The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › mycelium, an example of living in harmony

mycelium, an example of living in harmony

francesco s.
user 3227838
Portland, ME
Post #: 11
Sorry Susannah and I couldn't attend the meeting on medicinal mushrooms tonight. However, we received the new issue of The Sun today and read an interview featuring Paul Stamets, author of Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save The World. I recommend you go to your local bookstore - we prefer Longfellow Books at Monument Square - and buy The Sun and subscribe; it's our favorite magazine. We'll furnish you w/ a copy of the interview if you request it.
My favorite part of the interview was when Stamets gave an example of how mycelium (the mushroom is the fruit of the mycelium) "the underground network of rootlike fibers that can stretch for miles," transports nutrients to the hemlock trees that are growing in the shade of old-growth forest. When the hemlocks were dug up and placed in a greenhouse and given similar amount of light to when they were thriving in the shaded forest the hemlocks died. Researchers found that the mycelium connecting the hemlock to the birch and alder trees growing along rivers were transporting the nutrients gained from the photosynthesis process of the birch and alders. The hemlocks could only survive in the shade through the connection of the mycelium to the trees that didn't need all the nutrients they were receiving.
The living paradigm of interconnection in Nature is what is desperately needed in our aggressive world. Mushrooms are teaching us what we need to know.
David S.
stereoview
Washington, ME
Post #: 82
I have pointed out in the past that over 90% of our plants form mycorrhizal relationships. The largest known organisms on earth are mycelial masses. Bigger than blue whales and redwood trees! I certainly have mentioned Stamets and Mycelium Running probably too many times on this list.

I provide all the info you need on medicinal mushrooms local to Maine from what they look like, to how to find them and how to prepare them. Free. We actually have an abundance of this free/cheap resource. We have some/most of the very best species available anywhere too. Ganoderma tsugae, the hemlock reishi/lingchi is very likely the most powerful cancer fighting reishi. My site provides the scientific studies to back this up. Chaga is quite common. This ain't smoke and mirrors or ancient tradition. You don't have to burn a drop of gas. That said, I certainly understand the value of hands on experience and the empowerment of meeting with like-minded people.

You don't need your medicinals to come from China. In fact, recent evidence shows that mushrooms from China often pose a significant health risk due to their unchecked industrial pollution. Cadmium, mercury and other heavy metals. When people are taking us to the cleaners on products like this, we should be getting out to find our own. There is satisfaction in finding it yourself and peace in knowing where it came from. Maine is much cleaner than a lot of China.

We are reaching a point where we are going to have to give serious thought to mycorrhizal habitat preservation and restoration. What do we know about it? Not enough. One problem is that you cannot see these underground mycelial tsunamis. Even if you could, identifying what they are and how they interact is still a problem. We may never know. We have to preserve their environment. Excluding plant roots fungi comprise 90% of the living matter in soil. Bugs, worms, etc. 10%. There are (supposedly) 8 miles of hyphae in a cubic inch of soil.

It certainly exposes the weaknesses of soil science, conventional/organic gardening and permaculture that, in many ways, is still firmly rooted in the 19th century when understanding of fungi was practically nonexistant. We didn't have to know. Our environment was not so crowded and screwed up. They went about their business silently. We didn't make the gains in knowledge we needed in the 20th century. Mycology is still more about what it is than what it means. Now fungi preservation, propagation and farming needs to be incorporated.

I went through most of my life thinking earthworms were good and not realizing that most all are not a native species. The more I learn the more I understand that earthworms in the right places are OK but in the wrong places they are a problem. They can actually excacerbate erosion in some situations. Castings become topsoil runoff. Also, types of invasive worm species in the topsoil of our forests eat mycorrhizae and additionally interfere with trees ability to uptake phosphorus and other nutrients. This may be a reason sugar maples (and other trees) are in decline now.

The Native Americans did just fine without earthworms. They let nature take it's course. Fungi did their composting. Permaculture was their life.

Truth is that we all need to go back to the drawing board on these issues. Obviously the old paradigms will not sustain us for long.

I might make a few cents if you purchased Mycelium Running from amazon through my site BTW. Good price and free shipping too.
Merry & Burl H.
BeMerry
Portland, ME
Post #: 31
Dear Francesco,

May I quote you with the Stamets story and your commentary, in my upcoming book, Mainely Local Foods?

"Stamets gave an example of how mycelium (the mushroom is the fruit of the mycelium) "the underground network of rootlike fibers that can stretch for miles," transports nutrients to the hemlock trees that are growing in the shade of old-growth forest. When the hemlocks were dug up and placed in a greenhouse and given similar amount of light to when they were thriving in the shaded forest the hemlocks died. Researchers found that the mycelium connecting the hemlock to the birch and alder trees growing along rivers were transporting the nutrients gained from the photosynthesis process of the birch and alders. The hemlocks could only survive in the shade through the connection of the mycelium to the trees that didn't need all the nutrients they were receiving.
The living paradigm of interconnection in Nature is what is desperately needed in our aggressive world. Mushrooms are teaching us what we need to know.

I could not agree more with your trenchant commentary,
Blessings, Merry
francesco s.
user 3227838
Portland, ME
Post #: 12
Yes Merry, you may quote me; what an honor.

David, thank you for the connection to the book through your site.
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