Roving reporter Nicola interviewed Voracious Reishi Mushroom from its cluster at the base of a tall tree in Anhui Province, China.
Eat. Eat. Eat. I EAT A LOT. In my natural environment I normally eat waste. Every day I'm gonna eat leaves, I'm gonna eat decaying wood. I can digest a lot of things from nature and adapt myself to a variety of forests across Asia and other hot and humid climates.
When I was a baby I was white in color and created lots of roots to stabilize myself in my environment. Recently I popped up and began to change my color. Right now I’m turning to brownish white, into a mushroom. I can’t wait till I turn red and start to look like a beautiful fan.
Some people consider me a parasite, but as a Lingzhi fungus I consider myself unique. Legend says I give the gift of immortality. There’s no other species quite like me. You can even use some of my skills to reduce waste.
When I’m around the forest can flourish
I have an indispensable role in the forest. You need mushrooms like me to have a healthy ecosystem. With my little thin roots I can go deep into the soil, take all the moisture and organic matter from there, and give it to the plants and trees. In return they give me sugar so I can grow.
I love the trees. I love my forest and want to protect it and maintain it with life. When I grow up my roots will act as a fire retardant to prevent the forest from burning up too quickly.
Just like trees interact with each other in a certain way, we mushrooms do the same. We have a strong connection with each other through our roots. We quietly communicate, creating an underground micro-economy with the plants and trees so we can all flourish together. Networks of communication are the way to go.
Voracious Reishi Mushroom speaks
Reishi Mushroom was interpreted by
Martin Detoeuf, co-founder of a design studio that makes furniture and household objects out of mycelium and waste paper coffee cups, using a 3-D printer.
Martin says to Reishi Mushroom
We think you’re incredible. Thank you for helping us to make our furniture. We love you. We’re truly connected to you.
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Martin was invited by Nicola Gale at a biotech event in London, England when he and his co-founders were printing a vase made from mushrooms and waste with a 3-D printer.
Cover photo edited. Original by Sashimomura.