So, I read a fantastic book called “The Mushroom at the End of the World” by the anthropologist Anna Tsing. Defo worth your time. And then this invite, from a climate-engaged artist, turned up…
MYCORRHIZAL GATHERING 1: INOCULATION
Knowledge exchange for the fungally inclined.
Saturday 24th November, 10:30-5.30
Cost: £9.60 incl fees and VAT; includes an oyster mushroom growbag for each participant.
For lunch, please bring something to bring and share. If this isn’t practical, there is a very reasonably-priced cafe on site.
The venues are wheelchair accessible and just under a mile apart.
This gathering brings together artists, mycologists, activists, growers, and others interested in fungi for an exchange of practical knowledge and connective ideas. It is especially aimed at those who might be interested in starting a UK node of the ‘Radical Mycology’ network.
Radical Mycology https://radicalmycology.com/ is a grassroots movement and social philosophy based on teaching the importance of working with mushrooms and other fungi for personal, societal, and ecological resilience. It differs from classical mycology in that, rather than focusing on taxonomy, identification, study and mycophagy (eating mushrooms), Radical Mycology works to build relationships between humans and fungi for the benefit of largercommunities and the wider world. At its core is the idea that the highly resilient lifecycles of fungi and their interactions in nature serve as powerful learning tools for how humans can best relate to each other and the world we live in.
Classic examples of resilient systems in nature are the mycorrhizal (fungus-root) mutual aid associations that 95% of plants form with subsoil fungi, in whichthe plants exchange starches for water, minerals and other benefits such as deterring predators, breaking down rock into soil and filtering out heavy metals. The fossil record indicates that mycorrhizal fungi were key to the transition of plants from water to land 400 million years ago. In nature, it is survival of the most co-operative as much as it survival of the fittest (and don’t let Jordan Peterson tell you otherwise). Studying the interdependence of plants and fungi provides a useful counter to the neoliberal paradigm which claims that it is “natural” for individuals to act as rational agents motivated only by self-interest.