Myco Halo Foundation is a private not for profit, non-government, eco-cultural initiative, based in Australia, promoting the development and application of community based myco-cultural stewardship through supporting the establishment of independent research, education and ethical enterprise.
Our participants come from a variety of different backgrounds, with a united intention of developing and applying bioregion-specific ecocultural mycology. Some of our proposed activities will include:
- Bioregional education programs focused on the identification of fungi and their ecological significance, such as guided forays and weekend workshops
- Promotion and development of medicinal mushroom culture, i.e the 'Common Allies' project- focusing on both globally present medicinal and edible mushrooms, and the exploration of native ethnomycology, including the establishment of ethical foray and wild crafting practices (with mentoring guidance from Robert Rodgers)
- Independent and ethical bio-prospecting/field surveys.
- Inclusion of mycotechnology in biotectural design - Mycotecture, growing aesthetic lighting with native bioluminescent fungi, growing functional elements such as insulation, and designing bio-filters that integrate and apply mycofiltration.
- Mycorenewal workshops and short courses, covering topics such as mycoremediation and mycoforestry (i.e ecocultural mycology) - adapting the practices of the Americas to the Australian biome. (with guidance and involvement of : Ja Schindler - fungi for the people www.fungiforthepeople.org, and Tradd Cotter - Mushroom Mountain http://www.mushroommountain.com)
- Promoting Organic and poly-cultural mushroom farming, through modelling industry specific alternatives, best practice, and transitional protocols . (This will include developing best practice recommendations and community collaboration on myco-sustainability)
- Exploring inclusion of eco-cultural mycology in permaculture and sustainable agroforestry, through involvement in associated organisations. A specific focus will be given to the adaptation of current eco-cultural mycology to bio-regional dynamics and site specific application. We are currently in the design and financing phase for the establishment of research and education facilities in the Northern Rivers bioregion, northern NSW Australia.
We aim to have small scale edible and medicinal mushroom cultivation underway by the end of this year, (as educational models, specifically showcasing sustainable, organic and 'low/minimal tech' approaches) We aim to expand our current low tech and basic cultivation workshops to include myco-renewal workshops. This will be further developed next year with a workshop tour of Australia by several of the global pioneers in myco-restoration and myco-remediation. We are also currently in discussions regarding the potential for involvement in myco-cultural initiatives in Indonesia in the years to come, specifically involvement in regenerative agricultural practice and ethical bioprospecting.
Three of our principal participants, Chid Gilovitz, Duuvy Jester, and Eli Elphick, are currently in the US, contributing to the emergence of global myco-culture, attending Telluride Mushroom Festival, undertaking training in mycoremediation, visiting Earthship HQ in Taos, New Mexico and a Cultivation design course with Jay Schindler in Washington state. They are exploring the potentials for bringing myco-renewal and myco-tecture sciences to Australia, through networking with the global community, and also establishing professional relationships in the hope of future consultancy, training programs and affiliation.
Myco-Halo is currently auspiced by the Sustainability Research Institute, for Tax Deductible Gift Recipient status, and research funding protocols. We are also peer financing through crowd funding with the help of our friends at Iplege. We are currently developing a range of Mushroom products for fund raising, including functional food products, such as honey, chocolate and super food blends. We are also seeking project specific Ethical Investments/charitable loans.
As you can see we have a lot of big ideas, but in practical terms for the near future, our aims are to build networks with experts in the US and Australia, in order to develop a more advanced mycological human ecology in Australia. Over the next year we aim to assist the establishment of pilot research, education, and cultivation projects in Australia, in order to adapt global techniques to local environments and prove the viability of these ideas in the Australian context.
Image by Richard Giblett