Hey permaculture and mycology geeks the Radical Mycology Convergence is coming up soon!

From my close friends at Radical Mycology:

Radical Mycology Convergence 2011 September 2nd – 5th, 2011 (Labor Day Weekend)

Where: Concrete, WA (2 hours NE of Seattle)

–contact us at radmycology@gmail.com for exact directions.

The Vision:

A free, volunteer-run gathering of mycologists, hobbyists, and Earth healers coming together to share skills and information related to the benefits of the fungal kingdom in terms of remediative properties as well as human uses. This weekend-long event will culminate in a remediation project to put theory to practice and will also be a unique chance to build community with like-minded mycophiles (aka mushroom lovers) from around North America. Why: Because these skills need to get shared! We want to make this information accessible and tangible for as many people as possible without making it overly-heady or technical. Our hope is to see mycological work someday become as common as gardening (well, sort of)!


Anyone interested in these skills is invited to come. Space is limited to just a few hundred people this first year so be sure to RSVP by emailing us at radmycology@gmail.com!! The Olympia Mycelial Network, organizers of the RMC, would like to cordially invite anyone interested in participating in this event to come and learn, help out, or teach! For more information, please read on or contact us via email. Why “Radical?” We see the use of fungal species for environmental betterment as an extension of “radical” or “deep” ecology, which considers all beings as having an inherent value and interdependence. Through the use of fungi to enact change, we are attempting to challenge assumptions about the importance of the fungal kingdom in an effort to help shift our relationship to the Earth toward greater harmony. Many people think of fungi only as food or poison and are oblivious to their role as decomposers. We seek to redefine the role of fungi in our lives as we gain a deeper understanding of their role in their ecosystems.

Stay Updated:

To stay up to date on the RMC, you can join the (low traffic) Radical Mycology Announcement listserv which will keep you updated on major announcements about the event. We will never sell or give out your information. You can also follow us on Facebook here.

Mission Statement:

The Radical Mycology Convergence (RMC) is a free, volunteer-run gathering of mushroom enthusiasts working to share knowledge and skills related to the use of mushrooms for environmental and personal betterment. A non-discriminatory and family-friendly event, the RMC will bring together people of all backgrounds and abilities to destigmatize and simplify this information through the engagement of various learning modes while fostering a network of like-minded people. The RMC will focus around skills related to the use of fungal species for the remediation of damaged environments to create a better world with greater ecological health.


Workshops at the RMC 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. Primary Goals Provide free, hands-on mycoremediation training. Emphasize low tech/budget techniques for soil and forest restoration. Create a decentralized, inclusive network of mycologists to facilitate the expansion of knowledge, techniques, cultures, and community. Be as inclusive as possible to people of various class backgrounds, races, culture, abilities, genders and ages. Engage multiple modes of learning (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, etc.). Normalize and de-stigmatize mushrooms and their many uses. Promote a better understanding of fungal biology, and the role of fungi in soil science. Create a world with better soil, and greater ecological health. Guiding Principles: Building community, building a decentralized network of mycologists. Emphasize local, non-corporate, non-industrial, non-exploitative practices wherever possible. Encourage building a barter and gift-based economy. Maintain an egalitarian, horizontal, and inclusive organizational structure. Integration of anti-oppression principles, creating a safer space. Being non-discriminatory and accessible. Keep everything as free/cheap and in the commons as possible. Workshop Wishlist (be a teacher!)

Below are the workshops we hope to have at the event however we can not guarantee all topics will be covered. We need your help! If you feel you could cover one of the topics below (other ideas are encouraged too!) feel free to raise your hand! The organizers of the RMC do not have all of the knowledge and are hoping on visitors to help collaborate and bring something to the table if they can. If you are interested in facilitating or co-facilitating a workshop feel free to contact us at radmycology@gmail.com or simply fill out a workshop description here to let us know. Our collective efforts will make the RMC as great as it can be. Plus, all people that help with the event will be endowed with special gift packages! Mushrooms 101 Fungal Lifecycle and Forest Ecology Identification Skills Foraging Ethics, Tricks, and Tips Mushroom related workshops and activities for youth Ethnomycology (human uses for mushrooms for utilitarian and spiritual purposes) Mushrooms dyes and pigments Cooking with mushrooms Mushroom based art Mushroom paper making Open discussions on the future of the fungal kingdom in the role of environmental improvement. Cultivation / Remediation Sterile lab techniques Cultivation without the uses of fossil fuels / pasteurization Mushrooms in the garden Using mushrooms for soil improvement (water retention and nutrient availability) Mushrooms and permaculture Mycoremediation overview and techniques Mycoremediation projects Advanced Mycology Advanced fungal biology Soil analysis and testing the results of a remediation project Other? We also plan to set aside time for culture/spore print swapping, open discussions on various topics, and a mycotalent show! Participate! Volunteer! While there is vast potential for this event, it will only be what the people involved make it. We have many ideas and visions for making the convergence as successful as possible but we will need help! If you are interested in donating or contributing to the convergence we are looking for help with the following.

Volunteering Roles:

If you are interested in helping us to any degree, we would be most appreciative. No prior knowledge is required, just a desire to help! We are asking those interested in volunteering to either fill out this sign up form here (it can be anonymous if you like) or to email us at radmycology@gmail.com to let us know. Below is a short list of the various roles we are hoping to get filled, let us know what interests you. All people that help with the event will be endowed with special gift packages! Helpers before, during, and after the event with set up, kitchen, clean up, parking, logistics, etc. Childcare providers and hosts for mushroom related activities for kids. Media-minded folks to document the event Graphic designers/artists to help with outreach material (more/better flyers would be great!) Promoters (tell your friends, forward emails, put up flyers!) Web/wiki developers to build a DIY mycology database and communication network Remediation project co-designers / co-facilitators Presenters/skill-sharers (see the workshop wishlist above) Mushrooms-based artists to design a central mushroom art project Medics / Healthcare practitioners (just in case) Donations and Equipment Loans Below is a short list of things we will need for the event. If you wish to make a donation to the convergence in any form or to lend us some equipment for its duration please contact us at radmycology@gmail.com.


You can donate to the Radical Mycology Convergence via Paypal here.

Money will be used to cover insurance, food, cultivation supplies, fuel/energy, bulk spawn for the remediation project, and whatever else comes up! Presentation tools (PA sound system, Microphones, Video projectors, etc.) Cultivation supplies (flowhood, 55 gal food grade steel drums, burlap sacks, wood chips, straw bales, spawn, spore prints, cultures, etc.) Food and cooking supplies! Flyers & Promotion: As a grassroots effort, we need all the help we can get with promoting this event. Please tell your friends, link us on your blog or Facebook, or print out these flyers

About the Location:

The ideal location we have been offered has several indoor workshop spaces, ample room outdoors for workshops, food forests and other permacultural gardens in need of myco-friends, and space for 300+ campers and visitors! The caretakers of the land are excited to be a part of the RMC and the model / guiding principles they follow themselves fall quite closely in line with the visions we’ve been having for the RMC. We feel that for many reasons we couldn’t have asked for a better place. Note: if you plan on attending the RMC the caretakers advise the following: Lodging will consist primarily of free on-site camping. Whether on the front acres of the property or in the woods in the back of the property. Hotels and other indoor lodging options are available in the surrounding area. Parking is some what limited so we are highly encouraging carpooling (for many reasons, really). Carpooling information is provided to those who RSVP. Sorry, but no outside dogs will be allowed on the property (kennels are available in the area). As a family-friendly (i.e. drug-free, non-oppressive) event we hope to have workshops for youth and childcare provided for the duration of the RMC. Thse will likely be hosted in one of the workshop spaces. Bathroom facilities will consist of outhouses and a composting toilet. Personal catholes will also be allowed near the backwoods campsites. This will be a “Pack-It-In-Pack-It-Out” event. This means garbage will be kept to a minimum and we ask visitors to take care of all personal waste.

Paul Stamets On Radiation Contamination Around Fukushima

*This article is crossposted from hopedance.org*

Many people have written me and asked more or less the same question:  “What would you do to help heal the Japanese landscape around the failing nuclear reactors?” 

The enormity and unprecedented nature of this combined natural and human-made disaster will require a massive and completely novel approach to management and remediation.  And with this comes a never before seen opportunity for collaboration, research and wisdom. 

The nuclear fallout will make continued human habitation in close proximity to the reactors untenable. The earthquake and tsunami created enormous debris fields near the nuclear reactors. Since much of this debris is wood, and many fungi useful in mycoremediation are wood decomposers and build the foundation of forest ecosystems, I have the following suggestions: 

1. Evacuate the region around the reactors. 

2. Establish a high-level, diversified remediation team including foresters, mycologists, nuclear and radiation experts, government officials, and citizens. 

3. Establish a fenced off Nuclear Forest Recovery Zone. 

4. Chip the wood debris from the destroyed buildings and trees and spread throughout areas suffering from high levels of radioactive contamination.  

5. Mulch the landscape with the chipped wood debris to a minimum depth of 12-24 inches. 

6. Plant native deciduous and conifer trees, along with hyper-accumulating mycorrhizal mushrooms, particularly Gomphidius glutinosus, Craterellus tubaeformis, and Laccaria amethystina (all native to pines). G. glutinosus has been reported to absorb – via the mycelium – and concentrate radioactive Cesium 137 more than 10,000-fold over ambient background levels. Many other mycorrhizal mushroom species also hyper-accumulate.  

7. Wait until mushrooms form and then harvest them under Radioactive HAZMAT protocols. 

8.  Continuously remove the mushrooms, which have now concentrated the radioactivity, particularly Cesium 137, to an incinerator. Burning the mushroom will result in radioactive ash. This ash can be further refined and the resulting concentrates vitrified (placed into glass) or stored using other state-of-the-art storage technologies. 

By sampling other mushroom-forming fungi for their selective ability to hyper-accumulate radioactivity, we can learn a great deal while helping the ecosystem recover. Not only will some mushroom species hyper-accumulate radioactive compounds, but research has also shown that some mycorrhizal fungi bind and sequester radioactive elements so they remain immobilized for extended periods of time. Surprisingly, we learned from the Chernobyl disaster that many species of melanin-producing fungi have their growth stimulated by radiation. 

The knowledge gained through this collaborative process would not only benefit the areas affected by the current crisis, but would also help with preparedness and future remediation responses.   

How long would this remediation effort take? I have no clear idea but suggest this may require decades. However, a forested national park could emerge –The Nuclear Forest Recovery Zone – and eventually benefit future generations with its many ecological and cultural attributes.  

I do not know of any other practical remedy. I do know that we have an unprecedented opportunity to work together toward solutions that make sense.  

For references consult my latest book, Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World (Ten Speed Press, Berkeley or www.fungi.com). Utilizing search engines of the scientific literature will also reveal more corroborative references. 

Paul Stamets

Open Source Mycology: 7 precious Mushrooms

Your faithful editor @gaiapunk here:

First of all,

I hope you were inspired and awakened to action by that awesome interview with our local permaculture and myco wizard Paul Stamets.

Well, I magically awoke at 4:00am and decided that I’ve had enough sleep (4hrs) and that the day was to begin in full AWESOMENESS (it’s even sunny today very rare for an Olympia winter day).  Maybe it had something to do with the excitement of knowing I would be announcing a new Project Page and a new project the 7 Precious Mushrooms Zine!  The 7 Precious Mushrooms are a collection of seven key medicinal mushrooms that boost the immune system and whose active ingredients fight numerous diseases.  After taking these mushrooms in tincture form and experiencing the positive effects for myself I decided I wanted to learn and share as much as possible regarding their miraculous properties.    This project will be broadcast to the wider net community and will be conceived as a open source collaboration in partnership with well loved Spore Liberation Front.  If you have something that you would like to contribute please email me at thejulianeffect(at)gmail.com with the subject line “open source mycology”.  The first contribution is a slideshow about the Reishi mushroom gifted to me by the lovely Miriah Mc Donald.  Please broadcast this project far and wide on the internets like the good little info spore that it is.

The 7 Precious Mushrooms

Black Reishi (Ganoderma sinense), Red Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), Reishi mycelium, Chaga (Inonotus obliquus), Shiitake (Lentinula edodes), Maitake, (Grifola frondosa) and Cordyceps mycelium (Cordyceps sinensis)

Dirt the Movie!

Vandana Shiva

I’m really excited to see this film and debute it in my community.  It has a great cast of main characters:

Jamie Lee CurtisBill Logan Andy Lipkis Vandana Shiva Wangari Maathai Wes JacksonSebastiao SalgadoLelia Deluiz Wanick Salgado Paul StametsMiguel AltieriPierre RabhiDavid OrrMajora CarterJames JilerFritjof CapraPeter Girguis |Alice WatersGary VaynerchukJanine BenyusJohn Todd

but it also stars my most favorite environmental super-celebrity DIRT!       [tweetmeme]