Cultivated mushrooms

This is a pleasant memory from autumn 2016. After the mushroom hunt, I went to one of the shops because there was a mushroom sale. So I was able to cook a meal with a mixture of mushrooms grown in nature and cultivated. On January 30, I will give an online lecture on cultivated mushrooms. Updating the presentation material, it was exciting to see again how many different species of mushrooms we grow. For me, it is a great feeling to see that mushroom consumption is growing. I really like the taste of mushrooms and have had many good experiences with them. It is not easy for modern man to find some truth. I'm lucky with mushrooms. For me, they clearly embody the "truth" I was looking for.
Gombafutam 2023/Running mushroom 2023 is an hour of fun education every Monday until 20 March. I get to talk about my favourites in an enjoyable style. It's surprising to me that despite my introversion, I became a good speaker. It is also true that I have practiced a lot and of course I am still working on myself and my presentations. How can everything be even better? It's a good goal to teach in a fun way, to introduce others to the wonders of nature and to make them understand why it's worth preserving our natural treasures. This is one of my life's missions.

Beautiful winter

The snow was falling all morning and it was a real winter atmosphere. I did not take a photo. You don't always have to take a photo, sometimes you have to let the experience unfold. It was nice to see some snow and see how wet everything was. The ground is thoroughly soaked. Water is the basis of our lives. In three days we die of thirst in terrible agony. I am soothed by the sight of water. In fact, research shows that people living near the coast have a better quality of life. I'm thinking of going to Australia because I love the ocean and I love exploring nature. I'll see what the future brings, what I can achieve. The bottom line is that I have plans and despite the difficulties, I'm moving forward methodically.
The photo next to the text was taken yesterday. I was walking along a nearby stretch of the Living Water Canal. This year I am focusing on the water. The last two summers have been cruel and depressing. This weekend I'm taking two longer walks for the water. The second of February is World Wetlands Day. Békés County is a textbook example of man's tremendously effective power to transform the landscape. The original character of the county was shaped by its rivers. River regulation has completely interrupted the life-giving work of water, which has given the landscape its rhythm of life. Since cereal farming has taken over the county, our natural assets are clearly being destroyed and the gigantic fields are wiping out wildlife. Our rivers are channels in narrow beds. They are no longer living waters! What we have done is almost irreparable. There will be a very heavy price to pay for our landscape transformation. We have sacrificed our future for the comfort of a few generations.

I wrote last year

In 2022, I gave a six-session mushroom demonstration in the research house. One presentation focused on twenty good, edible mushrooms that grow locally. I have also presented them here on the blog in groups of five in four posts.

Mushrooms as our values 1.
Mushrooms as our values 2.
Mushrooms as our values 3.
Mushrooms as our values 4.

Technological progress really has been good for humanity?

On the eve of the sixth industrial revolution, the Luddite in me is nervous at the thought of "artificial intelligence taking my job". I am part artist, I spent years of my life developing my creativity, then as a middle-aged woman it blows up in my face that I have become redundant. Thanks to artificial intelligence, millions are finding out how easy it is to create. Really? I can't wait to 3D print a child. At that point the user, the man who thinks he is a god, becomes superfluous. And the AI will know how to kill its creator. In fact, this is the moment when the human race really splits into two. Some will be slaves to the machine gods, whose services will be rewarded with a life of dubious value by technology, while the majority will sink to the level of beasts. And, of course, many of us will die from the worsening crises caused by climate change. I will only be forty-five in February, and in less than half a century of my life I have seen humanity dig its own grave. Of course, my personal death is not too far away. I didn't exactly start this year on a bright note. Since 2019, I've been plunging from one personal crisis to another and I'm getting tired. I know that no one is interested in my individual complaints. I've written my problems out in the solitude of cyberspace, in this lying hell. 01 lined up like the bars of a prison. We are all doomed, and we are all experiencing the consequences of our stupidity.

Twenty good, edible mushrooms

On Monday I gave the opening presentation of Gombafutam 2023/Running mushroom 2023. I had a great time talking about why I like mushrooms. In short: the edible muhsrooms have an unique aroma, the fruiting bodies are beautiful, the forest has healing powers, you can experience a sense of unity in the green and the search for mushrooms is an exciting activity that brings joy. And then there are the others, with whom we share many wonderful experiences. Unfortunately, in the 21st century, loneliness has become a commonplace. A staggering number of people experience a nagging sense of isolation. The internet is a useful invention, but social apps lie because they trap you in a bubble where you get starved. So for your own sake, put away your smartphone and get back to reality. I'll help you do that too. I use the internet, but I don't let it take advantage of me anymore because I see the trap it has against me. The 2023 mushroom season starts in March. Spring is the growing season for fantastic morels. Let's get ready for the season together. I'll introduce you to the wonderful world of mushrooms. And then you'll get to experience in real life everything I've been talking about. I've had tens of thousands of wonderful experiences with mushrooms. I'm happy to share with you my experiences, my knowledge, my experiences.

Sustainable reduction

I have completed several ecological footprint tests over the years and the results have always shown the sad fact that even my modest lifestyle requires two Earths. And there is only one. Surprising as it may seem, Hungary is one of the world's fifty most developed countries, despite its falling living standards and many problems. So despite my poverty, I am still a person who has access to absolute Western comfort. If you can afford the services. As I look around my desk, all kinds of objects and junk. I'm surrounded by an amazing amount of stuff. I don't need most of it. My living space could do with a thorough decluttering. It's a spooky feeling to think about the cost of my existence! I have been saying for years that (wo)man must reconcile three interests when making decisions: his/her own, his/her community and its nature. We live on one planet, our lives are based on nature. I'm also wondering how I can better adapt to major changes. I am very concerned that there is no winter weather in January! I know the reason, but it's scary. Water as a key issue is a real example of our absolutely wrong approach to life. My four photos go from an ideal natural state to a totally ruined river, reduced to a canal. The summers of 2021 and 2022 showed our future. Two dry years in a row. I don't know what this summer will be like, but it will probably be hot and dry. Last year's rainfall total was around 400 mm. In order for the woody vegetation to survive, at least 550 mm of rainfall would have to fall on the landscape. Our forests of yesteryear, because we had forests in small patches, were sustained by the floods of our rivers. The thirst of the old oaks is an accurate indication of how much the landscape has been drained. Add it up, please. Annual rainfall is low and the distribution is very chaotic. Even in rainy years, when 100 mm of rain falls in some months, the drying out is intensified. This is because our almost straight rivers carry the water table with them. Gravity works. These are facts. Anyone who denies the facts is crazy.
This is increasingly depressing. I will end the article here. I will continue later. Please think about it.

Running mushroom 2023

The first presentation of my online series this year will take place on 16 January at 6 pm. It's a nice boost to be able to deal with my favourites again. I love talking about them. They have given me so many wonderful experiences and I am happy to pass on my joy and knowledge about mushrooms. Two years ago the series was free, but the economy has deteriorated so much and now I have no other income that I have to charge some money for my knowledge. It bothers me a little, but necessity is now pushing me down. Put aside the depressing thoughts, because they only bring us down. Remember, there are four values you can turn to and one of them is money, the others, equally important(!) are knowledge, people, nature. Nature has given me a lot. So I approach it with respect. I'm happy when they join me on the mushroom trail. I'm happy to show you my favourites. I'll tell you about them. They are wonderful. More information on the blog's community page.

The titles of the ten presentations:

 1 Why we love mushrooms
 2 Twenty popular mushrooms
 3 Our cultivated mushrooms
 4 Risks of eating mushrooms
 5 A cavalcade of fruiting bodies
 6 Twenty poisonous and edible mushroom pairs
 7 My food is my medicine
 8 The ideal mushroom season
 9 Collecting, using and preserving mushrooms
10 A colourful insight into the mushroom kingdom.

Denying reality leads to life-threatening situations

Yesterday I wrote about the lack of snow in the mountains in early January. Winter sports fans will have to wait for now. More dangerous than the lack of fun is the fact that if we don't get enough precipitation in winter, we start the year with a water shortage. I mentioned that the water from the Christmas floods could not be captured because the straight riverbeds are cut deep and the channels are at higher ground. The water flows downstream and out of the country. The Carpathian Basin, which lives like an Edenic place in the Hungarian psyche, is moving towards a semi-arid steppe state. We are losing forests. What is left in their place, see the current Mediterranean macchia, which was once "Durilignosa" forests. Forests are species-rich habitats. In addition, their water-holding capacity is high and really large forests can irrigate themselves. See rainforests. Our species was very stupid to cut them out. We put our own lives in danger. The fact of the extinction wave is beyond the pendulum of many, but if our civilisation collapses, everyone will feel it and many of us will die. This is the reality.
Fungi respond to climate change. People cling to their lives as usual, and in their justified anxiety deny reality because they are powerless. Fungi are instinctive and act. Humans are cretinous creatures of the living world, intelligent in theory but dying out in a crisis of their own making. I like irony, but when it hits me, well, my smile is not sincere. It really fascinates me that fungi have been responding to climate change for decades and trying to adapt in their own way. Amanita caesarea and Amanita franchetii two fungi that came from the Mediterranean, their spores flying on the winds. Both are warm-loving, and their northward spread is a pretty clear sign of a warming climate! When in the summer of 2017, I found Caesar's mushroom everywhere in the forests of one of our northern mountains, I knew it was a bad. This mountain region of ours is almost alpine in nature, so it's cold. That was the past. Not cold anymore, very not! The gilded amanita is common in oak plantations of Békés county. When I first saw it, I couldn't believe my eyes. Then of course it dawned on me that I was seeing another sign of climate change.
The poplar fieldcap Cyclocybe cylindracea is listed as a rare warm-loving species in one of my old mushroom books. By the time I grew up, it had become one of the most common edible mushrooms in Békés County. The northward spread of Mediterranean fungi is a clear sign of a warming climate. Anyone who denies this is a danger to themselves and other living things. Don't deny reality, because you'll fall cruelly for it. We are surrounded by signs, which are not just signs, but phenomena that subvert our lives. I wonder how to find a way out of this big problem. Because action is needed, that's clear. After all, fungi, which are very simple creatures, also act. If you ignore climate change and don't change your lifestyle, if you don't do everything you can to slow it down, you're dumber than a mushroom. And yet our species considers itself the pinnacle of creation.

 Water as the foundation of our lives

Yesterday I went for a walk in the city. I took advantage of the clear weather and cleared my lungs. I like to walk, because living things move, if they also are still, the juices flow inside their body. Water is our internal fluid base and our bodies contain a surprising amount of water. We feel its absence quickly and become thirsty. What is normal in most households in Hungary today, having a tap with running water, is an amazing miracle in many countries around the world. Hundreds of millions of people do not have access to clean fresh water. Our industry wastes an incredible amount of water, which we will miss! It is not at all uncommon for a company to take water away from people for the factory! It is irrational that the very basis of our lives is at risk. And most people let themselves be robbed and do nothing for themselves. Very few people really care about the basis of our lives - the living natural environment. Most people just want to eat and don't care about the real cost. Well, the world is reacting to us and is changing at an accelerating rate because of our stupid actions.
I looked thoughtfully at the Living Water Channel. I know that this part of the city is a little deeper. This area was often flooded when the river overflowed. Today, groundwater levels have dropped by 20-30 metres and the chances of major flooding have become extremely rare, because there is less rainfall in the catchments of our rivers. We are dramatically transforming the landscape! The former wetlands are disappearing at an astonishing rate, and so are the associated organisms. In the 21st century we should value our lives, the basis of our lives, the living world, much more. It all forms a system. You are not independent of your environment. We are on the same planet. I have been on the green for more than ten years. I see the drastic changes. I know exactly what I am writing about and what my purpose is, to make you aware that your life is in danger. Water is so important that we die of thirst in three days. A long weekend, which Hungarians love so much, and you won't live to see the next working week.  Important: dying of thirst is terrible.
At Christmas was small flooding of the rivers. We know that in winter it is vital to retain extra water. What happened? You will not believe it. The water went out of the country on our straightened and deep cut-bed rivers. The reason is that there is no way to divert the water to higher-lying canals. Gravity is a stubborn factor. So the landscape and the life-saving extra water was drained away. This is worrying news, there is very little snow on the Austrian ski slopes, but also in the Bihar mountains, where I go mountain mushrooming. I took a look at the local webcams and there really is no snow! No snow in the high mountains! Our rivers have their source in the mountains. 2022 was an extreme drought year. Unless there is a big and significant change in the weather, we are going into the year with very, very bad omens. It's time to seriously consider whether you're really doing all you can to protect your life. I find it depressing how people are not aware that they have to do something for their own survival. Without water, you die of thirst in three days. And so am I.

10 presentations for €25

If you love tasting and enjoying mushrooms as much as I do, you'll love my series of presentations go the 2023 season. I'm creating ten new performances from my vast store of knowledge. I have the topics. They build on each other. I want to entertain and enrich beginners and advanced shroomers alike. Since it's easiest to meet online, I'll provide a Google Meet chat room link shortly. The first presentation is entitled: Why do we love mushrooms? The date is still in question as I have a bad cough, but as soon as it subsides, we'll dive into the virtual mushroom hunt. What kind of performer am I? I recommend my channel "What's in the box?" series. It is in Hungarian, because I can only speak fluently and expressively in my mother tongue. The blog is English since 25 August 2022, and I'm not changing that. Last year I got fed up with a lot of things, one of which is the lack of language skills, which further reinforces Hungarians' fear of the outside world. And it is irrational! There are so many wonders in nature worth exploring. As a child, I put mushrooms at the centre of my attention because I soon realised how unique they are. They are definitely worth your attention. 

Dancing with the stars

I hung the string of lights around my neck, put the mobile phone in my pocket, the bluetooth earpiece in my ear, started the pop-rock selection and danced in the fresh four-degree air under the constellations of winter and spring. I have been the only child of my father who, at the age of seven, asked him which constellation was the "Chariot of Göncöl". He explained what I should notice in the sky and there it was. Then I quickly learned from a book that it was part of Ursa Maior. I fell in love with the starry sky at a very early age and was inspired by the sight of it. This feeling has never subsided. I'm glad I still have a fascination with the sky.
So, at dawn, I looked out from the spaceship called Earth at the galactic environment surrounding the Solar System and admired the bright stars nearby while dancing to a contemporary pop song. Now that was a truly human experience.