Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Plastic Eating Fungus

Could this be the answer? We all wonder when the waste on earth will take a toll, well here is the answer… Fungus that can yes, eat plastic. I find this so wonderful, seeing as we have a serious issue in the world with our trash and the mass amount of food we consume.  the great part about this is its really easy. First they make small edible cup shaped things the designers call "FU". These are made from Agar it’s a seaweed substitute that is mixed with starch and sugar, it will hold the fungus and plastic. The fungus that is edible is a mass of white mycelium. One of the really cool parts about this is that you can add in spices of your choice to the “FUs” giving it your favorite flavor. All the magic happens in a large incubator like machine that is called a mutarium growth sphere.

To start the growing process you first have to put the plastic under a UV light to sterilize the plastic and start the degrading process. Next you place plain “FUs” into the growth sphere. Then you pop some of the plastic you wish to be recycled. After that place a little of the solution that contains the fungus sprout on the plastic in the “FUs”. A couple of weeks will roll by and you will have yourself a delicious meal waiting in your growth mutarium. 

I hope this idea becomes a super big thing and I hope that every home may contain a mutarium growth sphere. I can’t wait to get one of these growth spheres so I can learn how to prepare the “FUs” and make a scrumptious meal for a friend or family. It amazes me how far we have come to a cleaner and safer environment, and it makes me really happy that fungi is helping us make that change!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Forest of force

It is quite the day for me. I feel as if today is going to be one of those euphoric days. I get to spend today by myself, in the rain, in the mud. I take in the rain, the energy, the watching eyes of all life forms. I start in the dark, tall forests of Humboldt County. I can feel the love and need for each other, the network that is so connected and in-sync. One can say they feel what I have felt, but if you haven't spent countless hours walking and examining, then you would have absolutely no idea what I am preaching about. It's like feeling the greatest force in the world, and it comes at us like earthquake rolling beneath, waves of feelings and emotions. I wish you could know the things I have seen. The part of the world I’m talking about is beautiful, elegant, and sweet. This piece of the world is small, large, deadly, and even infinite. Without it, we would be nothing but dust in the wind, albeit colorful dust in the wind. These beings are colorful and essential to production of food, health, and life.

 They grow so close to us, they live among us, in us. Infectious or not, they will be here to clean up our horrible atrocities. Whether it be war, pollution, or outright violence, they will be here to break down our waste. One thing that bothers me is that they are so feared, so well-known for their destruction and evil, when in all reality, they are something to be feared and loved at the very same time. One must be careful when pursuing these weapons, these lovers, these givers of life. Most are fearful that their children will consume these perfect creatures, but really the children are essential to the gathering of the superb life givers. Reason one, children are short, and being low to the ground is essential to the finding of these small but resourceful beings.  Reason two, children are energetic and fast moving. Reason three, they are always willing to help and it makes them feel useful. It hurts me that people continue today to ignore and shun the use of such a medicinal and beneficial life-form.

 So I set out on this journey, a hunt, if you will. I am not searching for anything in particular, more or less something beautiful, smart, and amazing. Starting down the path everything begins to sway, left then right, then left again repeating motions of joy and ecstasy. I can feel it all, the branches brushed my luminescent, yet fuzzy face. The further I reached into the forest, the more I begin to understand life. I feel as if it is a new start, a new beginning. The large ferns grow like masses of human ribs, curving and extending to something. The redwoods feel like forever… I continue on and meet, very quickly, an insect of flight. He moves along just as I do using me as a landing pad. I don't mind; it makes me feel useful and interesting.

Finally, after two straight hours of continuous leg movement I reached my destination. A forest floor comprised of little yet large creators of this elegant rock that we call home. I feel right, I feel true, most of all I am home. My heart grew as big as my body and as strong as an ox. I wished I could root myself to the ground and take to the customs of these wondrous creatures. If I had the chance, without consequences, I would move there, thrive there. Most think horrible thoughts about this idea, maybe thinking I am insane or mad, when in reality I am the most sane. I set out to expand my mind, with book in hand and a magnifying glass in the other. I found what my heart desired most. The Mushroom Forest.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Mushroom Bible

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All the rain promises and more... is such a helpful book while being out in the field. It has helped me identify quite a few mushrooms. I actually came across this one (left) in the forest while I was wandering around, Shaggy stalked parasol is its most common name (Lepiota clypeolaria) its other name is (Lepiota ventriosospora). (This mushroom, yes it resembles a human breast) it is NOT edible. It is poisonous and is usually less than three inches broad. Anyways this proves how fantastic and beautiful this book is and I am still identifying many different fungus in my area.
 This is a coral fungus. Ramariopsis Kunzei, White coral fungus. Again, within ten minutes I had this one all figured out. I love this handbook so much because it has accurate descriptions of the fungus of which you are  in pursuit of. This Fungi bible is also a real tease if you can't go hunting when you want, I usually  read this book before I go to sleep and I can't sleep. Im not saying this is a bad thing, I just get crazy ideas like I could go out at twelve a.m. on a school night. Where I live I could walk a mile and come back with a whole bunch of fungi and this is great don't get me wrong but my mycophilia really kicks in at night and forces insomnia upon my mind.

What I’m getting at is this book will convert you if you have a slight doubt about going out on your own to find wild fungi. David Arora wrote the perfect pocket guide. The first page you flip to brings you straight to the fungus that you have in mind or in hand. All the rain promises and more... has a quick key that allows you to get where you need to be in the book within minutes. The key is organized by just distinct visuals, for example if it doesn't have a ring on the stalk then you may flip to page 14-32. Some guides are bulky and large, but this one is paperback and is easily flipped though. Honestly,you don't have to be a professional mycologist to identify fungus with this book, because he simplifies identifying them. In the preface of the book David Arora asserts “each mushroom is illustrated with one or more color photographs accompanied by a concise, easy-to-understand list of identifying features plus information on edibility and habitat.” I am going to come out and say it, i want to be David Arora he really inspires me to push further and further to become a mycologist. I am hopefully getting a job at a local plant nursery so I can learn more about the biology of plants because a lot of mushrooms have certain trees, ferns, shrubs, and plants that they favor to grow around or on. I feel like when i get older I will have a chain of trailers, all with regulated temperatures with many different types of mushrooms.

I wish that one day I could meet Arora in person, just because he is so intelligible. I feel like he could really break down fungus to a person simply because he wrote All that the Rain Promises and more…. I see Arora as a goal to me, I dream of being fungus smart like Arora. When i talk to other people about fungi i get really weird looks and it makes me cringe madly, that doesn't help my position at all but people are so uninformed. I know that one day we will achieve greatness as human beings by getting more in touch with our world, mushrooms are so beneficial to the growth and strength of many things in our beautiful world.