Category: mushrooms

Coriolus versicolor – elfenbankje

Coriolus versicolor is a common polypore mushroom which can be found throughout the world. Versicolor means ‘of several colours’ and it is true that this mushroom is found in a wide variety of different colours. Coriolus versicolor is commonly called Turkey Tail because of its resemblance to the tail of the wild turkey. It is recognized as a medicinal mushroom in Chinese medicine under the name yun zhi. In China and Japan Coriolus versicolor is used as an immunoadjuvant therapy for cancer.
Coriolus versicolor helps also for an upcoming cold or influenza. Make a (bitter) tea with 30g dried mushrooms and boiling water. Drink 2 liter of the tea spread over 2 days.
The Agaricus bisporus is the common mushroom that comes in white or light brown variations. The one on the picture is cultivated in a shoe box, just to study the daily growth in wintertime, and for its beautiful atom/elektron shapes!

about mushrooms

Today’s professional mushroom growing is an energy-consuming process. But it is perfectly possible to grow your Oyster mushrooms, your Shiitake’s or lesser known edible mushrooms in an energy-friendly and ecological environment. This can be done with a minimum of work, time and space. Okno is inviting mycologist Ann Van Belle to introduce you into the world of mushrooms with a practical demonstration followed by a lecture and Q&T-moment.

Professionele champignonteelt is vandaag de een energieverslindende activiteit. Nochtans is het perfect mogelijk om oesterzwammen, shiitake’s en andere eetbare zwammen op een duurzame manier te kweken. De oogst is dan wel bepaald door metereologische elementen. Voor eigen gebruik hoeft dit echter geen belemmering te zijn en je kan jezelf gedurende een groot gedeelte van het jaar regelmatig van verse paddenstoelen voorzien. Aan de hand van een demo en lecture vertelt mycologiste Ann Van Belle hoe je dit met een minimum van tijd en ruimte kan klaarspelen, zelfs in de stad.

summer school in Kravín, Czech Republic

august 23 – 25
Double barrel heating
How to make a double-barrel stove, suitable for heating bigger spaces in an ecological way? The results will be presented during the weekend beekeeping event, especially when it is cold in the evening.
august 26 – 28
Creating beehives, inspired by traditional construction designs and sustainable and bee-friendly principles. With the participation of local as well as international beekeepers, artisans and artists. We will construct the Leaf Hive, invented in 1789 by François Huber, a TopBar Hive and a Warré Hive.

additional program
Friday August 27th screening of the bee movies
Saturday August 28th concert by Double Barrel Band with combustion and bee music set
Sunday August 29th visiting the local beekeepers and the exhibition From nectar to Honey at the Museum of the Czech countryside, Chateau Kacina
The additional program includes also the walks in the woods with the mushroom hunter, and a continuing discussion on apiculture, bee art and ecological culture, tasting of honey etc.

pleurotus ostreatus time-bending

The plastic bag is filled with willow woodchips mixed with pleurotus ostreatus spawn. It took 4 weeks for the mycellium to overgrow the woodchips. The 5th week, the mushrooms started to come out the fissures in the plastic bag.
During 5 days and 5 nights I took a picture of the growing mushrooms, every 30 minutes. Unfortunately, the flashes didn’t went off several times, which gives some jumps in the steady growth pace.
But the whole is a nice example of a natural time bending process, 5 days and nights compressed in 30 seconds.

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mushrooms: stropharia rugoso annulata

The Stropharia Rugoso Annulata is a first experiment in a series to grow edible mushrooms in the so-on edible rooftop garden. We choose this specimen of mushrooms to start with, as it is relatively easy to grow on mulch, so one does not need the more complex and delicate method of working with spawn on logs.
Over the weekend, I spend a saturday afternoon by cutting willow-wood into woodchips. According Mycobois, the supplier of the mushroom-brood, this is an appropriate kind of wood to grow the King Stropharia. Early february, I spread the spawn over 2 square meters, on a wind-protected and relatively shady spot in the rooftop garden. Over the spawn I spread the willow woodchips in a layer of 10 cm. In the top layer of the woodchips I divided the rest of the spawn insmall holes, 20cm apart from each other. Along the information, the mycelium should start growing through the woodchips, and in a few months the whole surface of the chips should be covered by mycelium roots.
Around the months of may/june, I can expect the fruits, the Stropharia mushrooms. This should go on over a few months, till it becomes too cold in october.

Stropharia rugoso annulata, commonly known as the wine cap stropharia, “garden giant”, burgundy mushroom or king stropharia, is an agaric of the family Strophariaceae found in Europe.
Unlike many other members of the genus Stropharia, it is widely regarded as a choice edible and cultivated for food.
The king stropharia can grow to 20 cm high with a reddish-brown convex to flattening cap up to 30 cm across, the size leading to another colloquial name godzilla mushroom. The gills are initially pale, then grey, and finally dark purple-brown in colour. The firm flesh is white, as is the tall stem which bears a wrinkled ring. This is the origin of the specific name which means “wrinkled-ringed”.
It is found on wood chips and bark mulch across Europe in summer and autumn. Described as very tasty by some authors, king stropharia is easily cultivated on a medium similar to what it grows on naturally.

stropharia rugoso annulata stropharia-mycelium stropharia rugoso annulata - mycelium spot1: mycelium spread out spot1: mycelium in willow mulch
stropharia-mycelium stropharia-mycelium spot2: mycelium in willow mulch rugoso annulata stropharia-mycelium

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writing the wilderness

Where is the litterature which gives expression to Nature? He would be a poet who could impress the winds and streams into his service, to speak for him; who nailed words to their primitive senses, as farmers drive down stakes in the spring, which the frost has heaved; who derived his words as often as he used them – transplanted them to his page with earth adhering to their roots; whose words were so true and fresh and natural that they would appear to expand like the buds at the approach of spring, though they lay half smothered between two musty leaves in a library – aye, to bloom and bear fruit there, after their kind, annually, for the faithful reader, in sympathy with surrounding Nature.
Henry David Thoreau – Writing the Wilderness

From ‘Walking’ (1862), in Essays and Other Writings
Ed. Will H. Dircks, London: Walter Scott Ltd, 1895.

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In 1954, when I went to Europe, I no sooner arrived in Paris than I noticed that the city was covered with posters publicizing a mushroom exhibition that was being held in the Botanical Gardens. That was all I needed. Off I went. When I arrived, I found myself in a large room filled with many tables upon which were displayed many species of fungi. On the hour from a large centrally-placed loudspeaker a recorded lecture on the deadly poisonous amanitas was delivered. During this lecture, nobody in the hall moved or spoke. Each person’s attention was, so to speak, riveted to the information being given.
A week later, I was in Cologne in Germany attending a concert of electronic music. There was also an audience and a large loudspeaker. However, many in the audience were dozing off, and some were talking to their neighbors.

John Cage, Indeterminacy

OpenGreens research on

Brussels, jardin experimental, October 2010
Looking for Mushrooms.

Friday, october 8th, I went to look for mushrooms at the Jardin Experimental Massart, one of the the fieldworkspaces of the biology department of the free university of Brussels (ULB).
On my way over there, I was thinking about one of the 20th century pioneer-experimental artists: John Cage.
John Cage was not only a major figure of the musical avant-garde but also an avid mycologist, collector and consumer of mushrooms. His knowledge of the fungal world was legendary.
Indeterminacy was a lecture/performance work in which Cage recited a series of one minute stories and anecdotes in no particular order. Many of these stories related to his love of mushrooms and his experiences of collecting and studying them.
In the experimental garden/forest, I picked some of the mushrooms to study them in my studio. Following movie gives random impressions of the research of the species under the microscope, accompanied by an excerpt of Indeterminacy, read by Cage.

to watch the movie, go to the TIK video database :
check also other movies of the OpenGreens collection: research OpenGreens – the marginal zones in the city where culture and nature overlap and enter into a symbiotic relationship.