Fungi Field Trip
There are worlds of wonder that every child should visit. A journey to the Kingdom of the Mycelia will spark your children’s curiosity in all the hidden magic there is to be discovered in the natural world. And it’s as close as a forest near you.
Start your journey by watching “The Fantastic Fungi Field Trip” panel discussion, part of Fungi Day 2020.
Taking the Journey
A fungi field trip can help guide their children in embracing hope and joy, rather than becoming numbed by fear. It’s a way to stimulate and encourage a child’s curiosity in learning about the wonders of our existence.
There are more than 1.5 million species of fungi, six times more than the plants with which they share the soil. They are the largest living things on earth, yet in most of their vastness, microscopic. They live all around us, even inside us, hidden from us in plain sight.
Before embarking with your kids on your exploration of the mycelial world, you should watch that marvelous instructive primer to guide you as to what to be looking for, and what exactly it is you’re finding and seeing in the woods as you spot mushrooms and turn over fallen logs.
Your kids will be inspired by William Padilla-Brown, the founder of MycoSymbiotics.
The circumstances of his youth, living in the city, afforded him little chance of ever entering the upper echelons of science or academia.
“I was a city kid, I just played video games. My parents never really took me on hikes or went outside. So finding mushrooms to me was like a spiritual journey.” Today this self-taught “citizen-scientist” is one of the most respected mycologists in the world.
Paul Stamets, author of the now-classic mushroom text,“Mycelium Running,” explains what hooked him on the mysterious world of mushrooms as a boy. “My parents warned me, ‘don’t touch wild mushrooms, they can kill you,’ and so I was attracted to that which was forbidden. Think of this: something that only comes up and disappears in four or five days, that can heal you, kill you, feed you, or send you on a spiritual journey, something that is so powerful yet ephemeral.”
Explore with Mushroom Kits
At Far West Fungi, you can buy a mushroom grow kit online, like this gorgeous Lions Mane Mini Farm that has beneficial effects on the brain, heart, and gut. Any kid can handle this project:
“This Mini-Farm requires light misting to produce three to four crops over a two month period. It grows fairly well in warm climates as well. Expect one to two pounds of mushrooms with proper care.”
If you want a tastier mushroom, you can’t go wrong with the kid-friendly Shiitake Mini-Farm.
“This is our longest lasting Mini-Farm producing three to four crops over a four to five-month period. This is also our most durable Mini-Farm if you have less than perfect indoor growing conditions. The Shiitake mushroom has a unique and fabulous flavor, perhaps the finest of any mushroom.”
And if you prefer stay-at-home adventures, try watching Fantastic Fungi online.
This documentary has a 5-star rating at Common Sense Media, the gold standard for children’s programming. The reviewer called the film “one of the most positive and hopeful documentaries in years, this lean, beautiful, entertaining mushroom movie suggests that the answers to many of our problems could grow naturally and abundantly.”
Want to learn more about foraging?
Fantastic Fungi, directed by Louie Schwartzberg, is a consciousness-shifting film that takes us on an immersive journey through time and scale into the magical earth beneath our feet, an underground network that can heal and save our planet.
Follow this link to watch Fantastic Fungi at home!