As Heard on The Daily Gardener Podcast:
Fantastic Fungi by Paul Stamets ("Stam-its")
This coffee-table book came out in 2019, and the subtitle is How Mushrooms can Heal, Shift Consciousness, and Save the Planet (Official Book of Smash Hit Documentary).
As Paul likes to say,
“Mushrooms can heal you. They can feed you. They can kill you.”
And for all their power, Fungi ("funj-eye") remain misunderstood, understudied, and often just plain old ignored as an aspect of our world.
This book is the result of Paul’s incredible documentary called “Fantastic Fungi,” It features a collection of essay contributions from doctors, explorers, and ecologists that help us better understand the magical world of Fungi.
And there's a great piece of information about Fungi for gardeners to know, and that is that Fungi eat rocks. And by eating rocks, Fungi liberate the minerals from rocks and put these minerals back into the soil for plants.
And when Fungi join with algae (“al-jee”) they form lichens. So when you lichens, remember that marriage between Fungi and algae.
Finally, Fungi are the foundation of the food web. There are more than eight miles of Fungi in a single cubic inch of soil, and all around the planet, there are gigatons of mycelium.
For now, the field of mycology hasn’t been a priority, and so Fungi remain an unchartered frontier. Only about 10 percent of all Fungi have been identified. With any luck, our focus on Fungi will change as we look to the future.
As for gardeners, Paul is a fan of the Garden Giant Mushrooms. They are fast-growing, and they do so much for the soil. For example, Garden Giant Mushrooms can take twelve inches of wood chips and create one inch of soil in about four or five months. In a nutshell, Mushrooms begin a domino effect that starts with Fungi and ends with ecological restoration and soil expansion.
Paul believes that keystone species like the Garden Giant Mushroom lead to healthier gardens and ecosystems. And fortunately for us, these Garden Giant Mushrooms can be grown virtually anywhere - from sweltering climates to very cool environments.
This book is 184 pages of astounding information regarding Mushrooms and Fungi that hopefully will change your perspective, your garden – and help the planet.
You can get a copy of Fantastic Fungi by Paul Stamets and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $24
SI HORTUM IN HORTORIA PODCASTA IN BIBLIOTEHCA HABES, NIHIL DEERIT.