Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Turning decay into magic

Once again Kevin Kelly has a great post on a neat idea: using mushrooms to save the world. The book he's referring to is called "Mycelium Running." Basically, a bunch of uses for mushrooms and their parts that you might have never considered. For instance, how about putting spores in the lubricant oil for chainsaws? Once they trap the oil, they release it later, keeping the chain lubricated longer.

I've been an armchair mycologist for years (dirty secret: I tried growing psychedelic mushrooms in my dorm room -- spectacular failure). They are eco-friendly, relatively easy to grow yourself, and there are more varieties than you'd ever imagine walking down the grocery aisle. Perfect for the part-time gardener (you just set them up and watch them go) or backyard scientist.

We've got so much more to discover about nature, I hate to call this "repurposing" of mushrooms. Let's call it "growing discovery."

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