In the soil complex mutualistic relationships between fungi and other
members of the soil food web balance and recompose ecosystems
Identifying existing soil fungi and incorporating edible and medicinal mushrooms into gardens and green spaces in our region can improve our climate resiliency. By utilizing soil remediation and amendment techniques that support soil fungi we can increase our capacity to adapt to rising temperatures and drought.
The role of fungi in our healthy soils:
- Fungi convert hard-to-digest organic material into forms that other organisms can use.
- Encouraging a healthy soil microbiome.
- Fungi physically binds soil particles together.
- They increase water infiltration and soil water holding capacity.
a. Extending moisture distribution increases the stress + drought tolerance of plants.
- Supports plant root systems.
a. An estimated 70-90% of plants depend on fungi to help extract nutrients from the soil.
- Under dry conditions, fungi can connect pockets of moisture and continue to survive and grow, even when soil moisture is too low for most bacteria to be active.
Bio-remediation methods using Mushrooms and Fungi help:
➔ Build healthy and diverse soil microbiome
➔ Build soil humus
➔ Break down of harmful waste and contaminants in soil
➔ Bind or pull out environmental pollutants in land and water
Steps necessary for a mushroom inoculation:
- Site Mushroom Inoculation in a location that receives partial shade ( shade for 6 hours+). If the site you would like to inoculate is in partial or full sun, create a shade structure to protect the mushrooms.
- Purchase Mushroom Spawn from local gardeners or from QTBIPOC organizations if possible. Here are a couple of links of places to purchase the spawn. https://zoomoutmycology.com/online-store/p/wine-cap-sawdust-spawn https://www.smugtownmushrooms.com/sawdustspawn/winecap
- Add Compost, Mulch, Water and Mushrooms in two to five layers. You can even try using a broadfork to increase the permeability of the soil!
- Water the mushrooms for 5-10 minutes (or until the soil beneath the mulch is wet) once a week when there is no rain.
- Enjoy your garden, and let us know when you spot a mushroom!
Community Garden Site Co-Supervisor
Loma Linda Community Center
Albuquerque, NM 87106