The soil will save us, and so will mushrooms

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It feels good when I’m reminded that the work I do is good for myself and the world. Serendipitous occurrences make it all them more exciting!¬†While tabling as a vendor this last weekend at my favorite summer event, the Northeast Organic Farming Association conference, I came across an interesting book: “The Soil Will Save Us” by Kristin Ohlson. A fine example and story for how we can move civilization towards a more regenerative world, and away from one that destroys. While reading it today, in a chapter describing the amazing¬†life giving processes in the ground below our feet, I came across this:

“… the silky cocoons of fungal hyphae near the roots of trees… lace together healthy soil — in a cubic foot, there can be 320 miles of [fungus roots]…”

Being inspired I decided to venture out into the garden, and eventually the greenhouse. Soon after entering, I look down to a disturbed area behind our aquaponics tanks, to behold a wondrous site. A patch of elegant parasol mushrooms (Macrolepiota procera) had exploded through the sand. In the picture above you can actually see a white film covering the ground, as the mushrooms had ejected their reproductive white spores (one way to tell these from their green spored poisonous lookalike cousins).

With a hunch from past mushroom forays, I decided to key out the mushroom. My hunch was confirmed, the parasol is a delicious wild edible. I did not encourage them, or even expect them inside the greenhouse on a sand pile, but there it was shinning brightly for all to see, calling out, asking me to pick it. An intelligent evolutionary adaptation, for spreading its spores around my garden as I walk to the kitchen to cook it for dinner.