Tag Archives: skillshare

Learn Skills to Defend The Land

8 Sep

Action Camp Flyer

Croatan Earth First! is hosting a direct action training camp this fall Oct 20-21st at a local veggie farm near Pittsboro, NC. There will be tent camping available for the weekend, and people are free to come and go.  Plan to stay until Monday morning!  This camp will provide us with the opportunity to teach others skills that, we hope, will enhance their ability stop fracking from operating in our bioregion and to bring new energy into any environmental campaign you’d like to work on. Continue reading

Reportback on the first ever Radical Mycology Convergence

17 Sep

(re-posted from Radical Mycology)


Over 200 people gathered in northern Washington state this past Labor Day weekend to learn about the many uses of the fungal kingdom at the world’s first Radical Mycology Convergence. For four days, people gathered from several countries and various cultural backgrounds to teach and learn together about mycoremediation, the use of fungi as a tool to help combat mass pollution and ecological degradation. In an age when so many human caused disasters are occurring throughout the world, the fungi are beginning to be seen as a strong option for tackling some of these great problems long thought impossible to solve.

WHY RADICAL MYCOLOGY?

Access to mycological information is not easy. With a cultural view that fears fungi, a schooling system that undervalues them, and only a small number of courses on advanced mycology worldwide, it is easy to see why the fifth kingdom is so disregarded and misunderstood. As one of the youngest natural sciences, mycology (the study of fungi) has largely been kept in the hands of professionals since its development with much of the official work focusing simply on taxonomy and species edibility/toxicity. However, in the last few decades (and really just the last few years) the greater fungi have started to gain more acceptance and familiarity to those outside of academia as their uses beyond the dinner plate are starting to be realized.

It is surprising to note that most people do not realize that fungi are not only on, in and a part of all living (and once-living) things but that they play an extremely important role in the life cycle of plants as well. Acting like stewards of the forest, certain fungi create complex networks of “mycelium” (that white stuff you see when you pull back a decaying log) underground that serve to channel nutrients and water between plants and to help maintain the health of entire ecosystems. The fungi are also responsible for the decomposition of all woody material, turning dead plant matter in to fresh soil for new plants to thrive in. Without the fungi the world would be piled high in dead trees with no new ones growing.

In the last decade or so, mycologists have discovered that the same enzymes that fungi naturally produce to digest their food can also be used to break down toxic pollutants and petroleum products. Species have been discovered that can digest plastics, disposable diapers, motor oil, DDT, and Agent Orange as well as sequester and concentrate heavy metals out of polluted soil for later disposal. This emerging field of “mycoremediation” has only barely gained a foundation from which to grow on as in-depth research and experimentation in the last few years has been scant at best and suppressed at worst. As such a powerful ally in the fight to save the planet before ecological collapse, the fungi are now more worthy of investigation than ever before*. Thus, the RMC was formed to foster a community of people interested in developing and implementing mycoremediative techniques to provide a resource for peer learning and encouragement.

* This is not to say this information addresses the problem of eliminating the manufacturing of these products. Rather it provides a way to actually deal with existing problems alongside efforts to stop their proliferation.

WHY A CONVERGENCE?

The intent of the organizers of the RMC in forming the event was three fold: 1) To share mycological information in an accessible manner using the simplest techniques and a minimal amount of equipment 2) To promote the use of mycoremediation techniques & 3) To build an all-inclusive & non-hierarchical network of amateur & professional mycologists. We feel we were quite successful in our efforts to a degree beyond any expectations.

Despite a full schedule all weekend, the RMC went off without a hitch. Workshops included sterile and non-sterile cultivation methods, mycopermaculture/mushrooms in the garden, mycomedicinals, mushroom paper and dye making, and fungi and lichen identification. There were also presentations on ethnomycology in Mexico by professional mycologists from Baja California. Folks from the Amazon Mycorenewal Project spoke on their work to clean up oil spills in Ecuador using oyster mushrooms. And a representative from the Mushroom Development Foundation spoke to their work teaching Indian farmers to grow mushrooms from agricultural waste. All this took place on a communal farm with nightly group fires, a raging talent show and raffle, and great swimming holes. Add in a general sense of commonality and you get an inspiring weekend of learning and building a community where one had not existed before.

Many presenters demonstrated techniques they had developed on their own to reduce the use of fossil fuels and expensive equipment from cultivating mushrooms. James from Amateur Mycology in Colorado stated that he hadn’t thrown away a piece of paper for 2 years as he was turning it all into mushrooms. James also spoke of successes in using mushroom beds as living mulch in a greenhouse to increase plant yields. Another workshop demonstrated tissue culturing in open air using only hydrogen peroxide and alcohol to sterilize your equipment. A big take away message from the weekend was that there is so much yet to be discovered about mycology–and so few people doing it–that it will take the work of amateurs to increase understanding.

As a culmination to the weekend, we implemented 2 small remediation projects at the host farm to put theory to practice. We set up 2 beds of King Stropharia mushrooms to help decompose the humanure produced at the farm. We also installed various burlap sacks inoculated with Blue Oyster mushrooms around the farm’s spring to help filter the water of possible runoff from a nearby road as well as prevent erosion to the surrounding hill side.

Through the RMC we created an environment that encouraged skill and knowledge sharing by embracing diversity and working toward the greater goal of a healthier planet and way of life. With the advances being made over the last few years, working with the fungi has never been easier than now, at a time when their capabilities are of greatest import. This information deserves to be in the hands of those who want it and the Radical Mycology Convergence was one step among several toward reaching that goal.

CONCLUSIONS

On the final day of the convergence an open discussion was held to reflect on the RMC and to discuss ideas for future gatherings as well as how folks plan to implement this information in their local communities. The consensus showed that those present were excited to begin the process of developing a web-based forum or wiki to enable cultivators and experimenters to share techniques and experiences in relation to low-tech cultivation and remediation work. Similarly, free publications will be produced that teach these techniques and demonstrate case studies of the work people are doing with fungi. Also, a decentralized formal network will be created of groups of people doing this work so as to stay connected, organize future/regional RMCs, and to collaborate as desired.

A truly unique event, the first Radical Mycology Convergence was a huge success drawing in all types of people to live and learn together. The RMC demonstrated the power of a shared concern for the future of the planet to overcome personal differences in political or worldviews and the need to embrace novel ideas for tackling some of the world’s problems. We found that out of their backyards and garages, people are developing novel ways to work with the fungi to reduce their waste streams, filter their water, produce food and potent medicines easily, as well as work to clean up their local landbases thru remediation work.

The meme of radical mycology is only just developing. Time will tell how common this information and these techniques will become in the future. For now we invite those interested in learning more to follow the links and articles at www.radicalmycology.com.

In sporidarity,

The Radical Mycology Convergence organizers

radmycology@gmail.com

News Roundup 5/23

23 May

Six activists locked down inside the border patrol’s lobby here in Tucson, and they all were cited and released. Just walked away, and felt damn good about it. They won the local news cycle, sending racist cops a strong message. But they didn’t expect to get away, and our sources say they were prepared to sit in jail at least through the weekend. Anybody planning similar actions should be similarly prepared.

The new EF! UK Action Update is out. Here’s the print version. Both are in PDF.

Support GI Resistance by attending the UXO Tour!

We got the mountain defenders’ bail reduced to $2500!

Martin and Bryant were offered a deal of 5 days time-served and 55 days community service, along with the conditions that they remain on house arrest for the 55 days, leaving only for community service hours, and plead guilty to trespass and conspiracy.

Bryant took the deal and will be getting out of jail Monday. EmmaKate did not immediately take the deal.

Like in Tucson, the theme here in WV is be prepared. These CGZ folks made the decision to intentionally go to jail for their beliefs, and that’s what happened. They were mentally and physically ready for it (hopefully). At least one is also under house arrest for awhile. They apparently believe that blocking Massey’s Road for a minute, and the media coverage that comes with, is worth the next 60 days of their lives. We’ve heard that more people with such strong convictions are needed out in the mountains, because MTR SUCKS.

The first EF! Journal Release Party will take place in Florida!

The Everglades EF! Journal release party is 5/24 Monday, 7pm at the Night Heron Grassroots Activist Center, 1307 Central Terrace.

We will be commemorating Judi Bari’s life and work, as well as celebrating to EEF! folks whose legal matters (panagioti and stevie) have been resolved, without going back to jail. Both got out of jail on appellate bonds from actions against FPL (who are now calling themselves ‘NextEra Enrgy’), for the WCEC and Barley Barber.

And finally, we will be discussing the ‘Skunk Ape Proxy’ featured in the new EF!J.

Farmers in Haiti have committed to burning 475 tons of genetically modified, pesticide-treated FrankenCorn Seed donated by Monsanto.

Maybe we should just eat industrially farmed bugs.

The Big Oil Spill sludges onward.

The Richardson Grove EIR has been released by CALTRANS. It of course finds “no significant impact on the human environment.” Well, some environmentalist humans in Humboldt think otherwise and are still set for an action camp on 28 May.

Some EF!ers are having a Regional Rendezvous in the Globe Forest in NC. Seems like a pretty good operation they’ve got out there, with a great website full of great information. It’s at least an even bet that they’ll save that forest out there. Forest defense has a lot of potential in the South, which is being deforested faster than any other US region, especially when it’s fresh like in WV, with tactics the locals haven’t necessarily seen before. And on that note, we found this on their blog and thought it worth re-posting:

Top Ten Endangered Areas in the South for 2009:

  1. Clinch and Powell Rivers (Virginia) Issue: Construction of a new coal-fired power plant in Wise County will accelerate mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia, and further increase mercury levels in the Clinch and Powell rivers.
  2. Interstate 81 Corridor (Virginia) Issue: Virginia officials are reexamining a plan to widen all 325 miles of I-81 to perhaps eight lanes to support long-haul truck traffic – a plan that would cost billions of dollars and cause tremendous harm to communities and historic, scenic, and environmental resources.
  3. Marine Waters (Virginia) Issue: Virginia is the first state in our region to begin the process of opening up its marine waters to offshore drilling for oil and gas. The benefit of this short-term supply of energy is dramatically outweighed by the harm to the environment and communities.
  4. Globe Forest (North Carolina) Issue: Destruction of rare, old-growth forest in the Southern Appalachians.
  5. Pamlico River (North Carolina) Issue: The single largest destruction of wetlands in North Carolina’s history will occur if a phosphate mining company gets permission to expand its operations on the river’s banks.
  6. Great Pee Dee River (South Carolina) Issue: Santee Cooper, a state-owned utility, is proposing to build more coal-fired power plants with outdated technology that would dump an additional 300 pounds of mercury into an already mercury-overloaded river.
  7. Johns Island (South Carolina) Issue: A $420 million highway proposal threatens to bring large-scale development to this historic community, transforming the island into a sea of condos, mega-stores, and traffic.
  8. Salt Marshes (Georgia) Issue: Large-scale development on biologically rich islands and tidal waters.
  9. Weeks Bay (Alabama) Issue: Unchecked development and weak regulation threatens an area so unique it is one of only three in Alabama to receive the designation of Outstanding Natural Resource Water.
  10. Cherokee National Forest (Northeast Tennessee) Issue: The U.S. Forest Service is moving forward with its plans to log several areas of this remarkable landscape, endangering trout, unbroken wildlife habitat and rare species.”

Cascadia Summer 2010!

21 May

Republished from the CFD site. This looks like an attractive option for those who can’t or won’t make it out to the east coast Rondy. It’ll hopefully spawn a long campaign that folks can plug into all summer.

ATTENTION FOREST DEFENDERS:
Join us in the trees for another summer of resistance!
West Coast Earth First! Rendezvous and CFD Action Camp converge this June 11th-13th.

This will be an opportunity to sharpen your direct action and forest skills. Most importantly, this will be THE BEST WAY to plug into the CFD’s summer campaign to defend Oregon’s native forests.
Workshops:
Climb trainings
State of Oregon’s forests
Field surveying
Anti-oppression
Know your rights
Government repression and the Green Scare
Wilderness survival
… and much more!
Camp will be within one hour’s drive East of Eugene in the McKenzie Watershed.  Stay tuned for directions and more information.
May the Forest Bewitch You!
And if you’re in Eugene, here’s what else they’ve got happening:

Shout-out for the Trans and Womyn’s Action Camp!

12 May

So the last TWAC was a big success and enjoyed by a whole lot of folks. It featured some awesome workshops.

That’s why there’s gonna be another one:

Earth First! Summer Gathering, 4th – 9th Aug 2010, Derbyshire

10 May

(re-posted from EF! Action Reports)

What’s happening?
Over 80 workshops, discussions, planning, strategy and ‘where next’ sessions:

*Share and learn skills for kick-ass actions on land and water.
Small boat handling and blockading using kayaks / Blockading – tripods, lock-ons/ Fences / Climbing skills / Action reconnaissance / Security for Activists / Strategy and tactics / How to research corporations /

*Network current campaigns against ecological destruction
Open-cast mining / Genetic engineering / Agrofuels / Saving Iceland / Climate actions / Pipeline resistance in Rossport / Anti-nuclear / Airport expansion/ Tar Sands

*Think about eco-centric ethics and alternative ways of organising
Deep green ethics / Anarchist economics / Anarchist history / Radical Politics / Working without leaders/ Consensus decision-making

*Practical skills for ecological restoration and sustainable living.
Introduction to Ecology / Restoration ecology / Flora and Fauna identification / Vegan Cake making / Power from solar and wind / wild food / Squatting / Bike maintenance

As well as international campaigns round-up, networking and planning for future actions.

Cost and practical things
£20-30 according to what you can afford.
The gathering is in Derbyshire, the exact location will be announced the week before. More info on our website.

Find out more and join in!

Email us (summergathering@earthfirst.org.uk) if you can offer a workshop, want to help out with the gathering or if you would like posters and leaflets to distribute.

Earth First! Marcellus Regional Gathering (Upstate New York)

6 May

(Reposted from Infoshop News)

The agents of capital have declared the colonized region of Upstate New York (stolen Haudenosaunee territory) a sacrificial industrial zone. This is a call out to all eco-warriors, environmentalists, direct action enthusiasts, insurgents, and wild creatures of “upstate New York.” Our enemies, the people and institutions that destroy our lives and the places we love, have backed us into a corner. Its time to strike back in defense of all things still wild! Continue reading