We are proud to announce the Farming with Fungi Project, an initiative funded through the Co-op Foundation as part of their Carbon Innovation fund.
Over the next two years will demonstrate ways of integrating fungi into horticulture to enhance productivity while increasing agro-ecosystem resilience. We’re doing this in two ways.
Firstly, we are establishing a “myco” market garden that will adapt and synthesise current practices in regenerative agriculture with a primary focus on provisioning the hyphosphere (that’s the soil and root zone influenced by mycorrhizal fungi). By taking a closer look at the interaction of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF) with plants, and the associated changes in the soil microbiome, we will explore potential benefits of this approach. The potential benefits we shall test for include the effects upon: carbon sequestration, nutrient density, and reduction of inputs.
The project seeks to understand the co-adaptation of plant and AMF, as such, we will be implementing a growing scheme that we theorise creates the best conditions for mycorrhizal fungi to flourish. In short, we shall utilise a minimal disturbance “no dig/till” approach, and trial production without crop rotation. This means we’re not breaking up the interconnected web of hyphae, or disturbing the relationship with a certain type of plant. We also intend to save as much of our own seed as possible from crops grown in this way as well as culturing AMF to use in our seed and potting compost.
We are fortunate to have a site rented from The National Botanic Garden of Wales, and are establishing our growing areas on a 2 acre site ready for spring 2024.
We are currently going through the planning process for permissions for polytunnels and a packing shed. We will be erecting polytunnels and attaching the exhaust fans of two small mushroom grow rooms utilising the waste CO2 in the tunnels as a growing aid, and experiment in reducing CO2 emissions in mushrtoom cultivation.
Secondly, alongside the market garden we will be supporting 10 horticultural enterprises here in Wales to expand into mushroom cultivation as a diversification strategy for their business. We will offer the training and provide the “spawn” to grow a variety of species that are easy to cultivate and complement horticulture. Participants will have the choice of at 4 to 6 potential schemes, one of which will involve using a mobile grow for a 2 months trial of a simple method of growing Oyster mushrooms. For participants who, after trialling the grow room, would like to pursue indoor cultivation we will be building 5 grow rooms in converted refrigerated truck boxes that could then be loaned on an annual basis.
We are absolutely thrilled to be exploring this ambitious project, and hope you find it as interesting as we do! If you would like to know more and keep updated, you can find us on the following social media links, and here on the Coed Talylan website.
If you want to get involved, support the project in some way, or just talk more in depth about it, please send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.