Adam Nordell and Johanna Davis walk alongside one of three greenhouses the operate at Songbird Farm in Unity. Credit: Kevin Miller / Maine Public

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In response to the story, “Chemicals problem traces to landmark law” in the Feb. 21 edition of the BDN: The solution may be in the soil.

Finding PFAS in agricultural land in Maine seems to be the result of stupidity and greed. I am grateful to the owners of Song Bird Farm for exposing the dangers inherent in spreading sludge containing toxins including PFAS on Maine land.

Coincidentally, I’m reading a book about the extraordinary power of mycelium: “Entangled Life.” The author, Merlin Sheldrake, writes about experiments growing an oyster mushroom on a diet of cigarette butts. Not only was the resulting mushroom safe to eat, the cigarette butts were rendered harmless. Other mycelium have devoured oil spills and turned the area of the spill into a nursery for diverse wildlife. As Sheldrake notes: “One of the ways fungi might help save the world is by helping to restore contaminated ecosystems. In mycoremediation, as the field is known, fungi become collaborators in environmental cleanup operations.”

Mycofiltration and mycoremediation are terms new to me, but I think they deserve serious consideration as we explore ways to deal with our waste and wastefulness. For more information, see mycologist Paul Stamets’ TED talk, “Six Ways Mushrooms Can Save the World for a brief introduction to the possibilities” and read “Entangled Life” by Merlin Sheldrake, Random House, 2020.

Barbara Kent Lawrence