Members of The Mycelial Network increase and share their mycological knowledge with their local community. While this work can take many forms, some example efforts include the following:
Increase Community Resilience
- Create edible, medicinal, or guerilla mushroom installations at community gardens, food banks, Food Not Bombs locations, food justice organizations, or elsewhere.
- Work with food justice organizations to educate individuals and families on the benefits of growing fungi.
- Build alliances with, and offer mycological support to, local Indigenous communities. Offer to help perpetuate traditional practices with fungi or share skills on mushroom/lichen identification, mushroom cultivation, and bioremediation.
- Develop and maintain a local fungal culture library and/or spore bank to preserve genetics.
Support Local Ecologies
- Organize forest surveys to search for threatened mushroom and lichen species. Use these surveys to support campaigns for forest protection and to contribute to species distribution maps through Mushroom Observer and the North American Mycoflora Project.
- Safely and thoroughly design and install remediation projects with native fungal species and strains and other supporting organisms.
- Increase species diversity and redundancy by spreading fungal spawn in every nook, cranny, and shady spot of town.
Recompose Organic Waste
- Develop relationships with local coffee shops. Use their spent grounds to grow mushrooms. Give these mushrooms to local food banks or shelters.
- Remove invasive plants to clear land for a community garden. Use this plant material as a mushroom substrate to build topsoil and compost for the garden.
- Provide local businesses, food co-ops, and schools with cardboard and coffee digesters to create free spawn for the community.
- Glean agricultural waste from local farms to use as substrate. Create relationships with local mushroom farmers and glean spent blocks, unmarketable mushrooms, and other waste streams. Use these products to make medicines or create remediation installations.
- Adapt local mushroom species to local waste streams to produce spawn and mush- rooms while creating highly resilient and closed-loop food systems.
Regenerate Disturbed Habitats and Mitigate Pollution
- Adapt local fungal species to soil contaminants. Grow large quantities of this fungus and provide the spawn to local community members and organizations for remediation installations that you train.
- Install mycelial sorbtion systems in parking lots to reduce pollutant runoff into storm drains and local water systems.
- Develop strains that can remediate the wastewater of community art spaces.
Education and Outreach
- Lead urban mushroom and lichen forays. Discuss the impacts of pollution on lichen populations while noting the abundance of wild food and medicine that can be harvested in urban areas. Document species distribution.
- Hold educational and awareness-building events to address local issues of pollution concern or illegal polluting practices by industries.
- Teach workshops at schools of all ages at your local Free Skool. Children love to play with mushrooms and watch their mycelium grow. Learn by teaching.
- Perform street theater or hold a puppet show around topics in Radical Mycology.
- Table at community events and local mycological society gatherings.
Group Building Activities
- Hold art parties to create fungi-themed and fungi-based artwork.
- Host a mushroom-themed potluck.
- Go mushroom hunting together to study fungal ecology, collect specimens to cul ture, and to harvest food and medicine.
- Organize group trips to mushroom farms to learn about the industry.
- Seek out internships for members.
Internal Logistics and Support
- Highlight successes with a website and email list.
- Hold parties to celebrate successes.
- Plan mycofundraisers such as secret cafes, silent auctions, house parties, music shows, or performances.
- Build connections with local labs, public agencies, and universities to receive reduced or free testing of soil and water samples.
- Seek out elder mycologists and social organizers to serve as mentors for the project’s growth.