These usually hidden away lifeform is rarely discussed. We work with these magical beings all the time. They help us in our gardening, improve our health and fight diseases, maintain the soil structure, and do a thousand other wonders.
Did you know that the US won WWII with help of a fungus?
Many varieties of mushrooms are eaten and a lot many have various important health benefits. They are well known to supplement the diet and improve immunity. Some of them even fight off organisms that cause diseases in humans.
Fungi help in our gardening. They bring about the decomposition of organic matter, providing the much-needed nutrients to the plants and trees. One of the major players in composting is fungi.
We use Mycorrhizae, fungi that enhance the roots of the plants and trees in our garden. They also help link the roots together. Recent research has shown that these fungi make a very strong communication network between the trees.
Some fungi like Trichoderma, help in preventing other harmful fungi from taking over the plants.
In our kitchens – Apart from the all too common button mushrooms, there are many other interesting edible varieties. Oyster, Shitake, Portobello, Enoki are some more commonly found edible varieties.
Even the uber-expensive Morel mushrooms (Guchchi mushrooms) can be found growing wild, especially a day or two after thunderstorms. However, be sure to not confuse Morels with look-alikes called False Morels.
The growth of fungi mycelium and mushrooms indicate a very healthy ecosystem. Sometimes these mushrooms also pop up on our lawn.
Not all mushrooms are edible. In fact, most are not. So, don’t go around foraging on your own. Take us along when you want to gather these wild mushrooms.
Fungi have immense unexplored potential. It can help in rewilding the garden, making the ecosystems healthy, purifying water resources, fighting off pests, preventing landslides, and even in fast reforestation of otherwise barren lands. Mycorestoration is the term that researchers have given to this aspect of fungi.
Fungi is present everywhere. Yes, inside the homes, it can be bad for health too. But, if we can understand its life, fungi can be prevented from taking over the homes, and that too without using any harmful chemicals.
And, in the garden? Learn to understand what they are trying to say and do, and then let them flourish and improve the ecosystem.
The beauty of fungi is unmatched in rains. Just take a walk in the woods and see the lovely mushrooms popping up everywhere.
Mushrooms are one of the easiest to spot signs of healthy growing fungi. They grow on walls, on old logs, from under the trees, and between the foliage on the ground.
When you visit us next time, let us go walking in the woods, and explore the wonder that these fungi are. Spot some colorful mushrooms, feel their presence in the soil, and be impressed by how important they are for our ecosystem.
Fungi! What a wonder that nature has provided us.
Do you want to learn more about fungi? How to grow them and use them? Which mushrooms are edible?
Do you want to understand how mycorestoration can save our forests, gardens, water bodies, even the human race itself? Let us discuss this when we sit around the bonfire next time.