Bay Area Applied Mycology’s (B.A.A.M.) mission is to achieve healthy ecosystems through
– Utilizing simple fungal, plant, and microbial processes
– Educating the community about these methods
– Mobilizing fellow citizens into action
BAAM came together in 2011 (??) with the shared obsession with fungi and a dream of doing myco-remediation; cleaning up oil and other contaminants with mushrooms. We practice low tech and hi tech cultivation techniques; indoor and outdoor mushroom culture, and seek to educate people in these techniques. We also forage wild mushrooms, looking for inspiration, medicine, and food. We use fungi to dye fabric, harvest medicinal compounds, decompose waste, build soil, and eat gourmet meals.
Fungi have much to teach the human world, and we seek to act as a conduit for this mycelial message. Fungi live in the environment as decentralized networks of thread-like cells called hyphae, which form the net called mycelium. Fungi move resources like water and nutrients across the network to where they are needed, Mycorrhizal fungi form symbioses with plants and can create a forest network where sugars and signals can flow from tree to tree, from old plants to young plants, even across species boundaries. This open and decentralized sharing makes the ecosystem resilient, for where there is disturbance, a healthy part of the system can send resources through the fungi heal the damage. Interconnectedness is the key to the system, and humans need to apply organization and resource distribution like that of fungi in order to heal our massively disturbed systems, both social and environmental.