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.