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This Week’s Guest Blogger is Andy Lopez owns ‘The Invisible Gardener’ and Radio Talk Show Host of ‘Don’t Panic! It’s Organic!’ at BBS Radio

The Mycelium Intelligence

Chain of Life

We all understand the concept of The Chain of Life. We usually think about how one creature eats another animal which then gets eaten by another creature, which in turn gets eaten by another, until we get to us. We are at the top of the chain, or are we?

We understood that, but did you ever think as to the beginning of the chain? The start of the chain of Life starts with the fungi, bacteria, and protozoa. These are the real Master Gardeners of our planet. As I mentioned before, they have been at this for a very long time, much longer than we have. Their Gardening skills are honed to perfection. All living things depend upon the Mycelium, and its ability to recycle the essential minerals and resources needed for healthy growth.

As a kid, I was always interested in these mushrooms that would pop up almost everywhere. I noticed that after rain, they would appear overnight. Several times, I would sit and watch. Over a few hours, they would be fully grown and right in front of my eyes.

Beautiful. I am not talking about magic mushrooms (this is another story), but of the many varieties that grow in the lawn, in your garden, in the forest. It is these workers that take the minerals and other essential nutrients and convert them into an assimilable nutrient rich in minerals.

As I mentioned before, plants learned that they are better at growing if they grow with their roots intertwined with the Mycelium than if they tried it on their own. As a matter of fact, eventually, all plants evolved so that Mycelium grew in the root hairs of their roots. This became a particular type of Mycelium that is working for the plant, taking the nutrients from the Mycelium Colony and passing it on to the plants. While plants can grow in soil without Mycelium (plants produce the proper waste that helps Mycelium grow), they will use their roots to locate the underground Mycelium colony and make a connection. They plug into the conscious mind of the Mycelium. The Mycelium will then expand its web weave to include the plant! The plant communicates with the Mycelium Mind, and they exchange information. What does the Mycelium get from this relationship? When the plant dies, it will become food for the Mycelium. It will digest and return all the minerals and recycle it back to itself as food, and it also feeds others.

The Mycelium have evolved to farm for their “food source” plants and indirectly insects as well as animals and even humans. Anything that dies and is returned to the earth becomes food for the microbial life.

Mycelium has been around for hundreds of millions of years. They have evolved into a very efficient organism. They can communicate within all of the intertwined roots of plants. They communicate with trees through this network. Trees communicate with each other through this network. Insects and animals are attracted to these areas. Insects will eat other insects especially if the bugs are getting mineral-rich food sources. Animals, in turn, are attracted to other mineral rich animals and plants. Lots of animals only eat plants (mineral rich), and they are prime food for animals to eat them and get the minerals. Whatever dies will be eaten by the fungi.

It’s Alive is the name of one of my radio shows. I started this show way back in 1984 when I first moved to Malibu. In it, I try to express to folks how important this hidden life is. The top soil is the “skin” of the Mycelium. Just as the skin of animals, humans, insects, etc., acts as an interface between the inside and the outside of our bodies, so too does top soil act as an interface between plants, animals, insects, everything!

Plants have deep roots as well as deep roaming roots. They seek Mycelium and Mycelium seeks these roots. There is a definite interaction between the Mycelium and the roots of the plant. As the plant grows, its roots encounter this Mycelium which almost immediately starts to provide nourishment and communication with other plants directly through this network.

Humans, Plants, and Mycelium bacteria have evolved together over the millions of years and have developed many ways of communication with each other. Yes, humans can communicate too with this Mycelium. Together, they provide for each other. The key to healthy life is minerals. Lacking one or more minerals will eventually cause big problems, leading to an unhealthy state. This is not just true for plants but all living things especially trees and animals and humans. Whether plant, insect, animal, or human, being unhealthy is a magnet for pests and diseases.

The Mycelium of the world is one living being

The Mycelium of the world is one living being and is responsible for many things of which the growth of mushrooms is one. Mushrooms digest minerals found in decaying insects, plants, animals (and humans) and convert it to usable forms-which the plants can assimilate and we, in turn, can also assimilate.

You are what you eat is the old saying. The fungi eat the minerals, which is consumed by the plants, which are then eaten by the animals which in turn is eaten by us. Humans also eat the plants directly. These fungi will also eat and convert into the proper minerals (anything that dies and encounters the “skin”) of the Mycelium. In essence we are Mycelium.

Thus, the Mycelium is the very start and end of the food chain. Now how cool is that? I often talk about how we are damaging and disrupting the top soil. By damaging and or removing this “skin,” we are destroying the Mycelium and this in turn hurts everything else. The Mycelium is an important ally in the climate change war, one that we cannot ignore. So, it is very important to protect our top soil and in turn protect this amazing organism.

to find out more about Andy Lopez and his opinions visit his website invisiblegardener.com where you can download his ebook or if you have any questions listen to his radio show or email him at andylopez@invisiblegardener.com

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