Nature loves stupid people too!

Aloha Friend!

Don’t let this happen to you!

An ugly spooky disgusting-looking fungus growth pops up in your garden one day.

Fear comes in to you because it looks like a Halloween zombie coming to take over.

You decide to pick it up and it releases a cloud of cinnamon brown powder into the air, and you’re instantly freaked out that it’s going to multiply all over the place.

You decide to get rid of it before it can spread.  You wrap it in plastic and dispose of it.  And you hope that sucker never comes back!

Then, feeling smugly smart and happy that you caught it in time and disposed of it, you go on with life and forget about the whole incident.

That’s what I did.

What a HUGE MISTAKE!

What’s really scary is looking back at how stupid my decisions were!!!

Fast forward several years, it’s a hot, dry October. A couple more of them pop up.

Don’t fungi usually grow in rainy weather?  Like Irish green gardens with mushrooms. These popped up in dry conditions.

This time, (thankfully I’m getting smarter), I searched for ugly brown fungus on Google and soon found it in the images.

I could hardly believe what I read!  This ugly fungus is the greatest gift a gardener could ever receive!

It’s the food forest gardener’s holy grail, grand prize, jackpot, best garden helper ever!

Pisolithus arrhizus!!!  Mycorrhizal fungi!!

These are the fruiting heads of the Mycorrhizal fungi!!

If you see these in your garden, hoot, holler, and jump for joy!!

 

Look what I read on the website BayAreaMushrooms: http://www.bayareamushrooms.org/mushroommonth/pisolithus.html

 

It is late summer, when crumbly dog turds appear along the sidewalk, and we know that autumn is coming. Dog turds as harbingers of our favourite season!

In a time of year when there is not much moisture around, in the midst of our rainless California summer, these mushrooms are able to grow and form firm juicy fruitbodies. They are so firm, and have so much turgor that they can even push up the pavement and pop up in other unexpected places to shed their spores.

They do not get points for beauty. I remember a foray in Denmark into a dry sandy pine plantation where these weird fungi were sticking their heads up. Their ugliness was admired by all of us, but nobody wanted to be photographed with them…

pisolithus asphalt

Officially, the dog turd fungus is called Pisolithus arrhizus, one of many names for it. The name is derived from the Greek and means the ‘rootless pea-stone’. Dead man’s foot and Dye ball are two other common names for it. Older names for the genus include Polysaccum — the mushroom with the many bags. You’ll also find ‘tinctorius’ as its species name, referring to its qualities as a dye for wool — this has been known for a long time; Micheli mentioned it already in his book from 1729; can we assume that even in antiquity it was used as such? We can compliment all those mycologists in finding very suitable names for this species.

pisolithus_yarn

Pisolithus starts out as a club-shaped dark brown object, that when cut open shows those ‘peas’ — little compartments in which the spores are formed. Arora described them aptly as ‘rice crispies in tar’. In this stage, the mushroom is firm, wet, and stains our hands. In the next phase the top matures, the outer wall disintegrates and a dark chocolate brown dry spore mass is visible. Those spores are well suited for air transport — they have pigmented hydrophobic walls, and are spiny, real long-distance dispersers.

spores pisolithus spores 2

The fruitbodies wither slowly and can, when not kicked, remain in place for months up to a year.

pisolithus_halves

There is wide variation in the shape and size of the species – from round and small ones to humongous amorphous lumps. Do these forms represent different stages of one species or many species with each their own host?

 

pisolithus_beech

As already hinted at above, Pisolithus is widely used in initial inoculation of tree seedlings especially for forestry purposes. Here also different species are probably used, but the name given to the fungus is in most cases P. tinctorius. Paul Stamets’ Fungi Perfecti sells a mycorrhizal mix containing Pisolithus tinctorius (with four species of Rhizopogon). Pisolithus is ideal as it is so well adapted to drought.  Mine tailings, dry sandy areas, restoration projects — Pisolithus will grow and help establish the young tree seedlings. Judging from the abundance of the species with full-grown trees here in California, it is also a good competitor which is not rapidly displaced by other fungal mutualists when the tree grows up. 

Pisolithus arrhizus is very common here, both in the city, and in more natural habitats under oak. Many people who come to the fungus fair comment that it grows in their yard. In the northern Sierras and Lassen area it is common, especially in disturbed areas, in foothill woodland and open oak woods.

As the species fruits in those times of year that are too dry for others, it can easily be missed by ‘normal’ mushroom forays. So there is only one record in the NAMA voucher data base, from the 2000 foray in Newton, Texas. Fortunately, there are more herbarium specimens, and Grand reported that within the U.S.A. the species was found in 36 states, with most finds in the east, and in the western states. Many specimens grew in dry and disturbed areas, from open fields to sand dunes, sometimes without obvious tree hosts.

pisolithus berkeley

From its appearance it is not easy to guess the closest relative of our dog turd fungus. But, the presence of pulvinic acids and their derivates point in the direction of the boletes; these are the pigments that stain the wool. Molecular comparisons have confirmed that bolete connection. In a study by Binder and Bresinsky, Astraeus hygrometricus, another drought adapted ‘bolete’, is a sister group to Pisolithus. A bit further removed in the family tree are Scleroderma and real boletes like Gyroporus and the eastern Boletinellus merulioides.

Enjoy the presence of this species — autumn is on its way, and your tree has a useful partner on its roots!

Thank you for the great info, Bay Area Mushrooms!

 

I’m over-joyed, shouting Hallelejuh over discovering a mychorrizal fungi in the food forest!!!

Not thrilled with myself for disposing of it last time, without understanding what it is nor it’s purpose in the garden.

#1 Lesson learned:

Ugliness is not a good reason to hate something, or to kill it.

#2 Lesson learned:

Nature gives you good gifts, even if you are too stupid to know it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pisolithus arhizus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pisolithus arhizus
Pisolithus arhizus02.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Boletales
Family: Sclerodermataceae
Genus: Pisolithus
Species: P. arhizus
Binomial name
Pisolithus arhizus
(Scop.) Rauschert (1959)
Synonyms
  • Lycoperdon arrizon Scop. (1786)
  • Pisolithus tinctorius (Pers.) Coker & Couch (1928)

Pisolithus arhizus [1] is a widespread earth-ball like fungus, which may in fact be several closely related species. Common names include dead man’s foot and dyeball.[2] It is known in Australia as the horse dung fungus, in South Africa as perdebal, and in Europe as the Bohemian truffle. This puffball‘s black viscous gel is used as a natural dye for clothes.[3] Pisolithus arhizus is a major component in mycorrhizal fungus mixtures that are used in gardening as powerful root stimulators.[4]

A coyote is the pride and joy of the garden!

Aloha Friend!

We always talked about finding a dog that would chase out rabbits, squirrels, and gophers.  Then one lucky day, Mother Nature brought us this perfect creature, who turned out to be everything we had hoped for in a dog and more.

Deer-dog resting in the sun
Deer-dog resting in the sun

Before we realized that this one single coyote had been quietly entering the food forest every evening, we noticed that the rabbits, squirrels and gophers had disappeared from the garden!

At first we didn’t know why the small garden gourmands no longer ate up all of our seedlings and fruit, but we were glad to be able to take down these protective (but unattractive) seedling fences and the protective netting from our fruit trees!  They were no longer needed 🙂

 

Aloha Farms food forest's Portable Garden Fence
Our Portable Garden Fences became unneccessary!

Once we realized that the deer-dog was responsible for pest control on the food forest, we were amazed and grateful for its presence.

We affectionately named it “Deer-dog” since it looks like a deer mixed with a dog and eats both vegetables and animals, and because of the double-entendre “Dear-dog” because we love it!

Here’s a video clip of deer-dog stalking an insect one evening recently.  It was a grasshopper or a cricket or something along those lines.

 

Let us count the ways we love our coyote, Deer-dog!

  1. It eats rabbits, squirrels, and gophers from our garden.  No more need to build separate fences around our seedlings or netting over our fruit trees!!
  2. Since the day it ate a crow,  the crows became afraid to come back to our garden!!
  3. It eats grasshoppers right out the air!!
  4. It eats fruit that has fallen to the ground and begun to rot, thus keeping the grounds clean.  When nectarines and apricots fell to the ground, the deer-dog ate the fruit and spit the clean seeds back onto the ground!!
  5. It never appears during visits from our human guests!!
  6. It sleeps outside under a tree and guards the premises 24-7 for incoming animals that might otherwise be devouring the plants!!
  7. It requires no extra insurance from the homeowner’s insurance company, no city license, no pet food, no entertainment, and no visits to the vet!!
  8. It walks itself and it even practices yoga – we’ve seen it doing the “downward dog”!!
  9. It doesn’t wake us up in the morning and never needs to be let out of the house!!
  10. Its solid waste is comprised of natural ingredients and feeds the garden, so requires no clean up!!

If a coyote comes into your garden, remember our story, treasure it and be glad for its help!

 

 

 

 

 

Amazing wealth is found in nature’s powerful abundance

Mathematics expresses itself in nature through the songs birds sing, the fractal patterns in trees, the designs of leaves, flowers, and roots and the infinite potential in seeds.

I’ve spent every day of the last 6 years observing and enjoying nature as I grow a food forest.

I originally grew the forest garden so I could enjoy the juicy fruits, tasty nuts and seeds,the lovely fragrances, and the healthy herbs.

That’s great abundance right there, but as it turns out, that’s only the beginning of the abundance I discovered.

The plants in the food forest also reproduce themselves exponentially, so the abundance expands exponentially!

 

The branch of math called Calculus deals with exponential increases where numbers get bigger really fast and approach infinity. This best describes the kind of math I see in the food forest.

In this image, check out the orange number line climbing rapidly as it approaches infinity.

Graphic Image of numbers getting larger and approaching infinity. From Socratic.org

I see this type of exponential growth curve going on in the food forest every day.

Seeds, which grow in great abundance in the food forest are the best example of exponential growth. A perfect example of this phenomenon is this romaine lettuce plant that grew from a single seed.

This romaine lettuce plant grew from 1 seed. We enjoyed eating the leaves of the plant as it grew. After a few months, it stopped producing leaves and began to produce these puffy white flowers. Inside of each flower are about 10 or 20 seeds. (yes, i counted several of them). I picked off the flowers and seeds to plant elsewhere in the food forest, and a couple days later, more flowers grew back to replace the ones I picked. I took this picture after I picked most of the flowers and the second round of flowers had grown to replace the first.

One (1) seed can grow into thousands (1000’s) of seeds of it’s kind in as short as 3–6 months.

What kind of Return on Investment can you get from a well planted seed?

Let’s say, as in the picture above, that you “invested” 1 lettuce seed by planting it in the ground and letting it grow for a few months. Then you harvested 1,000 seeds that grew from that lettuce plant, so you ended up with 1,000 seeds.

Here’s the simple “Return On Investment” formula:

Copied from Investopedia.com

(1000 seeds gained — 1 seed invested) = 999 more seeds than you started with

999 seeds / 1 seed cost of investment= 999% return on investment.

If you get a return of 1000 seeds from growing 1 seed, then you get 999 more seeds. Divide the 999 seeds you got by the 1 seed you put in and there’s your ROI percentage.

999% return on investment for growing a seed — in under 6 months.

Compare that to the stock market, where you can expect to average 6% Return on Investment per year. That’s if you’re lucky and you keep your money invested in the stock market for 30 years.

Imagine how many seeds you might have after a few years of planting seeds!

If you plant a tree instead, you will receive fruit and seeds from that tree for decades! We are grateful to have several fruit trees that are over 30 years old and are still producing fruit. Someone else planted them long ago, and we continue to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

If you really want to see abundance, look to a garden rather than an interest-earning financial account.

Have a look at how nature’s abundance happens in this video:

 

Here’s a video I made about a 110 year old oak tree that grew from an acorn.

 

From the single acorn grows the mighty oak!

 

 

Here’s an orange tree that’s over 30 years old.

Aloha food forest Navel oranges grow on an over 30-year-old orange tree!
Navel oranges grow on an over 30-year-old orange tree!
This orange tree is over 30 years old, and still gives delicious fruit. Plant a fruit tree, get fruit for generations!

Another good example of nature’s abundance is multiplication through roots. Look at these bananas that expand their roots into the soil and pop up new banana plants.

This growth isn’t exponential like seed growth, but still it multiplies with repeated additions of new plants.

New banana trees grow from the roots of existing banana trees

There’s no doubt that a food forest produces an amazing abundance of good food for people. Everyone talks about eating healthier food, and this is a simple, direct way to get healthy food. Forest gardens work in harmony with Planet Earth’s natural processes.

The food forest also produces a healthy habitat full of good food for many animals. The animals feed on plants and on each other to create a balanced population.

We have seen coyotes, rabbits, squirrels, gophers, lizards, birds, insects, possums, raccoons, mice, rats, snakes, skunks and cats. They go about their business, doing what they were born to do, whatever it might be. It feels really good knowing that they like being here in the food forest!

If more people everywhere around the world grow forests of food , we can go a long way toward healing our planet and providing healthy habitats for animals and people.

I hope for a future with food forests growing everywhere on a healthy planet Earth. Where clean water flows, and happy people enjoy plenty of food, love for one another, lots of laughter, and a spirit of co-operation as a big wonderful family of human beings!

 

Thanks for reading this post.

Aloha!

Aloha Farms food forest

Life in Syntropy

Aloha Friends!

Life in Syntropy is the opposite of Life in Entropy!

“As noted by Viterbo, syntropy is “the tendency towards energy concentration, order, organization and life” (http://www.syntropy.org/). In contradistinction to “entropy,” syntropy is a result of retrocausality leading to persistent and more complex organization.” – from Wikipedia

Anyway, this is the way to make the planet better instead of worse!

I love this movie featuring the man named Ernst Gotsch who shows the way!

 

 

How fun it that?

Peace and Abundance to you!

 

 

Lemony Fresh Laundry Water Re-Used in the Garden!

Aloha Friends!

 

Here’s an earth-friendly way to wash your clothes and re-use the laundry water in your garden!

 

Wishing You Peace, Abundance, and Aloha!!!

 


 

 

Aloha Farms food forest Logo Roots Grow Fruits!
Aloha Farms food forest where Roots Grow Fruits!

Don’t Water – Be Lazier – Feed Yourself – Have a Laugh – Thank You Paul Wheaton!

Aloha Friends!

 

Here’s a smart, funny permaculture talk, if you like that kind of thing.

 

 

Be even lazier!?   Ahhh

 

Feed yourself first?  Ahhh

 

 

Love mycelium, your tap rooted species, your nitrogen fixing species, your food producing species.

 

Hold your water on the land.

 


 

Get back to the Garden or Go Extinct!

Aloha Friends!

“This is an exciting time!!…  This is an opportunity to try!”  This is an opportunity to let go of the old belief systems of violence and war.  There was a garden when we got here, and if we understand it, there can be a garden when we leave here.  And if we leave it as a garden, there will be others left behind to share that garden.”

 These are some exciting words you will hear in this video, along with so many more.  This is a video you could watch multiple times and keep learning from it.

Please enjoy Bruce Lipton as he shares his amazing insights into today’s world:

Let’s All Join as a Collective Community in  Peace, Love, Abundance and Aloha!

We’re all connected and we can create a Heaven on Earth!

Expand into new healthy ways of meeting our needs, appreciate and care for earth’s bodies of water and sacred atmosphere of air to breathe.  

Will You Join Many Souls in Learning to Share Love All Around, Overlooking Minor Disagreements and Focusing on Solutions?

I will and I hope you will too!

Aloha to You!

 


3 Things Cannot be Long Hidden: The Sun, The Moon, and The Truth

Aloha Friends!

 

Great news – here’s some more truth!

 

THERE IS MORE TO YOU THAN MEETS THE EYE!       🙂

 

Check out the video below and let us know what you think in the comments below.

Wishing you Peace, Love, and Aloha!!!

 

 

 


 

Permaculture Home Building!

Aloha Friends,

 

Check out this uplifting and hopeful video, which shows a low-cost way to create beautiful homes.

Imagine what an exciting game-changer this could be! 

Homes for all!!!

 

 


Aloha!!

Geoff Lawton’s Zaytuna Farm Tour Video Provides a Peek into Paradise!

Aloha Friends!

By watching the video below, you can be with permaculture master Geoff Lawton as he leads us into the peaceful, abundant future we could all share on planet Earth!

In this must-see video, he shows how the inhabitants of Zaytuna Farm live in an abundant, peaceful, earthly paradise that they designed and created!

Not only has Geoff demonstrated once again how to work in harmony with plants and animals to create quick abundance for all, but he also shows the way to work collectively and peacefully with other human beings to complete the circle of abundance.

Some highlights in this video include:

  • harvest and save water  
  • Use gravity to irrigate slopes, create ponds, dams, and a rice-patty.
  • Use dribbler pipes and swivel pipes.
  • How they garden on a floating garden raft in a pond
  • How Muscovie Ducks add fertilizer to the water that flows to water the plants.
  • How Turkeys and Cattle enjoy life while adding benefits to the ecosystem.
  • Anaerobic bacteria releasing iron oxide on the surface of run-off water.
  • recycle and re-purpose old things for new uses
  • create quick kitchen gardens
  • fertilize naturally
  • live off-grid
  • Geoff’s perspective about “Designed-Disturbance”, which explains how sometimes permaculture design requires us to disturb the surface of the earth to direct and capture water
  • How chickens like to work as minor disturbers, helping create food forests and how they enclose chickens with fencing and move the chickens throughout the food forests.
  • See a favorite hand tool called a rice-knife that they use to cut, chop-and-drop.
  • See gardens, food forests, interns working,
  • See plant-nurseries, the children’s nursery, worm farms, composting systems.
  • See unusual yet wonderful crops that are easy to grow.
  • Hear how they disfavor plants they don’t want and favor the plants they do want.
  • See a fun, unscripted scene featuring Geoff’s dog Possum, who rounds up and captures a wayward chicken and waits for Geoff to come pick it up and put it back into the coop where it belongs!
  • Hear Geoff’s straightforward advice on how to choose land for your permaculture system.
  • Tips on earth works, using a cover crop of japanese millet and cow pea covers bare earth that was dug only two months earlier. 
  • Observe how the plants perform and respond to more and less fertile areas of the landscape.
  • He finishes by walking through a natural forest, where he loves to visit and observe.
  • Plus you get to enjoy Geoff’s pleasant personality throughout the video.

Check it out for yourself 🙂