The permaculture courses and projects that are blowing up in the US right now (obviously in Australia its been huge for a bit longer) comprise an untapped resource.
By way of explanation let me characterize and generalize what I've seen, from my limited perspective, of the good folks who make their way through the permaculture machine (*I do not use "machine" here in a perjorative sense. Machines are good or at least neutral, e.g. we use machines such as terrariums to grow stuff).
Lots of young, urban people who have never had much of a desire to "DIY" anything, or even garden their front yard on the one hand. On the other hand, lots of hippy/punk/burner/Earth First! types who want to take what their already doing to the next level. Basically its a big mix of people with good hearts who don't know what they don't know about the possibilities of growing - whatever it is you think needs to be grown.
So these people are ending up in these courses or projects or whatever, and when they come out they have interest a new interest in mycology. Great way to grow sustainable food out of waste material, great way to reconnect with the biosphere, great way to shift people's perception and consciousness (through psychedelics). Unfortunately and through no fault of their own, they often have a limited or "surface-level" view of the possibilities. Call it the Pinterest syndrome.
From what I've seen, most permaculture literature out there makes the whole-log system (usually with Shitake) the end-all-be-all of mushroom cultivation. They're not even aware of the possibilities! This is related to another relevant problem:
For learning to grow in general (not only mushrooms), the permaculturalists learn to look towards expensive books and even more expensive in-person instruction courses for "the good info". This is understandable since for most of the stuff that permaculturalists want to learn to do (build strawbale houses, install self-sustaining perennial edible polycultures, sell produce to niche markets, etc) there is little reliable, consistent, thorough and rigorus information available through the "online peer-exchange" format.
To see what I mean, go take a look at permies.org, the most famous (at least from where I stand) permaculture-oriented online forum. Just browse for a bit and grasp the quality of the content, the frequency of posts/responses. Now you understand why permaculture-minded folks who want to learn how to do something don't set out looking for a good online forum.
OK, so here's what I'm saying. Let's devise little mini-machines, "Mycotopia-tizing machines" if you will, and graft them onto the larger "permaculture machines" that I spoke of earlier - the courses, projects, and above all the more inconspicuous community-level gatherings of permaculturalists.
An example of such a machine would be a zine. Here's what I'm imagining:
- Readable in one sitting but long enough to give substantially useful info. Lets say around 25 pages or so
- Photocopied inexpensively and distributed for "donate-what-you-can"
- The zine would cover a few simple teks like PF comprehensively ("recipe-style" if you will)
- It would also give a brief overview of the concepts of more complex ideas like agar work and various bulk substrates, grow chamber ideas from invitro and neglect to high-tech and outdoors
- not in order to instruct so much as to convey the message that "the possibilities are vast and increasing all the time, you just have to go out there (to Mycotopia) and study"
- Every page would be replete with urls referencing relevant Mycotopia threads.
- Emphasizes the concept that growing edible and magic muhrooms can be as simple or as complex as you wish (for example, cover the use of pre-sterilized spawn bags purchased from vendors, or demonstrate the simplicity of invitro PF cakes).
If the zine was well-deisgned, it's main function to open people up to further mycological study (via Mycotopia). Instead of finishing the zine and remarking "wow, now I know how to grow edible and psychoactive mushrooms, I finally found the perfect guide", people would finish it and say "wow, there are a zillion ways to bring mushroom cultivation into my life, I want to know more... These Mycotopia people clearly have the good stuff, I'm going to go sign up for an account!"
Of course, this would apply only to certain people who read the zine - namely, the ones we want to join Topia.
The general strategy could also be applicable to plenty of other places where there is a high probability of finding "Topians who just don't know it yet". Festivals immediately come to mind, and there are probably even better examples I'm missing.
But the key is to devise a little machine - a zine is just one example, probably not even the best one - that interacts with an ongoing flow of new people. Don't just go to one permaculture course "somewhere" and proselytize, create a little machine that does the proselytizing for you and reproduce that machine, connect it to pre-existing machines. Its about selecting and then diverting flows and fractions of flows and sending them to where you want them to go (Topia). In fact, many of the above ideas would also make excellent "Mycotopia-tizing machines", granted someone made the effort to hook them up to compatible machines such as the permaculture machines.
Forgive me for my weird terminology, I've been binge-reading Anti-Oedipus and, frankly, I'm starting to find that schizoanalysis stuff to be a very intuitive way to make sense of things.
EDIT: Obviously, the freebook niemandgeist is working on is exactly what I said, only real . And only mentioned two posts up, I have to say I'm a little . What I'm adding to his idea is, collectively we should not only make the book (or T-shirt), but also strategize about how it gets out around. How to hook it up with the appropriate flows. And I didn't just pull permaulture out of nowhere as a random example - I really think that Mycotopia has a great affinity with permaculture and that they would be easy to attract if only they knew about us.
Edited by Cybilopsin, 01 December 2015 - 12:59 AM.