ONfungi uses citizen science to build soil and research carbon storage

Community garden experiment begins with beans

July 8, 2022 — The South Lanark Community Garden partnered with ONfungi to test ONfdc (fungal dominant compost) in this seasons community garden.

Our Youth Community Garden Program has inoculated and planted 3 varieties of bush beans to see how they perform in comparison to non-inoculated control beans of the same varieties. To our amazement the inoculated beans have emerged first.

Cliff Neudorf
SLCG volunteers start their ONfdc bean trials.

Dr. Alberto Suarez Esteban is off and growing! Photo: Kelvin Hodges, May 07, 2022.

Let the 2022 testing season begin!

Update July 6, 2022 — Alberto is reporting results from the soil inoculated with ONfdc with Red Wheat as superior, fair with both the foliar and non inoculated rows. Photos to follow.

First news is in: May 29, 2022
Control plot left; foliar spray plot right.
Here the control is far right. Left is foliar and center is fdc.
Healthy growth in Alberto’s wheat test plot.

May 9, 2022 — ONfungi’s own Dr. Alberto Suarez Esteban is off and growing with a four variation test plot looking at ONfdc with both different application types, methods and plant varieties.

Alberto will update us on his progress and give us an overview of his work as soon as he gets a free moment. Market gardeners and scientists both have very busy schedules. So let’s all take a moment to thank him for his work!


3.7, the new batch of ONfdc is a record maker

Scott the wizard of compost Hortop has hit a new peak. Folks, anything over 3 to 1 fungi to bacteria ratio is considered excellent. To hit 3.7, absolutely amazing. Please join us in giving Scott a big round of applause and much glory.

This batch of ONfdc (fungal dominant compost) was started by volunteers in 2020. Hovered over and cared for by Scott.

Remember, its your interest, work, support and love that keep us going. And its paying off. We are making really good progress on the science. Our volunteer board and members is so weighted with talent we are just tickled pink.

The kits are going out steadily to a wide range of farms, garden, education and lawn groups, citizen scientists of all kinds. Thank you everyone for your kind words and kinder work.

And here’s to Scott!

Note: all orders are now being shipped with the new 3.7 ONfdc.

The proof is in the measure. The MicroBIOMETER reading came in at 3.7! Well done Scott.

2021 experiments went really well (thank you intern Emma Roy). Now to look deeper. Join our 2022 experiment cycle.

The new 2022 experiments are here!

Our own Alberto Suarez Esteban has designed this years experiment cycle. And Kelvin has been able to start getting the instructions online! Great! Let’s go!

For spring 2022 we are testing the FDC in three ways:

1) using seeds for germination and growth tests

2) applying to a lawn, or top dressing a lawn

3) use with seedlings (already started plants)

See our 2022 experiments page for full info.


ONfungi’s citizen science welcomes new partner The South Lanark Community Garden

March 14, 2022 — The South Lanark Community Garden is the newest addition to our citizen science project.

South Lanark Community Garden has agreed to run a variety of the citizen science experiments, use youth volunteers, and build bioreactors; all in support of healthier soil and food for all.

Learn more about South Lanark Community Garden here.

Are we growing! Yes! Join in!

The South Lanark Community Garden has joined ONfungi’s citizen science.

Improving plant nutrition with farm practices needs your help.

In the article “Farms following soil-friendly practices grow heatlhier food” we see that science is supporting the contention that soil-building techniques can improve plant nutrient density.

This year we’re testing our ONfdc (fungal dominant compost) for just that reason. Can we grow more nutrient dense foods? Join our citizen science and find out.

See the full article for more.

We’re joined by the esteemed scientist, Phd and organic gardener Alberto Suarez Esteban.

ONfungi is growing

Due to determination and hard work in 2021 we’re very pleased to say we’re being joined by a new volunteer. The esteemed scientist and Phd Alberto Suarez Esteban is now leading our citizen science team. You can learn more about Alberto on our Who We Are page here.


These two sunflowers, grown in the same soil, planted at the same time; both look great. But one is a monster! Join the ONfungi citizen science cycle and see if you find the same result!

Our shop is now open with new 2022 citizen science

New for spring 2022 is more citizen science, better testing, bigger product sizes and lower costs for gardeners and soil regeneration citizen scientists

Join the farmers; market gardeners; community gardens; private gardens; lawn professionals — just a few of the folks and organizations joining with ONfungi — and get your ONfdc (fungal dominant compost) growing now.

Ideal for seed starting!

Get your ONfdc kit here. Grow, observe, report!

Its easy. Fun. And you’re doing real work towards creating a healthier tomorrow for everyone.


Double the amount; 40% off! Get your citizen science kit and grow home soil while yielding science results

That’s right, all kits are shipping with the NEW 3.7 ONfdc! Until June 15 ONfungi starter / citizen science kits are only $22 including shipping! These 100g 150g (nah, 300g!!!) kits are perfect for inoculating gardens, lawns, seed starting soils and more.

Plus — bonus 50g for the first 500 kits. Now doubled!

Learn more about the kits here.
Purchase a kit here.

We are introducing the Woo ecommerce solution, let us know what you think. Special thanks to Fundrzr (and volunteer Tim!) for their support of our 2021 efforts.

For Spring 2022 we’re having a garden and lawn sale. The full kit with bonus(es!) for just $22. Limited time. Limited quantity.

Now featuring our new 3.7 ONfdc. Thank you for your support.

And remember, until June 15 all kits are doubled.


2021 Test Bed Planting Report Now Available

Dec 22, 2021 — The Regenerative Effects of Fungal Dominant Compost: Pilot Study has been released. The report, prepared by Emma Roy, Scott Hortop and Hailee Turry, is part of our ONfungi citizen science project and research series. The work, done over the summer of 2021, continues to advance and expand the understanding of the utility of Fungal Dominant Compost (FDC).

Download the 2021 report here.

Love fungi? check out news from around the world, book reviews and more

Dec 03, 2021 — Read now about the new SPUN project that looks to map fungal networks around the world. Also new work by researchers Merlin Sheldrake; Canadian Suzanne Simard. Discover more notable fungi voices faster at our new page.

We would love your input. Suggestions and reviews welcomed.

Volunteer Janice Reid kindly demonstrates the 2021/22 Lawn Experiment.

Join the science team. Buy your citizen science kit here!

Just in: New video outlines Lawn Experiment cycle “Mix, Strain, Apply”

Nov 15, 2021 — In this video we demonstrate the basic “Lawn Enhancement Study.” This citizen science exploriation is designed to test whether the fungal dominant compost (FDC) can build carbon in lawn soils. We will observe changes to the soil and plants, measuring carbon and fungal/bacteria balance.

For full instructions see “Lawn Experiment Demonstration

And don’t forget … buy a citizen science kit and join in!


Volunteers Pamela Steele and Mike Pitcher are seen here filling one of 8 new bioreactors. Photo: Scott Hortop.
Nov 5: Scott Hortop gets a plug from the CBC on FDC: How Fallen Leaves can Fight Climate Change.
Nov 10: 8 bioreactors full and starting on their 2 year journey to 2023. Time is good thing when it comes to life.
Eight new ONfungi bioreactors are full and on the journey to 2023 lawn, garden and farm use

Nov 1, 2021 — Volunteers Pam Steele and Mike Pitcher (l-r) pose by the bioreactors being started for the 2023 growing season. Along with Dave Bustard (not shown) the crew has now filled 4 of 8 bioreactors (update-Nov 2) (“Almost 5”-Nov 3)

“I’m really impressed with their dedication. They started a new bioreactor this morning and by finish time it was full,” said Scott the wizard Hortop.

The new volunteers join the bioreactor crew of Scott Hortop, Mark MacKenzie, Kelvin Hodges and Emma Roy. “We have 8 new bioreactors prepping fungal dominant compost (FDC) in support of the 2023 growing season,” said Emma. “I’m looking forward to years of continuing research.”

Follow the Story: Video and plans for the bioreactors are in progress.

Buy your Bioreactor Kit here!


Oct. 15, 2021 — experiments find ONfungi inoculate shows real value. Photo: Kelvin Hodges
See Kelvin and Sue's video results on rooting success here.
Fall farm test cycle finds ONfungi FDC doubles soil carbon, improves fungal balance and results in larger growth

Our final microbiometer readings were extraordinary. The plot with the Fungal Dominant Compost (FDC) now boasts a 1.4:1 fungal to bacteria ratio. In contrast, the control measures 0.6:1. For a comparison, a high quality forest soil typically boasts a 3:1 fungi to bacteria ratio. Grasslands are typically 1:1. Plus, when we look at soil carbon levels, we see that in 8 weeks this treated soil went from poor in carbon to superior. Fabiotic!

Follow Emma’s test bed cycle here.

ONfungi says “find joy”

To restore the planet, let’s play in the mud

ONfungi is a group of volunteers and one biologist who organize citizen science soil restoration and carbon storage explorations.

It works as you apply our “mud” or Fungal Dominant Compost (ONfdc) to your lawn, garden or farm field. When you report the results using the online reporting fields; you become the planets soil hero!

Your time, money and hard work are then used to do neat science. Plant, Observe and Report! Its fun, its easy, and it adds to the very real science required to address climate change.

Yes, you are a climate science hero. Get your ONfungi experiment Kit and play.

Learn more about our citizen science and how to join in here

Feel the mud. Turn your lawn, garden or farm into a soil regenerating joy.
Discover joy for all ages using your lawn or garden. Its about gathering data and having fun. Rural? special consideration for farmers doing no-till. Urban? your support also supports farmers.

To support ONfungi, with a donation go here: The planet thanks you.
Rewards! Participants are eligible for Green bar recognition of their contribution to science and ONfungi pin.

Win a pin!

Your kit 2022 kit now includes double sized packages of our new 3.7 ONfdc. Plus, scientist developed experiments; and a variety of ways to experiment or just add to your garden, lawn or trees. Instructions for simple use as well as test participation are all there.
Hopefully we’ll have better access to the reporting feature and more … secret surprises? Maybe. Well. Yes, but we’re trying to be mysterious.
Newsletter signup: Periodically we’ll send out a newsletter on our latest activities.

Thanks to Fundrazr. They have provided their platform and assistance at no cost to ONfungi. They believe in what we are doing too.

We are also deeply grateful to Sustainable Eastern Ontario for their Intern Support Program.

With a special nod to GreenDavid.ca for their help developing and publishing this work.

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