What are your favorite "low-tech" and / or "no-tech" ways of integrating fungi and mushrooms into your permaculture design (eg. spore slurries)?
How do you see fungi and mushrooms integrating wholistically in all our design processes: from apiculture, to art (eg. mycopigments), to biocontrols (eg. entomopathogens), to endophytic mycobiomes, to food and medicine, to industrial applications, to mycoremediation, to mycorrhizal symbiosis, to textiles, and beyond...?
The challenge I set forth for this thread is to attempt to describe and / or show as many ways possible that fungi and mushrooms can integrate into our permaculture designs... :-)
I see fungi as absolutely critical to permaculture and really by now I cannot imagine permaculture without a healthy population of fungi.
Personally I focus on growing Wine Caps as a way to break down wood chips into garden compost. The fungi are really just the beginning. Done properly, sowing fungi spawn will also help increase valuable bacteria colonies and both the Wine Caps and bacteria will form associations with plant crops. These associations are so important that they have radically upended my understanding of the way soil fertility works. I used to think of healthy soil as being a bunch of chemicals with a few microbes thrown in. I now see healthy soil as being a few chemicals with a lot of biology. Fungi are one of the keystones behind that soil biology—if you have the soil biology, you basically have the soil fertility.
Mushrooms are a great project to go along with the early stages of developing a wooded piece of land. Our farm is mostly wooded land in the Ozarks and we had to cut in a road and do small scale clearing on the flat spots for building sites and planting.
We plan any clearing for the cold months when the tree has drawn its sugars from the leaves and stored them in the wood. Saw logs are turned into lumber, bigger limbs turned into mushroom logs, and small limbs are mulched and mixed with Wine Cap spawn and put around trees or in between garden rows.
After a few years and 2000 logs we started hosting mushroom workshops. These brought in 20-40 people and was a great way to connect with the community and get our farm on the map as well as pay for all the tools and spawn we needed to continue expanding our mushroom operation.
The standard method of drilling holes (use angle grinder it is 4x faster than hand frill) and filling with sawdust spawn works great but is time consuming. Some species (lions main, reshi, oyster) do great with totem style where you cut a thick log into discs and stack them with spawn in the middle saving a ton of time.