Workshop on fungi and permaculture
Meghan and I met at a Permaculture Design Course (PDC) and while on the course both realized two things related to fungi:
- We were intrigued by fungi and wanted to learn more about their ecology or how to grow them and
- Fungi are typically overlooked in permaculture designs. We barely spoke about fungi in our PDC and few of the permaculture books we read (see reference list below) discuss the importance of fungi and how to integrate them into your designs in any substantial way. I am not sure why this is, perhaps because fungi are not well understood in Western culture. Thankfully we have come across several fungi books that discuss the importance and methods of growing fungi in the context of permaculture (see reference list below)!
Given our interests in both permaculture and fungi, one of our motivations for starting Fungi Akuafo was to learn and make information about the roles of fungi, types of species to grow in our climate and growing techniques more accessible to local permaculture designers and gardeners. This summer we were super excited to participate in the 2017 Southern Alberta Permaculture Convergence and lead our first workshop on fungi and permaculture to a room full of permies!
It was a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon and we ran the workshop in the backyard of Barb Hazenveld’s (one of the organizers of the convergence) home. The workshop involved two parts:
Consisted of a brief overview of the life history of fungi, different ecological roles they play and things to consider when integrating them into your designs
Demonstrations of four installation techniques:
- stacks (using Blue Oyster sawdust spawn)
- woodchip beds (using King Stropharia)
- compost (using Shaggy Mane).
We had a great experience and met lots of friendly fungi loving people, many of whom were happy to share with the group their own knowledge and experiences with growing mushrooms! We learned a lot from this experience and it has kick started us to start designing a suit of workshops that we will be able to offer in the city or at the farm starting in 2018. So stay tuned!
Permaculture Books and Links that Discuss Fungi
- Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture: A Practical Guide to Small-Scale, Integrative Farming and Gardening by Sepp Holzer
- Farming the Woods: An Integrated Permaculture Approach to Growing Food and Medicinals in Temperate Forests by Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel
Fungi Books and Links that Discuss Permaculture
- Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation by Tradd Cotter
- Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World by Paul Stamets
- Radical Mycology by Peter McCoy
- Mycelium Mayhem by David and Kristin Sewak
- Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms by Paul Stamets