Mushrooms as ߛߊ߲ߞߐߝߊ (Sankɔfa)
We relay the entire history of the soil, and highlight the role of fungi and of the mushroom plays. Later we shift to the role you play as you create this healthy black soil.
Asante Sana ߊߛߊ߲ߕߌ ߛߣߊ
Medase Paa ߡߍߘߊߛߋ ߔߊ
Modupe O ߡߏߘߎߔߋ ߏ
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I am Mason Olonade and this is Jìgìjìgì: Africulture Podcast. Here we believe building a healthy soil builds a healthy soul, so we share strategies for how to do both. To do both we ask two questions: How do you grow while you grow Kale, Collards, Tomatoes, and Melons. And why, do you think, the healthiest soils are Black?
Mushrooms as Sankofa
Many scientists agree that fungi were the first multicellular organisms on the surface of the Earth. As such they likely fed first on bacteria and various rock that had been on the surface long before them.
From here a great feeding took place and provided the first cycling of nutrients. As the fungi live and die, the bacteria take their turn to thrive. This cycle lasts for millions of years until green algae make their way up and over the land. An abundance of food led to cooperation, creating lichens, symbiotic associations of fungi and algae that were more capable of digesting rocks.
Carbon dioxide was also in abundance which created a need in algae to develop better structures to process this food, creating mosses, ferns, flowers, and trees.
All along the way all life was complicating around plant life. Bacteria and fungi all thriving based on the work that our earliest living ancestors, the Archaea performed. All the while soil was being built. And while life is exchanging lives with one another, Another physical process occurs. Weathering. Mountains into molehills into minerals by wind, rain, sleet, snow, sun, lichen, fungi, and the new plant roots.
As the biosphere is being composed, life also decomposes. This organic material at its full decomposition becomes the finest of all compounds. Humus. This compound along with its humic acid and fulvic acids give the healthiest soils their characteristic hue, their Blackness.
I say all that to say that Sankofa isn’t just an adinkra, but a verb. Sankofa is an active process. Here we’ve gone back and fetched the beginning of the formation of the soil. And at that beginning we find fungi and mushrooms. And of course, we’ve found you! As you build your healthy soil and look amidst that blackness you’ll find thin white wisps on the outside of woodchips, and fuzzy tiny cotton balls. As the fungi grow you are harkening all of history at once, the first processes of life occurring on land are happening again, and as they always have, right underneath your feet. In your active composition of compost, of the soil, you are composing life, and the beginning of earth, as we know it, again!
Share Jigijigi with your friends, family, and closely related siblings of the soil. Leave us a 5 star review wherever you listen to and we will say then as we say now, Asante Sana, Medase Pa, Modupe O! Thank you, for listening to Jìgìjìgì. Peace