Your Green Life: "Mushrooms, Nature's Decomposer"

By KBJR News 1

March 5, 2014 Updated Mar 6, 2014 at 10:38 AM CDT

Duluth, MN
Mushrooms are delicious, sometimes dangerous, and most definitely necessary in the ecosystem. They play a big role in the distribution of essential nutrients.

"They take nutrients and they break them down and they help transfer the nutrients from one plant to another. It also retains water so it's one of the key ways we found to build soil." said Charlie Danielson, the Chair of the Board of Directors for the MN Sustainable Farming Association.

Without top soil, crops wouldn't grow, and your garden would be barren.
That's why Charlie Danielson is speaking Thursday night at the Fairlawn Mansion about the importance of biodiversity in our gardens.

Danielson told me, "What we're going to be talking about is building soil and companion planting with mushrooms. So, to see how those relationships add biodiversity, even with new species into your garden plot, how you can get more growth and save on water and get better water retention."

Danielson is also working on a project to help educate people about mushrooms by making kits to grow your own.

"They have different vigor, just like a tomato plant, so some are bigger, some have better fruits than others so we select out for those varieties and we clone them. So I can clone them by taking a piece of the mushroom and putting it on this plate and growing it out." says Danielson.

The mushrooms in the kits will grow from spent coffee grains from local coffee shops and even old barley from local brewers. But this is more than just a hobby kit, Danielson hopes that more people will see the benefits to bringing mushrooms back into gardens.

"This is to help educate, we really wanted to help fund education with education so we're going to be offering these as a new fundraising options for schools and other event and local organizations in the area this summer." says Danielson.

Danielson hopes to have the kits ready this spring or summer and will be selling them at local businesses. If you would like more information about the Winter Series Garden Talk at the Fairlawn Mansion we have posted a link to our website.

Meteorologist Adam Lorch

For information about the Winter Series Garden Talks CLICK HERE