Shrooms? In My Buckets?? – JP027


We’ve been hunting mushrooms all spring. Our greatest bounty was in our own backyard! We update you with what’s been growing in our coffee since last summer. Enjoy!

Asante Sana ߊߛߊ߲ߕߌ ߛߣߊ
M
edase Paa   ߡߍߘߊߛߋ ߔߊ
Modupe O
ߡߏߘߎߔߋ ߏ

Thank you for listening to


Jìgìjìgì
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Transcript

Peace,
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?

In my brief time following the alkaline vegan lifestyle I developed a close relationship with mushrooms. In that time mushrooms were the furthest away from the texture of vegetables, fruits, and grains, representing diversity in the masticatory experience. After I ended my tenure with that lifestyle my relationship with mushrooms deepend. Although I don’t go through the culinary journey of dredging, breading, and frying strips of Lobster, Oyster, or King Trumpet mushrooms any longer.

Last year, in the episode composts I shared with you my composting strategy with the coffee inoculated with some fungi growing on a fallen branch in my backyard. We also talked about the purchasing of the African Nightcrawler earthworms. If you have listened to that episode consider checking it out now, before I give updates.

Last week I checked on things growing in my bins. I also wanted to check on my worms. Despite the heavily berried Holly trees, it was a pretty mild inter so there might be a chance that my Naija Nightcrawlers survived.

In breaking down the cornstalks from last year and the husks surrounding the ears of the Black Corn, in those husks is a fine and nicely purple pigmented paper that Mandela and I referred to as Corn-Fetti. I fed it to the worms.

So when I looked in the wicker bin that kept all them in all this time and sifted through the corn-fetti, what did I find but a wonderful surprise, my African Nightcrawlers, just chillin in the soil. I had, erroneously assumed that they had all perished and became one with the food and soil they created, but in this case, its good to be wrong.

In another bucket contains a semi-sealed portion of coffee. Before I opened it I saw a straight line of black ants carrying something white out of the bucket and down into the grass that’s in desperate need of a shape-up.

Another surprise met my eyes in the bottom of that bucket. A similar stick to what I had a year ago was resting upon a cake of coffee mycelia. And at the 12-o-clock position a dried up mushroom? Definitely a different type of fruiting body.

It appeared to me that the Ants were taking pieces of the hyphae and mycelia away for their own use or consumption much like the termites that cultivate the Termitomyces titanicus.
In fact, that was what was happening! Leafcutter ants farm fungi. They feed the leaves they cut to the fungus, and as the fungi break down the leaf matter, saps and other vegetable nutrition is made available to the Ants!

In West Africa and further south into Zambia, a giant mushroom, the largest edible mushroom grows in a symbiotic association with termites. The term mounds provide the ideal environment for growth, the term keeps the environment clean and as the fungus moves through the termite mound or comb, nutrients are released for consumption by the termites. The mushrooms of the Termitomyces can be up to 1m or 3 feet in diameter.

In a different culture, in South Cameroon, at least according to Eating and Healing: Traditional Food As Medicine, it is said to be that mushrooms are the meat of the poor. This no doubt, is due to cultural practices, which are never in a vacuum and thus begs the question, How much western influence is there on that cultural value? Although, this is just an area on that enormous continent of black soil so there are different perspectives.

As B.A. Oso writes in his article Mushrooms in Yoruba Mythology and Medicinal Practices:

CALVATIA CYATHIFORMIS(Bosc) Morgan 

The Yoruba people strongly believe that C.cyathiformis is produced by the bush-fowl (Francolinus bicalcaratus). Hence the Yoruba name for the fungus is 1 so-aparo (Yor. iso = effluvium + aparo = bush- fowl). 

A Yoruba myth tells us that centuries ago the bush-fowls, in a bid to gain recognition among farmers, went to Orunmila to divine. They complained to Orunmila that mating with each other usually left no visible mark, it only resulted in a discharge of effluvium by the females and because of this the farmers had no regard for them. They appealed to Orunmila to help them so that the effluvium discharged subsequent to mating would re- suit in something that would be of value to the farmers, as this was the only way they could win their recognition. Orunmila divined for them and asked them to sacrifice ten eggs to the gods. They brought the eggs and Orunmila made the sacrifice. Since then wherever there was mating between a male and a female bush-fowl, this fungus usually appeared a few days later. Farmers then started collecting and taking them home to show the people and to eat them. This in the Yoruba belief is the origin of C. cyathiformis.

And Lastly, and Odù from Owanrin-Idi, He Made Divination for the Mushroom, or as I like to call it, Why the Mushroom lives a short life.

Three Awos made divination for the Mushroom (olu-oron) to have 201 children, but not to keep them. She (the mushroom) was advised to make sacrifice with a piece of white cloth and rabbit in order to have children. She was also told to make a second sacrifice so that after having children, they might grow up to become adults before her eyes.

She made the sacrifice to bear children and she had many of them, but failed to make sacrifice to see the children outlive her. On account of the second sacrifice she failed to make, her children did not live for more than 48 hours after being born.


I bought some Oyster Mushrooms in early April and now it is the middle of May. Up until this week I left the mushrooms in the fridge and forgot about them. I still looked at them, to make sure they wouldn’t go bad. But they started growing another way. I’ve never seen it before so I assumed it was growing. Earlier this week I had an urge to put them on the balcony of my girlfriends apartment in a bucket that will become our new compost. The night I did that I had a dream they would fruit again.

I checked on them the next morning and I saw one brown-capped pin but the other beginning-to-fruit-body dried out in the fresh air. A couple days later the distinctive oyster heads showed themselves again, in real life, not just in my dream. It’s also my dream to have those oysters growing with me this time next year. I’m excited for my dream to come true.

Share Jigijigi with your friends, family, and closely related siblings of the soil. Don’t forget to share this with another Black Farmer/Gardener who knows, metaphysically, why the healthiest soils are black. I’d love to hear from them and interview that somebody. Tell me, are you that somebody? Email me m-a-s-o-n-@a-f-r-i-c-u-l-t-u-r-epodcast.com

Leave us a 5 star review where you listen to and we will say then as we say now, Asante Sana, Medase Paa, Modupe O! Thank you, for listening to Jigijigi. 
Peace