Fall Mushroom Workshops

This is an overview, more detailed write-up below. For more info and to register, message DIY Fungi Victoria or email: diyfungivictoria@gmail.com

 Mushroom Cooking for the Wild at Heart: King Bolete Rules with an Iron Skillet  w/ Willoughby Arevalo

Friday, October 9th from 7-9pm at Quadra Village Community Centre, 901 Kings Rd.
QVCC is a wheelchair accessible building

 An Ecologically-Focused Mushroom Walk w/ Willoughby Arevalo

Saturday, October 10, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.* location confirmed upon registration

 The Sex Life of Mushrooms – A Lecture-Performance by Willoughby Arevalo

 Saturday, October 10th, 9pm

 Fruiting Embodied w/ Willoughby Arevalo
Sunday, October 11th from 11-1pm *location to be confirmed upon registration.

Mycoremediation Theory + Practice 

Wednesday, October 28th 7-9:30pm@ Fernwood Community Center- 1240 Gladstone Ave.

 Mushroom Education Day: Mushroom Companions to the Garden and Farm AND

Digest Your Household Waste With Mushrooms

November 7th from 10-3pm @ Victoria Compost Education Centre, 1216 North Park

*Including 2 workshops + spawn for sale all day + updates on local mycoremediation projects. Register for workshops through: http://www.eventbrite.ca/e/mushroom-companions-to-the-garden-and-farm-tickets-18700448545

 Mushrooms & Gardening

Saturday, November 14th– FREE- @ UVic Campus Community Garden

Myco-Permaculture: Fungi in the Forest Garden

Sunday, November 15th with Hatchet & Seed

 VANCOUVER: Grow Your Own Mushrooms At Home

Saturday, November 21st from 9:30am-12pm @ UBC Farm

Register at https://lfs-ubcfarm-epayment.sites.olt.ubc.ca/upcoming-workshops/nov-14-grow-your-own-mushrooms-at-home-for-food-medicine-morning

 VANCOUVER: Mushroom Companions to the Garden, Farm and Orchard  

Saturday, November 21st from 1:30-4:30pm @ UBC Farm

Register at https://lfs-ubcfarm-epayment.sites.olt.ubc.ca/upcoming-workshops/nov-14-mushroom-companions-to-the-garden-orchard-and-farm-afternoon

Grow and Cook Your Own Mushrooms at Home

Sunday, December 6th from 12-3pm @ Fernwood Community Center- 1240 Gladstone Ave.


Cool Stuff You Can Do With Fungi: Make your own digester for household waste – Workshop This Thursday!

Thursday, May 21st from 7-9pm

@ Fernwood Community Centre (1240 Gladstone)

Oyster and King Stropharia mushrooms are great at breaking down our household and urban waste.This workshop will offer an overview of some of the cool stuff you can do with fungi where you live- from growing protein-rich food on recycled materials, to filtering your greywater, to breaking down your cigarettes, animal waste, oil and grease and so much more. Each participant will make their own ‘mushroom digester’ to take home.

$35-50 sliding scale (1 work trade available) Please RSVP and let me know which type of digester you will make: cigarette, animal waste, oil and grease, greywater or chicken coop. For more info and to register, contact: Danielle Stevenson at 250-891-4927 or diyfungivictoria@gmail.com

Pearl Oyster almost fully eaten a totally dirty grease rag from a bike shop. Most bike lubes are made from teflon, which is "polytetrafluoroethylene" - and essentially carbon-based. This Oyster mushroom is shown on Day 4- Today, less than one week later, it has completely consumed the cloth rag soaked in a teflon-based lube!

Pearl Oyster almost fully eaten a totally dirty grease rag from a bike shop. Most bike lubes are made from teflon, which is “polytetrafluoroethylene” – and essentially carbon-based. This Oyster mushroom is shown on Day 4- Today, less than one week later, it has completely consumed the cloth rag soaked in a teflon-based lube!

Mushroom Companions to the Garden & Farm- Sooke Workshop this Sunday

Sunday, April 26th from 1-3pm

This workshop highlights garden companion mushrooms – King Stropharia, Elm Oyster and Shaggy Mane – which can boost plant growth, control pests, and build healthy soil ecosystems. We’ll also walk you through how to make a mushroom bed, mushroom logs, pathways, and companion plant mushrooms within your veggie beds so that you can grow mushrooms in your backyard! Participants will get to try hands-on mushroom log inoculation and mushroom bed creation and have the option of buying mushroom ‘spawn’ and logs to take home.

Workshop Cost: $15elm oyster

Space is limited, please RSVP to Stephen Hindrichs

Mysterious Mycorhizal Fungi- FREE talk this Saturday, April 25th

myco fungi

Come out to the Victoria Compost Education Centre this Saturday, April 25th for their AGM from 1-3pm. At 2pm I’ll be doing a free talk about mysterious ‘Mycorhizal’ Fungi, the beneficial and symbiotic fungi growing in association with plant roots that increase plants’ access to nutrients, increase resistance to drought and disease, and create air and water pockets in the soil which reduce erosion, drought, and create pockets of life for a healthy soil ecosystem. Do you need to add them to your garden? If so, how? Come to this talk to find out!

Where: The straw bale building at the Compost Education Centre, 1216 North Park St in Fernwood.

Cool Stuff You Can Do With Fungi- FREE lecture series this March!

FREE 3-part lecture series at Cornerstone Cafe this March, Tuesdays at 7pm thanks to Fernwood Neighborhood Resource Group. Come at 6pm for a beer and mushroom pizza 🙂 DIYFungiLogo_DanielleColour

1) CoolDIYFungiLogo_DanielleColour Stuff You Can Do With Fungi
March 10th, 2015 – Beginner Level

Growing your own mushrooms is an easy way to boost your home-grown nutrition, grow your own medicine, and deal with your household waste. You can break down you cigarettes, filter you greywater, make your own tempeh, grow mushrooms on waste materials, and so much more. This workshop will offer an overview of some of the cool stuff you can do with fungi at your home or apartment.

2) Intro to Mycoremediation
March 17th, 2015 – Intermediate Level

Have you heard that mushrooms can break down oil, eat plastic, and clean up ­radiation? This workshop will discuss how fungi can break down ­chemical ­pollutants including oil, pesticides, and even Agent Orange; suck up heavy ­metals and ­radiation; filter water; break down asphalt; and initiate and ­support many ­lifecycles that regenerate healthy ­ecosystems. We will talk through some specific applications, including how to filter water and detoxify contaminated soil with fungi

3) Mushroom Companions for the Garden and Farm
March 24th, 2015 – All Levels

This lecture highlights three super garden companion mushrooms – King Stropharia, Elm Oyster and Shaggy Mane – which can boost plant growth, control pests, and build healthy soil ecosystems. We’ll also walk you through how to make a mushroom bed, mushroom pathways, and companion plant mushrooms within your veggie beds, and clarify the amazing role of Mycorhizal fungi in the garden and orchard.

Reishi, “The Conductor”

conductorreishi3conductor 2Longevity-Painting

This article draws upon research outlined in Robert Rogers Fungal Pharmacy, and from my firsthand mushroom play, experimentation, meditations and dreams.

Ganoderma lucidum, “The Conductor”

A respected conductor, Reishi knows the most beautiful song in the orchestra of life. While Reishi did not write the song, Reishi understands it, knows all the parts, and how they are meant to be played. Just like a conductor, Reishi unifies the musicians, sets the tempo and rhythm, and listens critically to shape the sound of the collective.

Reishi knows your part, too, and can help you remember it- like the conductor who gestures with his baton to direct when you need to come in, or when you need to step back, rest and listen, or play more dynamically. It is a relief to have a role, and to do what you are supposed to do. Confusion and forgetting cease. Playing your part in the song of life alongside all the other beings is wonderful.

Reishi heals through firmly reminding your body and spirit how to function correctly. Reishi is primarily composed of complex carbohydrates called water-soluble polysaccharides, triterpeniods, proteins and amino acids. Researchers identify water-soluble polysaccharides as the most active element found in Reishi with immune modulating, anti-tumor and blood pressure lowering effects. Immuno-modulating means that it regulates and reduces excessive immune response, and stimulates immune response when it is deficient to deal with viruses, bacterial infections, and even tumors. Water-soluble polysaccharides are anti-tumor because they support the p53 checkpoint (the guardian), which during cell division inspects and then acts to destroy abnormal cells. This guardian gene is damaged in cancer cells, allowing abnormal cells to move onto the next phase.

Reishi also lowers elevated blood sugar levels and is useful in treating hypoglycemia and late-onset diabetes- again, reminding and teaching your body how to regulate sugar and insulin levels. Similarly, Reishi lowers blood pressure (systolic and diastolic) and cholesterol levels with triterpenes, called ganoderic acids (also found in Cordyceps, Wood ear and Shiitake mushrooms). Studies indicate that ganoderic acids also help alleviate common allergies by inhibiting histamine release and by improving oxygen utilization and liver function. Triterpenes are bitter in taste and the level of the triterpene content contained in a product can be determined by the bitterness.

Reishi in particular strengthens the heart qi and chakra, as well as the chest and lungs. Repairing the chest area and benefiting those with a knotted and tight chest, it can be used to treat lung conditions such as asthma and bronchitis. Personally, I feel Reishi strongly in my chest and heart.
Reishi is strongly connected to source (the sun? universal energy? qi?) through electromagnetic waves that spiral yellow from space, and through all life. It can help connect us to this source again if we have become disconnected. The healing happens through these waves spiraling through and correcting imbalances in our bodies. Connecting to qi is quite grounding, and this is another more spiritual/emotional affect of Reishi medicine. Daoist monks refer to Reishi as the mushroom of spiritual potency and say that it improves our inner lives.

Reishi is a strong protector, possibly related to this qi-building/connecting (life energy) ability, acting to protect the body. Reishi offers protection from radiation, and protects the liver and bronchial system/lungs. It can be made into sunscreen to protect from UV rays. It not only protects us on a physical level, but also a mental and spiritual one. It has been hung above doorways as protection from evil in Korea, Japan, China, and Mongolia.

Reishi is calmative, alleviating anxiety and nervousness associated with adrenal deficient conditions. It helps relax muscles and reduces the effect of caffeine on the body- gradually strengthening the nerves. Reishi helps treat insomnia, as it has a sedative effect. Personally I have experienced a profound desire to lie down and rest when taking Reishi tincture or holding the fruiting bodies.

Also known as the Spirit plant, tree of life mushroom, and mushroom of immortality, Reishi has been used as medicine for at least 4 millenia (4000 years). It is said to increase longevity, to “lengthen years to those of the Immortal Fairies” (Chen, 16th century Chinese physician). Cool!
Some say Reishi is best taken in the morning with an empty stomach. Drinking more water will also help enhance the effects of Reishi by helping the body get rid of poisonous waste. It is also recommended to take Vitamin C with Reishi as this will assist the body in absorbing the active ingredients in Reishi. Vitamin C helps break down the complex polysaccarides into smaller manageable pieces that the body can intake.

In the wild, Reishi grows on elm, alder, oak and on wild plum trees. In the Pacific Northwest there are local ‘Reishis’: Ganoderma oregense, Ganoderma applanatum (Artist Conk) and Ganoderma tsugae growing on Hemlock and Douglas Fir. Considered primary decomposers, they degrade dead wood for food. They are sometimes considered parasitic as they do also grow on living trees.

Fall Mushroom Workshops and Happenings

Sept 24th, 7-9:30pm: Grow Your Own Oyster Mushrooms @ Fernwood Community Centre, 1240 Gladstone Aave.

November 8th: Mushroom Open House @ Victoria Compost Education Centre;

10am: Mushroom Companions in Your Garden and Farm (free)

2pm: Grow Your Own Mushrooms at Home ($20)

November 16th: Myco-Permaculture with Hatchet & Seed Edible Landscaping @ University of Victoria Campus Community Garden

December TBD: Medicinal Mushrooms with Jenny McCartney of DeepRoots Herbal Medicine

January 24-25th (2015): Mushroom Cultivation with Peter McCoy