notes, impressions and digressions from

(participants: Martin Howse, Maurizio Montalti, Alkan Chipperfield, Rasa Alksnyte, Nik Gaffney, Maja Kuzmanovic, Katerina Undo, Laura Popplow, Georg Dietzler, Lionel Billiet, Christoph De Boeck, Cocky Eek)

(DEC 2012)

Martin's workshop page/notes on experiments



radioactive mycelium

growers, sellers, purveyors of mycelium

mushroom experts, institutes, labs, theorists, scientists, etc

How to take care of your mushrooms

How to take care of your:

Grijze Oesterzwam, Grey Oyster-mushroom, Pleurotus ostreatus

Koningsoesterzwam, King Oyster-mushroom, Pleurotus Eryngii

  • keep your substrate between 8-18 celsius
  • after a few days cut two slits of about 5 cm in the top of your bag.
  • spray (for example with a plantspray) a little water through the holes.
  • the mushrooms needs light, but don't place them in direct sunlight, a basement or a shed with a small window is a perfect spot.
  • after a week you will see the mycelliumthreads spreading through the straw. If you bag turns green or orange, then its contaminated.(and you have to throw it out)
  • whenever small mushrooms appear on top, cut the plastic on both sides till the top is completely open.
  • fold the plastic down when the mushrooms grow harder, spray water 2x a day. (keep it damp, but not soaked in water)
  • after the first harvest, give your straw mixture a rest, turn the plastic back; at half a cup of water and close it with tape. after a week make some new slits in the bag.
  • wait patiently, the second harvest will come only after a few weeks. When nothing happen, put it away cool in a shed. Another method is that
  • after the first harvest you can soak the mycelliumstrawmixture onder water for four hours, tkae it our and dry it with some towels.
  • After the second harvest you can put the package on a compostheap.
  • If you want to make new substrate; boil some straw for about ten minutes and add 1/10 of your old substrate in it and repeat the whole process.

Christina's summary

After two days of intense mushrooming, we had various ideas about how mycelium communicates with us -

When walking in the fields with the noise of the receiver in the ear, we realised that there was a very strong sound at 40 cm above the ground, like a layer of very strong activity, it reminded us of walking in water, and we imaged the mycelium like a mirror image of this sheath, but under the ground.

Experimenting with the effect that touch has on impedence of shitake, it became obvious that the mycelium was much more sensitive to Nik's touch, who had sprayed and taken care of the mushroom, than to other people touching it.

Might there be a difference of reaction also depending on the species of mushrooms? Measuring the same electromagnetic phenomena in different mushroom species might result in an orchestra of signals!

And with Maurizio's idea of starting the story from where it usually ends - with a dead person - we can provide a service to be decomposed by mushrooms peacefully and beatifully, in a calm hall of a museum, as an installation. And the orchestra of mushrooms is playing at the funeral.

All these ways of interacting are our human way of trying to communicate with mycelium. However, everything is network or mass, and communication has no intention. And when communicating with musrhooms, our perception of time and space would have to be re-evaluated.

After all, maybe it was not the participants who decided to come to this tutorial, but the mushrooms who used their higher powers and directed us. As ambassadors they lead the way to make the ones meet who are fascinated by these creatures.

  • parn/radio_mycelium.txt
  • Last modified: 2014-02-03 03:44
  • by nik