The Fungal Garden
The Fungal Garden
Over the past 10 years, we've spread many hundreds of cubic yards of wood chips across gardens, orchards & edible landscapes.
We do this for the many benefits they provide:
- increased water retention
- weed suppressive and nutrient-rich mulch
- soil building & fungal habitat for edible mushrooms as well as mycorrhizal fungi
- increased drainage
- aesthetic, weed-free pathways between garden beds
We continue to be blown away by all the amazing functions that wood chips and their fungal-feeders bring. If we step back from the garden even further, we see a plethora of other interesting ways that mushrooms can shape the world.
Looking for a good read?
Try "Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures" by Merlin Sheldrake.
It offers a fascinating look into the most up-to-date scientific understanding of fungi. From their many ecological functions to their massive nutrient-water-carbon trade networks, to their mind-shaping electro-chemistry, there is a world of scientific discovery waiting to be unearthed in this still immature field of study.
The first mushrooms evolved between 715 and 810 million years ago. As a taxonomic kingdom, they have survived the top 5 mass extinctions on our planet. They must have something figured out.
They can highjack the operating system of an ant to make it climb to the perfect height in the rainforest, only for the mushroom to parasitize it and release spores that will have the perfect humidity for success.
They can solve complex microscopic mazes, finding the shortest route to food sources.
They call into question the very notion of individuality by partnering with algae in symbiosis to create lichen, a 'composite organism'.
They have partnered with 90% of all plants on the planet. At times, they offer so much value that plants are willing to give up 80% of the sugars they create from photosynthesis for their fungal friends. They can penetrate right into plant roots, becoming an extension of the root system with kilometers of mycelial filaments.
With compassionate facilitation, they (psilocybin) have been clinically shown to help patients with PTSD or those in end-of-life care completely dissolve their anxiety & depression.
Whether or not you care about any of that, fungal habitat (wood chips) also make great garden pathways, an excellent weed suppression mulch for trees & a superb soil-building ingredient.
So go forth and create fungal habitat - you never know what might come of it.
A massive swiss chard plant that had self-seeded into the wood chip pathway.
Oyster mushrooms growing in our backyard.
Fungal pathways feed nearby fruit trees.