fungi

Full tilt boogie

It’s 9:33 pm and I really should have started my evening write a while ago but I swear ever since I started this blog it’s been full tilt boogie! 

Wednesday April 4th a group of businesses students started helping me solidify the foundation for my business plan and I was in a hurry to clean out my greenhouse for their arrival that Friday to meet them at give them a brief rundown on how to grow mushrooms, aka send them home with their own bags to fruit. Thankfully that got postponed so it’ll be happening on the 23rd instead, but it did get my behind in gear.

I’ve had the most productive road trip of all time last Tuesday; picking up 4 new cultures, 10# of Wild Morels and at least 100 pounds of spawn. Plus 5 new cultures arrived in the mail today yahoo! Sold out at the farmers market my first market of the season! Yahoo. 

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 I have also started my bio-luminescent spawn for the science fair, started growing microgreens, and spirulina, chatted with someone about financing and took care of a 92 year old 60 hours a week a three year old 24/7, petsitted at two places, all while my uterus has been vacating it’s previous incarnation.

Things coming up include: mad dash to Seattle tomorrow for Cordycep Cultivation class with the great William Brown of MycoSymbiotic, more Morels Wednesday, meeting the students on the 23rd, science fair the 28th, Barter Faire May 18th and looking forward to the two continuing ed classes coming up for me in death doula and co-op creation (interesting spectrum eh?!).

Despite bouts of exhausting I’m feeling great and looking forward to the projects, learning and adventures ahead! I’m so grateful for this overflowing life. And in case you were worried... I think I'm doing a pretty good job at balancing this out with fun, and quiet tea sipping, ice cream munching, hot tub soaking down time.  

MushLove from this silly mycopirate momma.  

Work hard play harder, and eat well. 

Death and fungi

My thoughts were to start talking about the path that lead me to Fungi today, it was going to be beautiful and romantic with some silliness tied in.  

But it is Easter Sunday and the reaccuring theme death. Our holiday of death and rising above it. Between podcast about death, driving by cemeterys and a three hour conversation I had today with my dear friend I realized it's a topic that wants to be dealt with now. 

This picture will always reming me of angels wings

This picture will always reming me of angels wings

Truth be told death was one to the components in my life, to build the perfect substrate for my relationship with fungi to grow upon. In 2009 a dear dear friend of mine died from lung cancer.

He had been someone who held me above water in the moments when I was drowning in heart break and my mind was bursting with the: "why are we here's? What's the point of any of this if we're all gonna die someday?" My heart was exploding because it was so full of love for everyone and everything that it hurt and he saw that when no one else did. 

3 years later his gift to me was his death, it was the kind where it drags out and is imminent, yet I missed the chance to say good bye by mere hours. That is what shook me to the core. The lack of closure and the chance to say "thank you, I love you" made the grieving so much harder and deeper.

Through grief I was thrown into a tailspin of bad relationships, the kind that forced me to hide who I was in a box deep inside, yet it was a corner of my soul I got to know well. Letting me get to know myself better than ever before, until I could no longer keep it hidden in a box, and catapulted away from there to shine my light. 

But that "death" lead me to appreciate and love both the pain and the joys of life. It showed me that I am happiest whe I'm living to the fullest, and by that I mean "hands on living." From planting and watching seeds grow, to cooking and baking, to being elbows deep in a ewe helping to guide life into the world, to dancing, and creating art, or cuddling my small child, it is the tiny moments that glisten the brightest.

Since then I have lost more loved ones since then to death. From each I have gained and so much and grown towards new levels of living.

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When I learned about mushrooms it was love. They fit inside my need for "hands on living," by growing and collecting my own food and medicine, they consistently reconnect me to nature as a flop through the woods on the treasure hunt to find them, even just connect me back to a present moment when they pop out to say hi from the most unexpected places, and they grow within the small boarders of my patience. 

Fungi thrive on death and debris giving it new life: carrying nutrients from a dead tree to young saplings. They also cary death with them in ecosystems but eventually those deaths lead to a healthier ecosystem so again bringing life. 

In our society we often  choose to ignore death and try to shove it behind curtains, I believe it is one of the big factors in our mycophobia as well, since fungi are so closely connected to death. The more we connect with that part of life the more we will reconnect to life itself and the world around us. 

And with that I sign off of this screen to savor the special moments of toddler cuddles.  

MushLove

Lily  the MycoPirate Mother

Ps. Please enjoy this beautiful podcast. 

A year to put in the books...

Port Angeles Celebration of Science 2017

Port Angeles Celebration of Science 2017

This past Monday mid morning I received a call from one of the coordinators of Port Angeles Celebration of Science & Technology fair asking me to return to nerd out about mycology this year and it send me through a time machine looking back over the last year and all that has transpired! Holy cow I am completely blown away by all that I learned, and accomplished last year, grateful for both the successes and belly flops because one year later I will be standing in the same spot sharing the inspiration of fungi. 


First off I took my father on a daddy daughter date to listen to the Mycological Rockstar Paul Stamens where I got to meet the man with a mushroom hat... if you haven't watched 6 ways that mushrooms can save the world you should check it out, it was a major factor in kickstarting my journey to working with fungi. 

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I figured I should share a bit about the progress of the last 12-15 months... First off I built a womb to the vision I have been germinating for the past few years, 

Fungal womb aka Morel Compass's headquarters... 

Fungal womb aka Morel Compass's headquarters... 

then I filled reusable 6 gallon food grade buckets with my hopes and dreams interwoven with mycelium and organic local straw and waited for them to fruit...

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and fruit they did, big beautiful multi colored bunches of oyster mushrooms.

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enough to require more room to keep them cool...

Cooler given to us by the Clallam Bay Food Co-op 

Cooler given to us by the Clallam Bay Food Co-op 

and be able to bring them to the Local Farmer's market to sell...  (often selling out within an hour with my favorite little sales lady)

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I also had the pleasure of eating many, and playing around with different recipes. 

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A trailer was purchased, restored, and hauled over to water and boarder to pick up my industrial mushroom equipment, only to be abandoned for a month it after only half the equipment loaded had the trailer dragging on the road with a horrible screech.  

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One month later a professional semi driver and his tractor brought it to me! He and my friends who have been storing it are the kindest people I have worked with regards to interactions stemming from this equipment. 

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In October traveled to Wisconsin to the first ever Women in Mycology retreat hosted by the Midwest Herbal Women! Where I learned lots, relaxed lots, and really had the incredible chance to deepen my friendship with some of the most incredible women I know to be on this planet.

Ava Arvest of MycoUprhizal Olga Tzogas of Smugtown Mushrooms, Mara Penfield of Female & Fungi Rikki of the Mobile Moon Co-op, Danielle of DYI Fungi  Tess Burzynski of Fungi Freights,  Nicole McCalpin, and Alanna Burns

Ava Arvest of MycoUprhizal Olga Tzogas of Smugtown Mushrooms, Mara Penfield of Female & Fungi Rikki of the Mobile Moon Co-op, Danielle of DYI Fungi  Tess Burzynski of Fungi Freights,  Nicole McCalpin, and Alanna Burns

It was also on that trip that I got the incredible news about becoming a finalist for Kitsap Bank's edg3 fund a  small business competition that inspired me to create this website, and create my first video ever, along with learn much about social media, myself, and speak in front of a very large room of bankers and business people. 

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Here I stand at the Edg3 fund competition, 6 months after that glorious Science Fair, the evolution quite apparent in the table that is laid out before me... 

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and proof of the shaky courage to share my dreams in front of a room packed full of business people and bankers and thankfully my most incredible support team of family and friends!

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This is just the tip of the iceberg, because I must leave space for more to come. Spring has sprung, a year has come full circle, and now I have recovered the energy to focus on sharing more with you. I am excited to continue to share all that I learned and where I am headed from here so please stay tuned!

My final yet most important note, thank you so much to all your glorious folks who have helped over the last year, you believed in me when things were hard, and helped me step out of my comfort zone and create magic!

Mush Love ~ Lily the Pirate MycoMomma