Smell that? It’s the light, sweet scent of new life getting ready to burst through the soil. Spring is nearly upon us and with it the incredible symphony of renewal, growth and hope. If you like to get your hands a little dirty and fancy yourself a gardener, you’re probably even more excited than your average-joe. Undoubtedly you read blogs, books, and swap tips with your tight-knit community of growers. Well here’s an insight from your friends at Logro Farms about how the unseen world of fungi helps trees, plants, and even your garden vegetables reach their full potential.
An Underground “Silk Road”
As you probably know from reading our previous blogs, mushrooms are simply the fruit of fungi, and their extensive, web-like threads known as mycelium. The mycelium lives underground, spreading its tendrils far and wide, sapping up water and available nutrients while also breaking down decaying organic matter it finds along its way.
This network is able to transfer nutrients great distances from areas of greater nutrient density, to areas that are in need of extra supplementation. You can think of it as nature’s “Silk Road”. The Silk Road as it refers to humans was a series of trade and transmission routes in the Old World that connected the Far East with the West, extending some 4,000 miles. Just like the ancient trade route that allowed spices to be taken back and forth between two worlds, so the mycelium in fungi work to trade and send necessary minerals and nutrients where needed.
If you look at a model of the internet in its nodal form, you’ll see a cross-cross, scribbly, entwined network of connection where servers converge and information is stored and transferred. The Mycelial model is nearly identical in its complexity and even more so when you consider that it is biologically powered in its entirety. (Internet model: left, Mycelial model: right)
Mycelial networks don’t just transfer nutrients, they can send signals to far reaches of the network and even interact with many tree and plant species through a process called mycorrhiza. From the Greek, literally translating into “fungus and “roots”, mycorrhiza are types of fungus that form a symbiotic relationship with plants and trees via mycelial networks and roots. These networks can help plants and trees receive information about changes in their environment, everything from potential water sources, soil makeup, insect infestations, and bacterial or viral intrusions.
Messages sent via the mycelial network allow plants and trees to react proactively to environmental changes much more rapidly than they would alone. So next time you’re thinking about using insecticide or herbicide in your garden, stop and think about the incredible fungal network below the soil that will actually help your edibles grow more than chemicals would.
Spread the Mushroom Kit Message
Your mushroom kit offers you delectable delights right in comfort of your home. But don’t forget that they are just fruit of something even more spectacular happening below. Next time you fry up a batch for you and your friends – let them know mushrooms aren’t just for eating. They can help us unlock means of biological communication with the natural world around us.
Time to restock? First-time shroomer?
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