.

The mushrooms are bursting to go!

Here’s the team! We’ll be back on Monday with used motor oil (and hopefully Cosco-Busan Bunker C).

Monday 12/3/07 – Who wants Oily-Hairmat-Eating Mushroom Lasagna?

Big Thanks to Gary Colbert and team at Evergreen Oil, Inc. They recycle used motor oil, and gave us 20 gallons for our first treatability study.

Used motor oil bins – Row 1

Suiting up for making the hairmats oily.

Water with 1 pint of oil per hairmat

In goes the hairmat

and it immediately slurps up the oil

Making the oily-hairmat-eating mushroom lasagna

Layer after layer

Paul Stamets layering on the straw

Row 1 is all done. Site is all covered in case of rain.

4 DAYS LATER – FRIDAY 12/7/07 (One month since the Cosco-Busan spill)

Robert Bogg from the Department of Toxics Substances and Control comes to see the site on Day 4

The control bin with no mushrooms looks the same and still smells like motor oil.

Bin 2 with mushrooms is growing so much the temperature is up over 90 degrees! Smells earthy. Warm to the touch.

Bin 3 (with thermometer – white circle) 60 degrees – and mushroom activity

Bin 4 – lots of mushroom activity! And over 100 degrees F – so we must cool down or risk getting black mold. Smells great!

DAY 7 – MONDAY 12/10/07

Day 7 – Row for Used Motor Oil Treatability Study

Sample oily hairmat from top layer – bin 2 – mycelium is growing on top of the hairmat (side A) Wow! and…

Woah! Side B

Sample oily hairmat control and oily hairmat from bin 2 covered in mushroom roots (mycelium)

Bin 4 – happy – but is it too hot?

Bin 4

Bin 4 – some vent holes
This was a VERY cold weekend in San Francisco – low 40s upper 30s at night. Compost heaps can get up to 160, but this is a very small bin 4ft x 4ft and 2 ft high and the temps are STILL very high.

DAY 14 – TUESDAY 12/17/07

Bin 2 – Mycelium mats – 3 inches thick of mushroom roots on top of bin. But not deeper.

Bin 4 has these pretty parasols – which the nearby compost piles see a lot of too. Maybe these got under the tarp?

Bin 3 – sawdust – Not much change – a dusting of white, but no mycelium attaching to the hairmats or thickness of roots.

Bin 4 – the mycelium (white mushroom roots) look like snow.

Our control bin – just straw and oily hairmats, nothings happening, just as we’d expect.

Friend, Author Riki Ott, Mycologist Ken Litchfield and Matter of Trust’s Lisa Gautier at the Presidio Site.

Riki Ott wrote “Sound Truth” which is about the Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989 and currently there is a documentary crew with her here for the SF spill and next they’re off to Korea. The film will be out in 2009 to mark 20 years after Exxon Valdez.

DAY 16 – THURSDAY 12/20/07

Bin 2 – Our star bin! More and more oyster mushrooms – The oil doesn’t seem to be bothering growth.