In March, we did a blog post about a most unusual project. Artist, Alexis Williams was commissioned by the Ottawa Art Gallery to create an edible sculpture using old phone books to grow edible fungi.
You might be wondering what the FullCircles connection is. Well, Alexis used FullCircles to collect old phone books. And we donated some maple sawdust for her to use for growing mushrooms.
Her project is coming right along! Check out Alexis’ Mushroom Blog for regular updates. This is one of the most colourful, exciting blogs I’ve ever seen. Great work, Alexis!
Here’s Alexis’ July 1 blog entry:
While dumping some spent oyster cakes today I noticed the original oyster column prototype that I built for the New Art Festival in the Glebe that had been banished to the compost due to contamination was covered in big lilac coloured mushrooms! This means 2 things: Oysters are resilient and can overcome Thrichederma infection and neglect, and that the phone books take a bit longer than I expected to fruit. This is good news
While I was away I lost quite a few phone books to Thrichederma so I started a new sculpture with my unhealthy phone books in hopes that some of them will fruit and to see if it’s possible to build with multiple species of phone books touching each other.
I was expecting the Ghost Fungus to produce large brightly bioluminescent fruit, but for its mycelium to not glow. A strain with glowing mycelium would be ideal for this project since the mycelium will be exposed but I’ve had trouble with the Panelus stipticus, so I am using the Ghost Fungus instead. I heard today that the mycoremediation team from the Re:Generate Long Crew snuck off in the night with one of my glow in the dark books. They opened the pages to find glowing mycelial patterns. They said it felt like I had given them a book of magical secrets!