Bioremediation Workgroup Inoculation Bonanza

This weekend, members of the NCA Bioremediation Workgroup met at the interim site of the North Brooklyn Boat Club to launch their first project, a collaboration with our Artist-in-residence Jan Mun known as the Fairy Rings.

We passed a fine brisk day down by the creek pasteurizing and then inoculating hay with oyster mushroom spawn to create the floating “mycobooms” that will eventually find a home on Newtown Creek.  After a period of rest, the inoculated hay will be stuffed into burlap sleeves constructed to resemble concentric circles. Our special design includes a sprinkling of wine corks from Brooklyn Oenology in the stuffing to keep it afloat.  The whole shebang will be tethered in the water or towed around by kayak, and the water quality in the center circle will be examined for improved quality. Enjoy the photos!

Sewing the burlap rings.

The gang setting up the hay zone and pasteurization station.

Damion Lawyer patiently monitors the temp.

Jens from NBBC makes fresh chips to keep us going.

Finally it is hot enough to begin pasteurization.  This is Damion and Ross.

After the hay and corks are clean, they are mixed with the “grain spawn” to propagate the fungi.

Many thanks go to Paul Pullo of Metro Fuel Oil, our neighbor on the creek who provided funding to NCA for this exciting science project. Access to the site is graciously provided by Tony Argento of Broadway Stages.

Past activities of the Bioremediation Workgroup have included joining the New York Mycology Society for a mushroom walk lead by mycologist expert Gary Lincoff in Forest Park, Queens and the consumption of an entire loaf of fresh baked bread from Ross Diamond.  If you are interested in joining this Workgroup, drop an email to


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