Blog- gen / HERstory + Culture

An Excerpt from the Underground

An Excerpt from the Underground

with Tess Burzynski of Detroit Spore Co. 

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I’d like to start off by introducing myself to the Female and Fungi community and express my adoration for their work. My name is Tess and I am the founder at Detroit Spore Company. Yes, I am a female in the Fungi world! I relate my femininity to Fungi in that I feel woman are patient, giving and caring. Fungi are stealthy as they grow and are not proud or loud, often standing quietly in the shade. I can relate to this way of being all too familiarly. I am proud to be noticed by Female and Fungi and thankful to share my story.

My introduction to mushrooms began as a child, mushroom picking and cooking with my Grandfather in northern Michigan. Although exposed to Fungi at a young age, gathering the fruit and admiring their weirdness, I did not apprehend the depth of their significance. People ask me today why or how I became so infatuated with the species, which leaves me at an open ended answer. I do not fully know why or how but what I do know is that they are in me and all around me and continue to intrigue me on a daily basis. To be a Fungi enthusiast isn’t the easiest or most accepted role in today’s modern society but a challenge I have taken on, sometimes I think without choice. So, I will tread lightly with the “soil magicians” to dig up the past and disperse it upon the now.

My company motto is “Reuniting Mushrooms and Mankind”. What I strive to do is educate and rid of the social stigma society has for fungi, for mushrooms, which usually fall into the categories of psychedelics or icky squishy gooey things. Now all that is fine and dandy though so minute of what they truly are and have to offer. My main goal with starting up Detroit Spore Co. was to introduce it to society as an educational breeding ground that spreads the spores of knowledge. Offering Detroit information on fungi benefits, abilities, cultivation techniques, and products is where I am beginning. But mostly overall, I care to remain the public figure for folk to come to with any questions, ideas or to just have a good old fashioned conversation.

As an environmental science major at Wayne State University, located in Detroit, I study mycelium and its role in the environment. I also research mycoremediation and mycofiltration and ways to infiltrate it into the Metro Detroit area. Both of these techniques are superb for controlling and filtering storm water run-off and can be infused with the growing interest of green infrastructure in the city. Every business is held accountable for their storm water drainage and charged annually. This issue can be mitigated with techniques I am working on and hope to introduce in the near future. As mycelium is tenacious, it holds the forest floor together acting as a magical connector, up taking nutrients from the unreachable areas of the earth and dispersing them about their neighbor, the Plant. It’s a beautiful thing.

Detroit Spore Company looks forward to networking further in the global Fungi community to embark together on this ongoing journey and all that lies ahead! Keep an eye out for our Product line, The Fruiting Body, releasing this Spring/Summer. In closing, I’d like to quote a passage by John Burroughs, one I find very fitting within the Fungi world, until next time folks…

“It is well to stop our star-gazing occasionally and consider the ground under our feet. May be it is celestial, too; may be this brown, sun-tanned, sin-stained earth is a sister to the morning and the evening star. If it should turn out to be so, it seems to me we have many things to learn over again.”

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About Tess Burzynksi
Tess Burzynski is an environmental science major at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. Her goal is to reunite mushrooms and mankind on a personal and environmental level. She conducts fungi research and in her spare time enjoys hiking, traveling, reading and gardening.

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