Mico-Logica Alters Our Perception of the Magic of Mushrooms in Oaxaca, Mexico

When we think of mushrooms and the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca, the 1st point which traditionally comes to thoughts is María Sabina, Huautla de Jiménez and hallucinogenic “magic” mushrooms. But slowly that is all altering as a outcome of the groundbreaking perform of Josefina Jiménez and Johann Mathieu in mycology, by way of their enterprise, Mico-lógica.

Based in the village of Benito Juárez, positioned in Oaxaca’s Ixtlán district (far more typically recognized as the Sierra Norte, the state’s most important ecotourism region), Mico-lógica’s mission is threefold: to train both Mexicans and visitors to the country in the low-expense cultivation of a variety of mushroom species to educate about the medicinal, nutritional and environmental (sustainable) worth of mushrooms and to conduct ongoing research relating to optimum climatic regions and the diversity of substrata for mushroom culture.

The French-born Mathieu moved to Mexico, and in reality to Huautla de Jiménez, in 2005. “Yes, coming all the way to Mexico from France to pursue my interest in mushrooms appears like a lengthy way to travel,” Mathieu explained in a recent interview in Oaxaca. “But there genuinely wasn’t substantially of an opportunity to conduct research and develop a business in Western Europe,” he continues, “given that reverence for mushrooms had been all but fully eradicated by The Church more than the course of centuries and I discovered that Mexico nonetheless maintains a respect and appreciation for the medicinal and nutritional worth of hongos. Mexico is far from mycophobic.”

Huautla de Jiménez is a lot more than a five hour drive from the closest metropolitan center. Accordingly, Mathieu eventually realized that staying in Huautla, whilst holding an historic allure and getting in a geographic region conducive to operating with mushrooms, would hinder his efforts to develop a small business and cultivate widespread interest in mastering about fungi. Mathieu became cognizant of the burgeoning reputation of Oaxaca’s ecotourism communities of the Sierra Norte, and indeed the Feria Regional de Hongos Silvestres (regional wild mushroom festival), held annually in Cuahimoloyas.

Mathieu met Josefina Jiménez at the summertime weekend mushroom occasion. Jiménez had moved to Oaxaca from hometown Mexico City in 2002. The two shared similar interests Jiménez had studied agronomy, and for close to a decade had been functioning with sustainable agriculture projects in rural farming communities in the Huasteca Potosina area of San Luis Potosí, the mountains of Guerrero and the coast of Chiapas. Mathieu and Jiménez became small business, and then life partners in Benito Juárez.

Mathieu and Jiménez are concentrating on three mushroom species in their hands-on seminars oyster (seta), shitake and reishi. Their 1-day workshops are for oyster mushrooms, and two-day clinics for the latter two species of fungus. “With reishi, and to a lesser extent shitake, we’re also teaching a fair bit about the medicinal uses of mushrooms, so additional time is needed,” says Mathieu, “and with oyster mushrooms it’s predominantly [but not exclusively] a course on cultivation.”

While coaching seminars are now only provided in Benito Juárez, Mathieu and Jiménez program to expand operations to involve both the central valleys and coastal regions of Oaxaca. The object is to have a network of producers growing distinct mushrooms which are optimally suited for cultivation primarily based on the specific microclimate. There are about 70 sub-species of oyster mushrooms, and thus as a species, the adaptability of the oyster mushroom to different climatic regions is exceptional. “The oyster can be grown in a multitude of unique substrata, and that is what we’re experimenting with suitable now,” he elucidates. The oyster mushroom can thrive when grown on merchandise which would otherwise be waste, such as discard from cultivating beans, sugar cane, agave (which includes the fibrous waste created in mezcal distillation), peas, the popular river reed known as carriso, sawdust, and the list goes on. Agricultural waste which may possibly otherwise be left to rot or be burned, each with adverse environmental implications, can kind substrata for mushroom cultivation. It really should be noted, though trite, that mushroom cultivation is a hugely sustainable, green industry. More than the previous several years Mexico has in truth been at the fore in lots of places of sustainable business.

Mathieu exemplifies how mushrooms can serve an arguably even greater environmental good:

“They can hold up to thirty thousand occasions their mass, getting implications for inhibiting erosion. They’ve been applied to clean up oil spills via absorption and as a result are an crucial car for habitat restoration. Investigation has been accomplished with mushrooms in the battle against carpenter ant destruction it is been recommended that the use of fungi has the potential to absolutely revamp the pesticide business in an environmentally friendly way. There are literally hundreds of other eco-friendly applications for mushroom use, and in each and every case the mushroom remains an edible by-item. Take One up chocolate bar at the Paul Stamets YouTube lecture, 6 Strategies Mushrooms Can Save The World.”

Mathieu and Jiménez can generally be discovered promoting their solutions on weekends in the organic markets in Oaxaca. They’re each extra than content to discuss the nutritional value of their goods which range from naturally their fresh mushrooms, but also as preserves, marinated with either chipotle and nopal or jalapeño and cauliflower. The mushroom’s vitamin B12 can not be located in fruits or vegetables, and accordingly a diet program which incorporates fungi is very critical for vegetarians who cannot get B12, most frequently contained in meats. Mushrooms can easily be a substitute for meats, with the advantage that they are not loaded with antibiotics and hormones frequently identified in industrially processed meat items.

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