When I ask people about mushrooms they start to smile. Obviously some of them think of pleasure, medicinal benefits, passion, or bad experiences. I personally see them as addictive a virus that once it gets into someone’s blood stream gets trapped inside there for years while the host turns into a mushroom freak: a believer, and a thinker that it said to always carry mushrooms on his brain. It simply changes your mind, you start to think through the mushroom filter and because of this it also changes your life. It’s a powerful addiction able to lift you higher, the more you discover the more fascinated you get. I can easily observe several categories out there:
- The mushroom growing enthusiasts
For example if you drive on a road and see at the margin a bale of straw left to rot by its owner, you’ll suddenly imagine on how a bunch of mushrooms could take over that straw –it would definitely do a great substrate for some oyster mushrooms –this is what your mind will tell you. This is just one example but in reality you’ll feel this at least 10 x stronger with a bunch of mushrooms popping on your head while you cruise around and see various things that would help you grow you grow your mushrooms. This is the case with those who want to grow mushrooms for food or for commercial purposes. They are simply fascinated when they see their result after all of that hard work growing and developing into wonderful mushroom fruitbodies. Many believe that growing mushrooms is pretty much like growing a tree of cash, even though this is true there’s lots of work involved. One thing is clear though, those who are passionate with this feel pleasure and stick with it for a long time, but those focused on making cash only from growing mushrooms are not fascinated nor addicted and therefore they are more likely to give up once they find a better source of cash flow.
- The mushroom treasure enthusiasts
Mushroom foraging is their passion and they like to be in nature a lot and they’re pleasure is to find mushroom treasures. Most of these guys are fungivores and know how to cook. They are especially interested in fungi identification and seek to acquire knowledge. This kind of addiction is rather simple and loads the brain with pleasure when seeing wild mushrooms anywhere, even in a supermarket. Unfortunately, their pleasure depends on the meteorological conditions: no rain –no mushrooms, but guess what? They need to find their treasures even when there’s no rain around so they find themselves in the woods walking with their heads curled towards the ground. They’re addiction is so powerful because even if they know that there’s no mushrooms around they keep looking to find them –they simply developed a reflex of constant search and because of it they don’t really n-joy the view above their heads.
- The mycelium enthusiasts
This type of enthusiasts are simply fascinated with the growth and development of mycelium –they could be called mushroom spawn freaks. They really n-joy being lab nerds and play around with fungus mycelium all day long. When they get into it they’re lost for hours and forget to eat or even sleep sometimes. Their mind is in a constant vibration around mycelium thinking to manipulate that in their favor to get the best out of it in terms of enzymes, extracts, fuel, and other valuable compounds. Their addiction is so bad that even if they’re outside with friends talking and smiling, part of their minds is thinking about fungus –the fungus hyphae colonized their brain and gives birth to pinheads on their head, so don’t be surprised if you talk to them about a random topic and see them suddenly switch to mushrooms.
- Mushroom artists
Well, this is a new kind of mushroom addiction and it’s a higher state in which the ones who passed through the previous experiences became enlightened and their brains have special desires for exploring new areas so they can apply what they know into forms, poems, art, furniture, an you name it. It’s the fairy land of innovators willing to push mycelium power to the limit. Cash doesn’t matter to them much, it’s just a side effect, but what matters most is the creation itself. They are the ones who hold the keys to the doors of mycology understand the mechanisms and have the proper sense to feel and smell the success approaching. They are poly-branched in the field of mycology, focused on various branches of mycology, and therefore they’re able to make connections and sprout new interesting ideas.
There’s much to talk about this and of course this whole topic could be expanded. However, this is for you to understand the power of mushrooms, because once you dive into it you might get forever trapped.