Meditations on Mushrooms


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One of my new years resolution is to garden. This is difficult because I live in an apartment without a balcony.  However, there are lots of solutions I have explored such as  soil boxes,  hydroponic setups, and kits.  I would like to explore hydroponic on day, all the electronics speak to my inner geek and I feel like I could do some crazy raspberry pi project.  For now I am going to start with kits.

For years I have wanted to grow mushrooms, I have been fascinated  with mycology and mycelium ever since I read Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma.  For some reason, I thought Pollan wrote that mushrooms have no calories since they dont use sunlight to grow.  This blew my mind.  I subsequently learned that this is not true –  but mushrooms still amaze me.

I went on to binge read everything I could on mushrooms, their relation to nutrition, consciousness, and cleaning up pollution.  I was especially drawn to the work of Paul Stamets.  I wanted to go mushroom hunting. I tried to convince my collaborator Paul to do a mushroom documentary. I fantasized about growing mushrooms.  I have crazy oversized tombs scattered across my apartment along with ancient titles that look like sci fi books.

Since I am a tad neurotic I was afraid I would some how poison myself eating a mushroom that I grew or found. This has stalled my mushroom development.  Today, though I took the plunge and I’m going to use a mushroom kit to grow some mushrooms with my kids. With endorsements from Oprah and Martha Stewart, I feel I am in good hands.  After that maybe I will try some basil in  a box or something…. Baby Steps.

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