Tea is the perfect theme for this month’s Wild Things Roundup. I truly love tea—it’s an art and, sometimes, a form of therapy.
In the depth of Winter, we confront dark, hard, uncomfortable things. I doubt I’m the only one recovering from the turmoil of 2012, ducking from the seasonal bugs whizzing through our communities, and trying to find solace & a silver lining from the horrific events we’ve witnessed in the last few months. It’s been a rough few months, I won’t lie. But tea—well, that makes everything a bit better. Teas (infusions & decoctions) make available some very useful compounds to rebalance our physiologies. But they’re also satisfying, comforting & soulful. Read more
As plants die back and the rains return in Autumn, fungi take the stage. The return of the Autumn rains awaken the slumbering mycelium, who stretch their hyphal networks through their respective substrates. In eager anticipation of the wild delicacies (and especially the mycorrhizal species like chantrelles, porcini, matsutakes, and Candy caps, which resist human cultivation as they grow only in association with certain tree roots), mycophiles and foragers hit the forests…raincoats, wool hats, cute little baskets and all.
Mushrooms have mystique. They are their own universe. Being a plant person, I was intimidated when I began learning about mushrooms. Structurally, they can resemble plants. But metabolically, they are more like animals—oxygen breathing, external-stomach-having, animalistic occupants of their own dikariotic kingdom. And throughout the centuries, certain cultures have been more mycophillic and mycophobic than others. Western Europe, for the most part, eschewed our fungal friends, whereas Asian societies embraced them for food and medicine for over 2 millenia (some sources say 4 or even 7 millenia). In the Western world, we’re beginning to befriend our fungal allies and, in the process, opening previously sealed doors of perception. Read more