Mad Cass Mushrooms
We met Madeline Cass this past August during a mycology course
with Radical Mycolgy in Portland, OR.
Since the course she has become a bad Cass mushroom cultivator.
Here is some of her story:
This summer I lived out of my car for two months, driving about 6000 miles around the country, starting in Nebraska, down through the southwest, up the coast, almost to Canada, and then back to the Midwest. I was alone, and camped in national parks, couchsurfed & stayed with old friends. It was an informative experience that I feel deeply grateful for. One of the most memorable & magical pieces of this trip was attending a workshop by the Radical Mycology Collective entitled “Recomposing Life: Building Allyship with Fungi in Community Resistance & Resilience.”
The experience is difficult to put into words. Many friends were made. (Only a couple of months later, one of them has already visited me in Nebraska, all the way from Washington!). It was challenging & unexpected & goofy & enlightening. We learned a lot about mycology, but also spiritually & psychology. I am still decompressing & downloading the information into my brain. I took many pages of notes, because my brain thinks best through writing.
Afterwards I feel more confident to begin cultivating edible fungi, using them for remediation, making medicinal teas and tinctures, going foraging and identifying wild species, and sharing knowledge with my friends. I’m really, really excited to spread the knowledge. Mycology is a commonly misunderstood field, and I want to share with people all that fungi can teach us.
The reishi mushrooms in this picture were started by Peter McCoy for use in demonstrations in this course. Afterwards, we all got to take home some of the mycellium used in the demos. By the time I drove from Portland back to Nebraska, the reishis were already beginning to fruit inside of the bag. It has been a joy to continue growing these mushrooms – they remind me daily of the incredible experience with my Radical Mycologist friends.
Currently I am utilizing my interests in writing & visual art by creating a multimedia zine about ethnomycology. I want it to be interesting to both people who are passionately fungi-obsessed, and to those who might not’ve before considered the plethora of ways in which humans and fungi can interact.