Monday, February 13, 2006

Full Moon and Mushrooms

I was on Denman Island last night under a gorgeous full moon.

Not only was it a pleasant evening gathering with women I really like and respect, but I learned ever so much about permaculture, worms, and diesel-eating mushrooms.

My friend Wind has returned from a two-week activist-training course with Starhawk in California and she had some wonderful stories to share.

"I'm just so in love with fungi right now", she grinned.

At one of the lectures she attended, mycologists (mushroom scientists) did a presentation on how oyster mushrooms are able to ingest toxins (such as pesticides, or diesel from a spill). The mushrooms can actually draw poisons and heavy metals out of soil so that it can be safely used again. In environmental circles, this is heady stuff.

Though of course you wouldn't want to add those same mushrooms to your salad afterwards.

She also learned how some scientists believe that mushrooms and fungi in a forest eco-system fulfil the role of nervous tissue in the human body. They act as a sort of communication transmission system, like the internet, if you will, as this article I found explains.

And could it really be true that a slimy fungi could navigate a maze?

Mmmmm, mushrooms. Such useful and mysterious things. And to think I used to pick them off my pizza and discard them when I was younger.

Wind says she learned a lot about creating gardens and permaculture while she was down in California on this trip. She says it boils down to what the Denman community is already doing: creating soil, saving heritage seed, and being able to grow your own food .

She is wearing a very sweet little necklace now in the shape of a worm.


Morris said...

Those look like they would give you a massive drug trip!

Mr. Morris
Ask Morris

Meow said...

I love mushrooms. Didn't know they were so clever, though. Whoda thunk ???
Take care, Meow

windowtomymind said...

As a child of seven my mother took me to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. I picked and tried to eat the "toadstool." Mom slaped my hand and said, "They are poisonous to eat."

From then on I had no reason to eat mushrooms.

melanie said...

This site has my favourite bracelet in the world.

Sherry said...

Happy Valentine's Day!!

erikku said...

Fungi are fantastic.

Grant said...

'Shrooms and heavy metal rulez! Bark at the moon.

At least that's what I got out of this post.

nicki said...

interesting post spider :) always lots to learn over here :)

Ms.L said...

How fascinating!

Spider Walk said...

This may be a stupid question, but I know you are a teacher and won't scold me for it :) If some species of mushrooms are good for cleaning up toxic spills, do you know if there are edible ones that help clean out a toxic human body?
Seriously! I am very intregued (Sp?) by what you learned and by what you wrote!

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Tim Rice said...

Thanks for your sharing about mushrooms. I always enjoy learning more about nature. And it's fascinating to hear the role that mushrooms might play in our world.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Morris; those mushrooms look as if they would make run down the street naked screaming about aliens.

keeks said...

Very interesting! When I look at those mushrooms I think of my favourite veggie burger made with portabello...yum!

Fahd Mirza said...

great post.