Welcome, Shroomers
by Art Goodtimes
Aug 27, 2009 | 683 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print

29th ANNUAL MUSHFEST … Thanks to the Telluride Institute for continuing a long tradition of celebrating all things fungal here in the western San Juans. There’s a great program once again this year with something mycological for everyone … Learn about the essential decomposing function of fungi in the web of life – breaking down nutrients and spreading them to other forest life. Restoring damaged ecological niches. Providing for humans “food, fun & poison”, as the poet Gary Snyder sagely noted. The science of mycology, always imaginatively presented by the mushroom master Gary Lincoff, is intriguing to all ages. To realize that mushrooms are an intermediate “kindom” in the evolutionary chain different from both plants and animals is to begin to enter the fascinating world of stinkhorns, puffballs, corals and clubs … If you love gathering mushrooms – pot-hunting, as some call it – there are daily forays … If you want to taste the edibles, you can cook them up yourself, or sample dazzling mushroom dishes at restaurants around town … If health is your major concern, you’ll learn that mushrooms are not just poisonous (actually only one variety is deadly in local forests) but some are great medicinal healers – the Japanese shiitake and the Chinese ling chi, for example … If you want to know the truth about magic mushrooms – what Terrence McKenna and others have begun calling entheogens (“that which takes you to God”) -- what harm it’s alleged they can do as well as their social and personal value through the millennia (despite their current legal prohibition in the U.S.), there will be talks and discussions … If you already know a lot about mushrooms, and want to grow edibles in your own home, our own sustainability wonder woman Kris Holstrom will lead a workshop up at her Tomten Farm … It’s a full schedule. Check the papers, or go directly to the website for info and prices <www.shroomfest.com> … And, if we get those monsoon rains in the afternoon, happy hunting.

JOHN CORBIN … Over the years, we’ve lost a number of charter members of our Telluride Mushfest clan – the inimitable gypsy fiddler Paul Klite, the charming Karen Adams, the debonair Forest Carter, and wildman Kris Dean. This year’s festival will honor another long-time Fungophile, who no longer is with us – the master grower who pioneered a simple way to cultivate oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) and taught it to us year after year, John Corbin … A gentle giant of man with a jolly good nature, an amazingly generous spirit and a visionary view of society, John also led neo-pagan rituals as a high priest. But he was most at home at Burning Man, where I had the good fortune to visit with him outside of Telluride. He lived in Hawaii for most of the last years of his life. Mary and I visited him there as well, and he treated us royally – taking us to the Pahoa community market and to the spot on the Big Island where the volcanic lava flows from Kilauea ran head-on into the sea … Hot springs were one of John’s deep loves – he owned land in New Mexico that had one on it and he was constantly trying to find a spot with hot springs to buy in Hawaii … Every year he’d take out his Scottish pipes and kilt and play for us as the mushroom parade wound its way down main street … So many fond memories of a wonderful man, a presence that’s now become the stuff of legend. Bless you, Johnny Boy.

MICHAEL BENNET … Our newest senator in Colorado – appointed to replace Ken Salazar who took a position as Interior Secretary in Obama cabinet – made a visit to the Western Slope this last week. There were demonstrators shouting about health care in Montrose, checkbook pens making sizeable contributions in Telluride, and lots of Dem strategizing in Durango … Gorio and I had the good fortune to catch up with him at the Intermountain Timber Mill where industry folks and enviros joined forces to urge bringing some forest health money to the Western Slope and saving our timber industry from bankruptcy – where it’s currently hovering. As we all have come to realize, without a functioning timber industry, there will be no one to provide the biofuel for future co-firing power plants nor the timber thinning to clear our too-thick forests susceptible to catastrophic fire … Senator Bennet was impressive. Relaxed, attentive, acutely tuned to the local nuances of policy and issue, and he was funny too. Although many of us were worried about Gov. Ritter’s choice, having passed over many more familiar pols, Bennet is proving both savvy and persuasive – another Colorado leader who can find the important balance between competing interests and lead us down the path of the radical middle.

WEEKLY QUOTA … “I have become convinced that the ‘maya’ or illusion which is the root of all suffering, according to the Buddha, is that we are separate, mortal beings -- instead of remembering the reality that we are sort of like pustules extruded from the gluteus maximus of the Ground of Being, still connected to and part of that eternal cosmic ham.” –Lance Christie



-for C & M

if we do what we’ve done

making hay off of

trading dirt

sustainability’s done for

two legs only

& you’d better be

damn good at equilibrium

& not just opiated

one leg & the stool

falls as much on you

as anyone dashing


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