Inaugural Mycology Summit Addresses Themes of Justice
The edible Wine Cap mushroom is used in mycoremediation to filter out E. coli in water
The first New Moon Mycology Summit (NMMS)—a fungi-themed week of collaborative learning, networking and skill building focused on regenerative design, bioremediation and environmental justice—will take place August 6-12 at White Pine Community Farm in Wingdale. The summit will have two symbiotic components, an Advanced MycoRenewal Course followed by a larger weekend event featuring workshops, lectures and hands-on learning.
Mycology, the study of fungi, is the subject connecting the week’s events, says NMMS cofounder and organizer Olga Tzogas.
“With fungi as the common thread, the New Moon Mycology Summit is an intersectional experience merging diverse disciplines, trades and passionate ideas while providing a platform for addressing themes of social justice, earth skills and the environment,” she says.
The NMMS is organized by the mycology educators, environmental justice change agents and ecological restoration specialists involved in the Mycelium Underground and CoRenewal/Amazon MycoRenewal Project.
The Mycelium Underground is a network of people devoted to education, justice, the environment and the study of fungi. CoRenewal/Amazon MycoRenewal Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing education and research in ecosystem restoration, health and healing and sustainable community dynamics.
People from all mycological and earth-based sciences are invited to apply to share their skill sets, knowledge, studies and interests at the NMMS, Tzogas says.
“The response has been incredible already,” she says. “We welcome social justice organizations, organizers, community leaders and others who fight for justice in human and animal rights, earth defense, pipeline resistance, gentrification and similar causes to set up tables and share their information and work.”
Tzongas says the Advanced Mycorenewal Course, scheduled for August 6-9, will be a four-day immersion into the art and science of mycoremediation, where participants will turn theory into action.
“Led by the members of CoRenewal, we will go beyond cutting-edge mycoremediation techniques, and study and practice what it takes for mycoremediation projects to become realities,” she says.
Topics will include the ecology of bioremediation, soil biogeochemistry, sustainable fungal cultivation methods, mycomimicry in theory and practice, mycoremediation and environmental justice, oil spill response, soil testing, project management, mycorrhizal fungi as remediators, fungal enzyme assays, organics recycling with fungi, biofiltration, and biochar and fungi.
“This course is for bioremediators, mycologists, project coordinators and ecologists who are ready to take their skills to a new level,” she says. “If you’re new to the field of mycoremediation, you are welcome to apply, but there will be required reading before the beginning of the course.”
The New Moon Mycology Weekend Summit, scheduled for August 10-12, will be a grassroots, sliding-scale event, Tzogas says.
“We encourage attendees to come with a problem-solving mindset to consider the ways humanity can mimic the mycelium of mushrooms—the ecosystem-supporting web of cells connecting all life while decomposing and creating new pathways,” she says. “Social justice organizations, community leaders, human and animal-rights activists, and earth-defense, pipeline-resistance and gentrification-resistance activists are especially welcome.”
The three-day summit will cover a wide variety of topics, including mushroom cultivation, wild mushroom identification, mycoremediation, ethnomycology, mushroom medicine, decolonization, climate change, permaculture, myco-spirituality and mycopsychology, herbalism, earth skills and direction action.