Saturday, August 8, 2009

A kingdom less explored

I photographed these mushrooms today in a corner of my garden - a community of them pushing up through the mulch in the deep shade near the compost heap. They look delicious and safe, but I can't identify them yet, so we won't eat them - yet.

It reminded me of a conversation I had a couple of years ago with an ethno-botantist who talked passionately of Mycelium that can absorb toxic waste out of an oily soil and break carbon-hydrogen bonds so effectively that you can pick the mushrooms and eat them after they've cleaned up our waste in the soil. Mycelium even use radiation of a source of energy.

Fungi is one of the Earth's Kingdoms that we have largely ignored - if we understand these life forms well we could do so much. Early studies show incredible anti-bacterial and anti-viral qualities.

Paul Stamets is a leading mycologist with a passion for sustainability. Check out his TED talk:

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