What is the Circular Economy?
When was the last time you fixed a piece of broken furniture, spent the money to repair an appliance that was on the way out, or stitched up a rip in your favorite shirt?
I bet it was a while ago.
As humans, we live in a linear economy.
We make stuff, use it up, throw it away, and buy new stuff.
The bad news is that we are running out of stuff to use, and hurting some of the most beautiful parts of our planet trying to find more.
What if everything we made was designed to be recycled into its own replacement?
Your fancy smartphone finally dies, you send it back, then its parts are recycled and made into the newest version before being sent back to you.
Or at least that's how it would work in a Circular Economy.
But don't take our word for it. Learn more for yourself, and start your own Circular Economy at home!
Enrich your community by producing powerful and healthy foods
Our passion is enabling the circular economy by increasing access to mushrooms, plants, sustainable container growing technologies, growing mediums and land reclamation products. We turn waste into economic prosperity that enhances both ecosystems and communities simultaneously.
What is Mycelium?
Mycelium is the vegetative part of a fungus or fungal colony. Composed of tiny white thread-like hyphae, masses of mycelium are in decomposing organic matter and appear as white patches in soil, on rotting wood, and in decaying organic matter. One cubic inch of soil may contain more than 8 miles of mycelium cells.
The mycelium network creates a mycelial mat. The largest organism in the world is a 2,000-year-old 2,200-acre mycelial mat in Oregon. All ecosystems and agriculture around the world are dependent on mycelium to support healthy vegetation.
Many fungi depend on plants for their nutrients: sugars, vitamins, and minerals.
Three Types of Fungi
Mycorrhizae fungi exchange nutrients from living plants in a symbiotic relationship. The fungus attaches to the plant's roots and gives the plant access to nutrients in organic matter. In return, the plant, through photosynthesis, turns the sun's energy into sugars that feed the fungus.
Saprophytic fungi absorb nutrients from dead organic matter and turn it into rich fertile soil.
Parasitic fungi survive by taking nutrients from living organisms and can damage plants and trees. However, as they kill off older growth, they make way for new growth.
Mushrooms Grow out of Mycelium
The life cycle of our mushrooms begins when an adult mushroom sporulates, releasing spores into the air. When a spore lands and the right conditions are present (moisture, organic material), it germinates and starts to produce mycelium. The spore creates a primordium, a tiny nodule on or within the mycelium, and begins to grow into an egg-like shape, the mushroom. As the fruit grows larger, it eventually ruptures to form the mushroom cap.
In the fully developed mushroom, new spores are created within the gills of the mushroom cap, they are released, and the process begins anew.
Toxic Waste Remediation
Mycelium shows promise in the treatment of toxic waste. Mycelium absorbs oil, for example, producing enzymes that break down the hydrocarbons into fungal sugars that become food for mushrooms, plants, trees, and other vegetation.
In research experiments, mycelium mixed into sacks of debris placed in waterways has significantly reduced the level of coliform bacteria like E. coli and chemical toxins in the water.
Mycelium has also demonstrated an ability to remove industrial toxins, including pesticides, chlorine, dioxin, and PCBs, from contaminated soil.