A quick search for this suggests that it’s a blend of different types of fungi, but there doesn’t seem to be any information concerning what kinds.
It’s a product made by a company called NetZero. There is very little actual information on their page, or on their Kickstarter page, and the articles written about in in places like Forbes, or GreenMatters, etc are similarly low on information and high on hype.
If the lawn, is capturing carbon - what happens to that ‘captured carbon’ every time you mow?
No lawn in my garden, but I have planted shrubs and trees. That carbon is captured while the plants live. But I don’t have a HOA obliging me to have a lawn, which is only allowed to be, so high.
thank you so much for this, i know my sister and i have been waiting for you to post! can i have permission to link to your writeup on a blog of mine? i wouldnt be surprised if i have followers that might be interested in the project so i think it might be helpful to share
Very cool to read people’s analyses. Of course, the best solution is to kill your lawn and plant a mix of native species appropriate for your area, including trees. Even if this did work, the amount of water and land wasted on these lawns, and the amount of fertilizers and insecticides needed to keep them green, are far more significant* than the paltry amount of biomass they support even if you were to double or triple the amount.
*to my understanding, I don’t have the stats to back this up…
It bugs me a fair bit that places like Forbes are being used to promote such nonsense as this. Erik Kobayashi-Solomon clearly does not have enough sense to give things critical consideration before promoting them to the world and not not be a contributor.
On balance I would imagine just the opposite effect. Fungi are heterotrophs, not autotrophs. Aerobic growth generates CO2 in order to create fungal biomass. It is difficult to imagine how breaking down reduced carbon compounds acquired from green plants would yield an overall increase in stored carbon. Better to bury the tree. If one is referring to an increase in, for example, carbon stored in trees as wood because of mycorrhizal promotion of growth, it would only work if the tree didn’t already have fungi extending their root systems. And once again you would have to balance the the gain with the cost: the amount of CO2 generated to support the growth of the fungi. Mycelial biomass can be enormous, meaning they burn a lot of carbon to exist and grow. As others have noted, intervening might introduce exotic species. And a lab grown fungi successfully competing in nature? It all sounds pretty dicey to me.
A good point, in many countries and localities (Hawaii and New Zealand spring to mind), shipping viable microbes, soil, etc, is specifically illegal due to possibility of introducing exotic diseases which can decimate local flora, crops, or nursery species.
Forbes is a lifestyle magazine, not a scientific publication, right?
I looked a bit closer at their Kickstarter, and wondered if Paul Stamets knows his name is (somewhat indirectly) being used by this group to legitimize their claims?
Things are getting acrimonious on the Kickstarter page. Sounds like VERRA, the environmental standards group NetZero brags about being vetted by, did not actually vet the “orb”. (I suspected as much, I couldn’t find NetZero on the VERRA website, but I wasn’t sure–their website is a bit difficult to search and I thought there was some possibility that it was entered under some different name.)
Speculating a little based on what they say on the Kickstarter page… Joseph Kelly, the CEO, apparently bought the IP rights to this project from some mycologists in 2012. I’d wonder whether this is a case of a legitimate, at least good-intentioned, mycoremediation project from Stamets’ students getting bought out and taken over by a fraudster. (Or this is just plain untrue and they’re using Stamets’ name baselessly, like they apparently use VERRA.)