Archive for the ‘soil’ Category

‘Each Other’ Includes Donald Trump

November 14, 2016

When we look at the healthiest, happiest countries of the world, such as Scandinavia and Costa Rica, an essential quality their citizens share is a need to see that everyone in their country gets a fair shake, enough to eat, decent living and work opportunities. The         high priority is on Keeping Each Other Well.

Post election, no matter how we voted, we are all responsible to address the problems that stand in the way of present and future health in the U.S.

In the early morning of November 9, I was shocked when this thought went through my mind: I wondered what would happen if we collectively made a goal to enable Donald Trump to be the best president of all time. President-elect Trump said he wanted to be president for All Americans. We all have absolutely nothing to lose by projecting kindness to the extent that President-elect Trump himself begins to emit kindness to all citizens.

Too many people in the United States feel hungry, sick, and hopeless. Too many people are unjustly detained in our prisons, depriving family networks of support systems, depriving us all of a clear conscience. No president can clean up this mess on his own. We lead the world in the percent of our population we imprison.

What would happen if we made it our goal to become the happiest country in the world, when happiness includes and is measured by all our citizens? Will we have the courage to insure that we have open spaces and forests accessible for everyone to tune in to the natural world? Will we save our farmland, our food supply, from final chemical destruction? Will we protect our aquifers and rivers? Will we invest in clean energy that respects First Nations and the natural environment? Will we stimulate ingenious answers to our problems by providing everyone with an exemplary education?

Big job. And it is all possible. People have already begun to organize. Instead of protesting, can we begin to promote, protect, provide, praise, plant, prove, and play?

Will Thanksgiving become a true celebration for all our citizens? Will we be able to give thanks for living in a country that values everyone’s health?

Will we be able to allow ourselves the freedom to make such a Thanksgiving celebration possible?

Mycelium Miracle Workers

September 28, 2016

Mycology, the language of mushrooms, may well be the language that saves us from ourselves. We have managed to deplete our soils and bring on burgeoning health problems. The threat of more carnage continues.

Macrobiotic folks introduced us to healing mushrooms like Shiitake and Oyster mushrooms. Right now, most of us have no confidence in identifying/selecting the safe mushrooms that abound in our forests. We may think we know Chicken of the Woods, that bright orange-rimmed mushroom growing on trees, but what if we get it home, cook it up and it doesn’t taste like chicken? Oops!

Paul Stamets has a new book out, “Mycelium Running: How mushrooms can help save the world.” The book is an amazing tome, a tribute to mycelium, “the neurological network of nature.” The mycelium is a fungal network of threadlike cells whose fruiting bodies are mushrooms. Fungi create “ever-thickening layers of soil which allow future plant and animal generations to flourish.”

We learn that some forms of oyster mushroom can neutralize soils made toxic with Roundup and other poisonous pesticides that have leached through our soil to infect plants they are designed to protect. When we eat the plants or medications made with plant extracts, we are in fact consuming poisons that make us susceptible to disease.

When friends and I hiked up the Edmands Path to Mt. Eisenhower recently, we moved in wonder at the magic carpet of sphagnum moss (peat) that carpeted much of the forest the higher we hiked. How much easier it was to breath in the dense moisture the mosses held! We could only imagine the massive network of mycelium that made this growth possible. In order to have healthy soil, we need soil that welcomes mycelium, the fungal network that generates robust health in whatever grows above ground.

We need to learn the language of the forest, observe how lightly animals move through. We are not just protecting plants but the extensive mycelium networks that breathe life to the forest and us.

We are called to protect the Earth as never before. The Earth gives us our water, our food, our homes, our recreation, our music, our art, the sciences we study, and the very air we breathe.

Time to think about protecting and restoring soils that nourish all life on Earth.