Ministry of Mushrooms
– Fungus Discovery Workshop
What are all those fungi doing there in the landscape? How do they help ecosystems function? And how are progressive farmers including fungi in their thinking about soils?
The need to produce high quality food while minimising environmental damage is one of the biggest challenges for Australian agriculturalists, especially in the context of a changing climate. Healthy biological soils are crucial to plant health including our food crops. In turn, human health depends on high food quality and hence good soil health.
We now know there is a greater biomass of living microorganisms within than above the soil. Industrial agriculture with its intensive use of chemicals, fertilisers and mechanical disturbance has largely eliminated these organisms. However, innovative farmers are turning things around through ‘ecological intensification’ – that is, by fostering soil microbes with the aim to replace or reduce fertiliser, irrigation and tilling. Central to this is an understanding of how symbioses between plants, fungi and other organisms function.
This workshop introduces participants to the diversity, ecology and curiosities of the Kingdom Fungi, specific to fungi found in the region but also within wider Australian and global contexts. It includes an interactive session on the basics of fungus identification, where participants will get to handle, examine and identify various fungi. Participants will also learn to recognise the various diagnostic characteristics used to identify fungi in the field, necessary to fungus surveying. Fungi will be discussed in regard to their role in natural and agricultural ecosystems, as well as cultural interests such as edibility and toxicity.
We will then partake in an exciting foray through various local ecosystems to search for species of interest. Supplementary notes are also provided. Participants are encouraged to bring along their own specimens for identification at the workshop.
Participants are encouraged to bring along their own specimens for identification at the workshop.
The full autumn 2019 workshops and events listing can be viewed here.
SATURDAY 13 JUNE 2020
TIME: 10:00 – 16:00
COST: $25- and $10- for Torquay & District Landcare members