One of the great environmental narratives being written today surrounds the amazing biology of Mycelium and Fungi. The health of our soils and plants are hugely dependant on healthy fungal colonies. The exchange of nutrients and soil production activity is mind blowing, not to mention their sentient capacity… the capacity for awareness and responsiveness in their environment.

I have enjoyed walking in old growth forests at various times in my life. From an early age I was acutely aware of a strange sense of life in these forests. The presence of wildlife was apparent to me, and the living nature of the plants and the trees. But there was something more, something intangible but very present. At times it was so palpable and real that I found myself feeling quite fearful. I was alone, yet I didn’t feel that I was. The sense was profoundly spiritual in nature, as if I wasn’t the only being in that space.

Introducing Paul Stamets

Paul Stamets talks of the amazing experiences of family ventures into old growth forests. After 30 years as a Mycologist he describes how the Mycelium and Fungi in the forest floor seem to have a sentient nature. It is as if they know that you are there and they are responding to the changes that are taking place because of your presence.

Paul is a highly respected scientist globally who has a real heart for the natural world. His particular focus is the world of Mycelium and Fungi. His study and research in Mycology has lead to some truly amazing discoveries and realisations about the preciousness of our natural collateral. He is passionate and profoundly insightful when he speaks about these things.

The Permaculture Connection

Permaculture is a holistic design system that seeks to arrange human habitat in the context of its environment in a way that is regenerative and beneficial. It takes a panoramic view of the ecology and the arrangement of elements and functions. Bringing them together in a way that replicates the natural systems provides for efficient and productive relationships that are coordinated and functioning in a way that is synergistic. This enables human needs to be met while at the same time ensuring that our natural world is able to function as it was designed to function, as an incubator for life that is healthy and abundant.

Understanding the role that Mycelium and fungi play in our environment is critical for the effectiveness of Permaculture Design and the successful placement of human habitat.

Paul and his Resources

Paul Stamets is an environmental pioneer who understands these things. Google Paul’s name, run a search on YouTube or Wikipedia and you will have plenty of information about him and his exploits. He is a major contributor to humanity’s capacity for a pleasurable future on the Earth, together with all life forms. We need to hear the narrative that he speaks and make changes to our behaviour that ensures such a future – at this late hour when the damaging influence of human presence on the Earth is gathering momentum.

Here is a video of Paul conducting one of his talks (TEDTalk March 2008, 20 minutes). Sit back and listen carefully and be amazed at the workings of Fungi in this wonderfully created world that we call home.

A documentary

And here is a documentary of Paul and others on an expedition to find a rare fungi that offers amazing possibilities in health care.

More Resources

VIDEO: Here are three further links to Paul’s inspiring talks.

Paul speaking in Australia (90 minutes)

Paul speaking at Bioneers Conference (30 minutes)

Paul’s TEDMED Talk 2011 (12 minutes)

BOOKS: There are two books that stand out amongst his many publications.

Visit Paul’s website at where you will find video and other resources, including his books and the fruit of his research, health supplements.




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