This installment of an ongoing series profiling resourceful, innovative, self-sufficient people features stories about a California professor who uses straw as mushroom soil and an Oklahoma man who has devoted himself to banjo craft.
Dr. Kurtzman examines a fungal specimen grown in straw, aka "mushroom soil."
PHOTO: TOYA MORGAN/USDA AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE (MUSHROOM)
Biology professor and environmental activist Wayne P. Mueller at work in the field.
PHOTO: MIKE KEATING
Don Thomas displaying the product of his banjo craft.
PHOTO: VAL PIPPS
Jeanne and Norbert Pierlot work on a ceramic piece. Though hard to see, the inset is Chateau Ratilly.
PHOTO: MICHAEL BADHAIR WILLAIMS
Sunday Ajayi handling an African giant rat.
PHOTO: GENE ULANSKY
Michael Epp and Bob Shannon in the space that became People-Space, their alternative architecture business.
PHOTO: ERICA A. ROTH
Folktellers Barbara Freeman and Connie Regan.
PHOTO: MICHAEL BADHAIR WILLIAMS
Left: Mushroom soil developer Dr. Ralph Kurtzman. Right: Banjo craft-er Don Thomas.