“A Mushroom Walks into a Bar…”

Lunch ‘n Learn with Carol Padberg

What can we learn from mushrooms about undoing toxic individualism and affecting regenerative social change? What would a mycelial revolution look like, with its fungal systems of value and exchange? Are mushrooms nature’s professional revolutionaries, constantly creating upheaval and a change of states? Or are they the ultimate bottom up revolutionaries, creating an end to hierarchies? The entangled world of plants and mycelia is filled with examples of webby mutual benefit, complex system dynamics, unusual alliances, and ever present material transformations. In addition, the more one learns about the relationships between plants and mycelia the more difficult it is to draw the line where one starts and the other ends. This lunchtime gathering will include a presentation, some examples of art, and a somatic activity that will guide the group through a process of engaging with our own biological multiplicity and interspecies economies, using mushrooms as our speculative guides. What lessons can mushrooms teach us about infiltration, decomposition, multiplicity and mutuality?

If you’d like to make a cup of mushroom tea to enjoy during this lunch ‘n learn UofO Jan Term seminar, here are some suggestions from Carol:

Mushroom hot drinks, three ways:

1. Tea directly from the mushroom: Get dried edible mushrooms and crumble or dice them. Cook them in a pot until about half the liquid is boiled away. The tea can be used straight away, or kept for future use. More details here: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/9690-reishi-tea

2. Blended tea: Buy pre-made mushroom tea in bags or as loose tea, at an Asian market or specialty food store. Steep as directed.

3. Mushroom mocha: Use mushroom powder for this hot beverage, health food stores sell many types. I like to make a cup of coffee, and add a teaspoon of Reishi mushroom powder, a 1/2 teaspoon of cocoa powder and a 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. Milk and honey optional.

Carol Padberg is an artist who weaves collaboratively with Oyster Mushroom mycelia, making interspecies textiles that live in the edges between the mammalian and fungal realms. She is also an educator and serves as the founding director of the Nomad MFA, an interdisciplinary MFA dedicated to regenerative culture. http://www.carolpadberg.com/

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