Feeding The Roots: Radical Mycology Workshop in Durango

Posted: October 5, 2011 by earthfirstdurango in coal, direct action, environmental justice, fracking, logging, mining, oil & gas, shale oil, uranium, water
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Digesting the toxic wounds of civilization, feeding the roots of ecological sanity…

Saturday, October 8 · 3:00pm – ?
Turtle Lake Refuge
848 E. 3rd Ave.
Durango, CO

***not a Turtle Lake Refuge event


WHAT: We want to facilitate the creation of free instructional workshop space for the open sharing of knowledge between mycologists, hobbyists, activists and earth healers in the southwest. We want to explore ideas of remediation within our local community and take direct action toward the realization of those ideas. Workshops will emphasize low-tech and low-budget techniques that support community building and self-sufficiency while encouraging independence from corporate, non-local, or environmentally exploitative materials and/or practices.

This weekend will start off what we hope to be a long lasting, ever-growing network of radical fungiphiles (fungus lovers) in the Southwest. So bring knowledge to share, excitement to learn, and the energy to act!

• Learn about bio/myco-remediation efforts happening around the world and discuss how such practices could be translated to our community

• Practice hands-on techniques to start cultivating native fungus at home and in your community including:

* Cold water straw pasteurization
* Corrugated cardboard inoculation
* Making spore prints
* Native species identification
* more…

• Discuss local environmental and community issues:

* Animas River contaminants
* the importance of native species as a response to local problems
* starting a local spore bank network for native and rare species
* Disaster Response Preparation
* Using mushrooms to treat illness
* Local food sources threatened by hydrofraking
* chemical pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides in parks, trails, meadows, lawns
* Smelter Mtn. Area
* Black Mesa Bio-filtration Project
* more…


-mushrooms to identify
-corrugated cardboard
-toilet paper rolls
-waste paper
-coffee bags
-fungus identification books


Glenn – vapidrice[at]riseup.net
Becky – pipisana[at]msn.com or
Beth – (559) 346-8661


Through the use of powerful enzymes, it has been discovered that certain mushrooms are able to break down not just organic matter into fertile soil, but also toxic chemicals and other waste products of industrial civilization into non-toxic compounds. Mushroom species have been discovered that can break down petroleum products, effectively cleaning up off shore oil spills. Other are readily able to “soak up” and sequester heavy metals such as cadmium, radioactive cesium, mercury, lead and arsenic from polluted soil, concentrating them into the mushroom’s fruiting body for easy disposal (a reason why you should NEVER eat a mushroom that was potentially grown on substrates carrying heavy metals, they just do such a good job of cleaning!). Through the intentional introduction of the right species at the right times, humans can methodically harness the power of our fungal allies to heal damaged environments.

Like the underground networks of mushrooms, we network together to share these skills and knowledge. After digesting the overwhelming amount of fungal wisdom accumulated in the Northwest this summer, we decided that the information gained needs to be shared with everyone interested, independent of capital gains and social reputation. The land and the fungi call for the formation of a direct action earth healing group in our community.

Consider the life cycle of mushrooms, especially the mycelial stage, as a metaphor for the way humans can choose to interact in and with Gaia, our one world. As an endless cycle of growth, decay, networking, sharing, and purification this cycle is a process both beautiful and enchanting, complex and intriguing (so much more than the life-giving destruction its job as decomposer appears to be). Just as mushrooms use their abilities to share nutrients with plants and break down toxic chemicals to keep their microcosm cleaner and healthier, so can we as humans live committed to the health of our planet through our natural role as stewards and care takers of the land. Like the mushrooms?and their mycelium? that form from individual spores to flourish and co-exist with nature in harmony, so too can we choose to spend our existence interconnected with each other and the planet to grow and live better fuller lives. Mushrooms teach us how to care for each other, how to see life as a perpetual cycle of interdependence, a fragile balance between give and take where not one species dominates but all rely on each other. They help us reconnect with and accept an often denied and feared aspect of the wheel of life, that of death and decay. Let’s spread these spores!!! Both literally and metaphorically we can inoculate our communities and directly aid the earth in its natural healing process!

Thanks! If you have any question, please let us know!

Becky – pipisana[at]msn.com
Beth (559) 346-8661
Glenn – vapidrice[at]riseup.net

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