Meet Linda Conroy, the owner of Moonwise Herbs in Stoughton, Wisconsin. Conroy is a
practicing herbalist who provides herbal education, workshops, and apprenticeships as well as individual consultations and a herb store on her website. She dives into the characteristics and benefits of mushrooms, along with how we can prepare and consume store-bought mushrooms for the maximum nutritional value. The herb specialist also talks about how to make a pate, whether it is alright to eat raw mushrooms, and how mushrooms can help to reduce stress.
Learn about the various mushroom tinctures and how they can contribute to your well-being. For more information, visit MoonwiseHerbs.com.
The Magic of Mushrooms with Linda Conroy
[00:01:10.460] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Good morning and welcome to Green Tea Conversations, the radio show that delves into the pages of Natural Awakenings magazine to bring you the local experts who share their progressive ideas in the latest information and insights needed so you can lead your best life. I'm your host, Candi Broeffle publisher of the Twin Cities edition of Natural Awakenings magazine and I am honored to bring these experts to you. Today on our show, we are visiting with Linda Conroy, the owner of Moonwise Herbs of Stoughton, Wisconsin. Linda is a practicing herbalist who provides herbal education, workshops, and apprenticeships as well as individual consultations and an herb store on her website. Linda is a community organizer and the founder of the Midwest Women's Herbal Conference. Welcome to our show, Linda.
[00:01:11.880] - Linda Conroy, Guest
Thank you, Candi. I'm delighted to be here.
[00:01:13.210] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And we are so excited to have you with us today because we are talking ‘everything mushrooms’. I'm really excited about this. So, before we get started with that, though, I want to just kind of briefly mention for our listeners that the Midwest Women's Herbal Conference is hosting your fourth annual Mycelium Mysteries virtual conference on September 25th through the 27th, which we're going to talk more about later in the show. But it's important for me to kind of mention now, because it is the first time that the Mycelium Mysteries Conference has been offered as a virtual event.
[00:02:01.170] - Linda Conroy, Guest
Correct, it is. Yes, we're excited. We're able to reach a wider audience in our site, you know, our in-person conference.
[00:02:58.220] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Yes. It really opens it up for more people to be able to attend. And I'm sure as we go through our conversation today and we start getting into all the mysteries of mushrooms, people will be even more and more excited about being able to attend your virtual conference. So, and like I said, we're going to talk about like some of the workshops and that type of thing that you have going on a little bit later in the show. But for now, let's start talking about the mushrooms themselves, and I think where I want to start for the beginning is to talk about the nutritional values of mushrooms. Now, I knew I was aware that mushrooms are a good source of vitamin D, but when you and I were talking and we were preparing for this interview, you just opened up so much more information to me that I was not aware of when it comes to vitamin D as a source. So, let's start there.
[00:03:30.650] - Linda Conroy, Guest
Okay, well, first off, the vitamin D thing is really curious about how it is that mushrooms come to have a high vitamin D content and that just as we go out in the sun and our bodies convert the sunlight on our skin to vitamin D, the mushrooms do the same thing. So it's exposure to light that actually allows them to convert the sunlight into vitamin D in their bodies. And then we eat them and it makes that available to us. And one of the things about vitamin D, it also is a fat-soluble nutrient. So, the fact that most people like to cook their mushrooms in a lot of butter is actually a really wonderful thing because it's soluble. And so, what happens when you cook a fat-soluble vitamin in the fat? It makes our bodies more easily able to assimilate the nutrients from the food. So that's what vitamin D is and then mushrooms are a protein source, which is really wonderful as well. And they are immune-boosting forever in the herbalist perspective we talk about than being adopted (4:15), which means they help us deal with stress. Most mushrooms have some cancer-fighting properties and in China, they have, and other Asian countries as well, they have a hundred mushrooms approved to utilize along conventional treatment, for cancer treatment. And so, and of course, different mushrooms for different types of cancer. And so, what we see is that mushrooms are being utilized for food and for medicine around the world and in many other countries, especially Asian countries, more easily than in this country. We have a lot of fear of mushrooms. It's an interesting thing to talk to people. And people say either fear or people say they don't like them because maybe they haven't had them prepared in a way that's palatable. And I'm sure we'll get into that. There's lots of ways to cook and prepare mushrooms and prepare them so that these nutrients are more easily assimilated into our body. That's a big part of my work as an herbalist that I'm really interested in is how do we make things bioavailable so that the body really can assimilate them well and we can be well nourished.
[00:06:10.320] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Well, it is, there are so many things that you just said that I want to get into deeper even. But one of the things that I want to go back to as far as vitamin D goes is you had some really good tips for me when we were talking about how we can get even more vitamins, vitamin D in, and especially when, you know, we want to, of course, get the best quality vitamins that are I'm sorry, mushrooms that we can. So, if we're able to get locally grown or organically grown mushrooms, that's great. But you said that there's even ways that we can do it with things, with the mushrooms that we buy in the store.
[00:06:10.320] - Linda Conroy, Guest
Right. And one important thing to know about some of the mushrooms that we buy in the store, like your regular, button mushroom, they too will have nutrients. So, I don't dissuade people from eating those. But one of the things is, commercially, they grow those mushrooms in the dark. So what happens when they grow them in the dark then they haven't been exposed to light. So then the vitamin D content either isn't going to be there or won't be very high. So, what people can do is just take a bowl of those mushrooms and put them in a sunny window or even the sun for an hour or two and then allow those mushrooms to convert Vitamin D. And it will do that even if you are at the mountains.
[00:07:02.860] - Candi Broeffle, Host
That is amazing. That is is kind of an amazing fact to me.
[00:08:10.540] - Linda Conroy, Guest
I mean, one of the things as I started learning about mushrooms, a lot of mushroom people will say mushrooms are more similar to humans than plants and we have a lot in common. So like the fact that they convert vitamin D from somewhere. Another thing is that mushrooms actually have enzymes on the outside of their fruit. So, the mushroom that we see that comes out of the ground, it's called The Fruit of the Mushroom and because the mushrooms have mycelium, which is the root system, but the fruit itself has a lot of enzymes that actually eventually break down the mushroom itself. And so, it’s really interesting because we have enzymes throughout our digestive system on the inside that breaks down our food. And so, mushrooms are, we always say mushrooms are us turned outside, and we are turned inside. But this mechanism of enzyme activity to break down our food source is similar. So, those are two similarities that organisms, humans or mushrooms have in common.
[00:08:49.190] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And you were saying, again, kind of going back to earlier even, you were saying mushrooms are a really good source of protein. So, for people who are vegans a lot of the time, so they'll eat mushrooms as one of their protein sources. But it's great for all of us and protein has so many benefits for the body. One of our favorite ways of eating mushrooms, of course, is just sauteed with some butter and onions and thyme, a little bit of pepper. That's a great way to do it. But you were also sharing about a pate, which we are all on board with this, let me tell you.
[00:10:28.910] - Linda Conroy, Guest
Yes, I love to make pate out of mushrooms and my favorite mushrooms to make it, you can do it with any mushroom, but my favorite is Shiitake because they just have so much rich flavor. And you could do a blend too. You could do a medley of mushrooms and make a pate. So, really any mushroom that you have, but Shiitake is just one nice flavor. So, basically, what I make a pate, I'm just like you are, I'm taking mushrooms and butter and with onions or chives or, you know, any of the herbs and I have available. And this time of year, of course, all the fresh herbs from the garden are great. If it's winter, you could utilize other herbs you might have. And then I personally always put a little bit of tamarind in at the end. Tamarind just adds a richer flavor and brings out the flavor of the mushroom more fully. And so the pate, then I just take all of that mix of a blend and that's my pate. If I want, I can have a little bit of cream. Sometimes I will have a little bit of cultural thing to that. And so, that is the pate and you could add anything to it really. And then I actually put that, I make a lot of it when I have a lot of mushrooms because this time of the year shiitakes, for example, are fruiting pretty abundantly and so I'm able to cook a lot of them and I'll put that pate in a little (10:21) sure in the freezer. So not only am I eating it right when I make it, I have it available for other times...
[00:10:29.610] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And it freezes up nicely and easily.
[00:11:00.060] - Linda Conroy, Guest
Yes. Especially in little jars. I find, you know, people will try to freeze things in plastic and a lot of times it affects the food, the freezer burn or taste. But if I put it in little four-ounce canning jars, it's the perfect portion. First of all, many times or if I am going to a larger gathering, I might take more than one jar. But just, you know, I can have one jar for that and pull it out of the freezer and it's ready to go.
[00:11:42.660] - Candi Broeffle, Host
That's wonderful. Well, when we come back, we're going to continue to talk, have a conversation about mushrooms. And for those who want to learn more about the work that Linda does, visit MoonwiseHerbs.com and to learn more about the Mycelium Mysteries Conference and to register, visit MidwestWomensHerbal.com. To read the online version of Natural Awakenings magazine, visit NaturalTwinCities.com. You can find a podcast of this show on AM950Radio.com on Apple and Google podcasts and anywhere you get your podcasts. You're listening to Green Tea Conversation on AM950, the Progressive Voice of Minnesota and we will be right back.
[00:12:38.370] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Welcome back to Green Tea Conversations where we delve into the pages of Natural Awakenings magazine and talk to the professionals who share their expertise and natural health with you. I'm your host, Candi Broeffle, and we are talking today with Linda Conroy, the owner of Moonwise Herbs in Stoughton, Wisconsin, and founder of the Midwest Women's Herbal Conference. So happy to have you with us today, Linda. Thank you for being here.
[00:12:38.540] - Linda Conroy, Guest
Thank you. I'm glad to be here. It's wonderful to talk with you.
[00:13:02.360] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So, before the break, we were talking about some of the nutritional benefits of mushrooms, and you were giving us some tips on cooking mushrooms, that type of thing. But one of the things that I wanted to ask you to talk about, something that a lot of people don't know, myself included, was whether or not we should eat mushrooms raw.
[00:14:29.340] - Linda Conroy, Guest
Yes, eating mushrooms raw will upset your stomach, and especially if you eat a lot of them raw and so there's a compound in mushrooms called Chitin that causes digestive distress. And so, when you cook the mushroom, that actually dissipates and then breaks it down. So, it's digestible and it's like cellulose and so, and it protects the mushroom. So, it's on the outside of the mushroom. And so, when you cook it, that breaks it down and then you're going to digest it. But if you eat it raw, you're going to have trouble digesting. It would upset your stomach. And different mushrooms have different amounts of time, but they all have it. So even button mushrooms. I know people eat them on salad bars, but actually, they really should be cut. And so, that's something to be aware of. And one thing about Chitin that's interesting is, I mean, it's kind of tough because it protects the mushroom in the natural world. And so, just a little aside that every time I learn something new about mushrooms, I'm just fascinated. They're actually making like fibrous material from Chitin because it's kind of it's tough. And so, I think what's really interesting, like, from an environmental standpoint, we have the substance of mushrooms that can be used to make biodegradable packaging and things like that. So, yeah, we know you don't want to be eating that well.
[00:14:29.440] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And it's really interesting because I think we hear so often eating your vegetables raw, not overcooking them, that type of thing, that you kind of think that's the best way to do it. So I really wanted our listeners to know eating raw mushrooms can upset your stomach and might even make you feel like I don't want to eat mushrooms anymore. You know, it's not something that it does well for my body.
[00:15:43.440] - Linda Conroy, Guest
And along those lines, just something I often think of and I encourage my students to think about. If you're introducing somebody to a food for the first time, like a mushroom, food that people are a little skeptical about, you really want to make it palatable. You want to make it taste good. You want them to have a positive experience. And so preparing the mushroom in a way, you know, makes them feel good, that it tastes good, it's really important. And sometimes people think I'm really picky about that, but if you think about a food that you ate, that didn't taste good or that was off, sometimes when you even think about that food, you don't feel well. So, it feels super important to me. I want people to be friendly toward mushrooms. They're just, they're so amazing and they have so much to offer. And so, I want people to have a positive experience.
[00:16:06.310] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Yes. Yes. Let's have good experiences the first time. So, we'll come back and try it again. So, one of the things that you also mentioned earlier was that mushrooms have an adaptogen effect with them, which is really good for stress. And so let's talk a little bit more about that. How can people use mushrooms to help with stress?
[00:19:14.940] - Linda Conroy, Guest
Sure. So, first of all, I'm a herbalist and in the herbal world, there's a category of herbs called an adaptogen. An adaptogen, really I always think they say what they do. They have to help us adapt to stress and often to extreme stress or to foundational stress. Not so much situational stress, but stress that really is taxing and that's taking a toll on a person because we all deal with a little bit of stress in life and sometimes that's even helpful. But like with our current situation, with our pandemic and social unrest, you know, a lot of us are dealing with under stress, I mean, stress beyond what our organisms can tolerate. And so, adaptogens help the body to tolerate more stress. And so, mushrooms have adaptogenic qualities, the vast majority of mushrooms do. And then they also often have an affinity for a certain part of the body, which often herbs or mushrooms do, we're looking at them more from a lens of tonics or medicine. And so, like, for example, Reishi Mushroom has an affinity for the lungs and it's an adaptogen. So, with COVID-19, it just makes sense that as a prophylactic or preventative strategy for supporting our bodies with stress, which is going to make our bodies more vulnerable to the immune system, if we have extreme stress that we and then the fact that COVID-19 affects the lungs in many cases, that we might bring Reishi Mushroom in either as a tincture, which is an alcohol extract, or some people will make (18:03) or decoction. It's a very strong tasting. So, some people don't love that mushroom. So, we can be really specific with our adaptogens. And then really all mushrooms have some adaptogenic qualities to them. So, even just ingesting or eating whatever mushrooms you have available to you, it's going to be helpful. But then we also can be a target. And like there's a mushroom called Lion’s Mane, which has been shown to really help with brain fog if people are dealing with any kind of cognitive issues associated with, we even see with COVID-19 or even seeing some people, that's one of the symptoms some people are experiencing or I work with a fair number of people of Lyme disease and Lyme disease people tend to have brain fog. So Lion’s Mane mushroom is a really incredible remedy. And Tarnak for that. And it's also going to have some adaptogenic qualities. So, mushrooms, whether we bring them in as medicine or just eat a lot of them, we're going to get some of that adaptogenic qualities.
[00:19:22.380] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And so for people who are looking for Lion’s Mane, they could, you actually have that tincture in your study website?
[00:19:23.310] - Linda Conroy, Guest
Yeah. Made that available. I have a couple of different mushrooms extracts available for people.
[00:19:32.650] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Right. And the one that you have that you were telling me about, it's turkey tail.
[00:20:06.750] - Linda Conroy, Guest
Yes. And turkey tail specifically has been shown to be helpful with some types of cancer and specifically with endocrine system-related cancers. So, I know Paul Stamets, who is a mycologist and founder of a company called Fungi Perfecta. His mother was dealing with breast cancer and along with conventional treatment, was taking turkey tail mushroom and is in remission today. So he tells that story a lot.
[00:20:43.270] - Candi Broeffle, Host
That is just really interesting. So for people who want to learn more about the work that Linda does, visit Moonwiseherbs.com, and to learn more about the Mycelium Mysteries Conference and to register, visit MidwestWomen'sHerbal.com. To read the online version of Natural Awakenings magazine visit NaturalTwinCities.com. You can find a podcast of this show on AM950Radio.com, on Apple and Google podcasts and anywhere you get your podcasts. You're listening to Green Tea Conversations on AM950, the Progressive Voice of Minnesota. And we will be right back.
[00:21:08.250] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Welcome back to Green Tea Conversations, where we delve into the pages of Natural Awakenings magazine and talk to the professionals who share their expertise and natural health with you. I'm your host, Candi Broeffle. And today we're talking with Linda Conroy, the owner of Moonwise Herbs in Stoughton, Wisconsin, and founder of the Midwest Women's Herbal Conference. So, just before the break, Linda, we were starting to talk about some of the healing properties of mushrooms and the different tinctures and things that you have available. And so we wanted to kind of continue on that conversation. And you wanted to share with us some other aspects of the healing aspects.
[00:21:50.580] - Linda Conroy, Guest
Right. Well, one thing, just as you said that, maybe I should mention what a tincture is.
[00:21:57.820] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Yeah, that would be great.
[00:21:59.330] - Linda Conroy, Guest
But because, you know, I'm a herbalist and I kind of assume because I know. But then I get reminded that maybe people don't know. So a tincture is an alcohol extract generally. And so, we dip either herb or mushroom in alcohol for a period of time and it breaks down the cell walls and it releases the medicine into what we call a mainstream. The alcohol would be mainstream. And so there are different ways to prepare these things like mushrooms, their water-soluble and alcohol soluble aspects. And so, I personally utilize 50 percent alcohol, which is, then that's 50 percent water.
So, I'm extracting both the water and the alcohol-soluble aspects that are healing. And then you strain that plant material and mushroom out and you then ingest just a little bit of the alcohol with water. And I usually put it in a little water when I drink it and I don't just put it in my mouth. I've been advised that putting alcohol on your soft tissue over and over again is a bad idea. And I agree. So, I see a lot of people doing that. It's really better to take a little water or a little tea if you're drinking tea. And it's a really easy way to to preserve the mushroom medicine and to ingest it if we're taking it as a tonic or as a medicine. The thing is, I want to say that the nutritional value is not going to be as readily available, number one. And number two, you can't ingest enough tincture to get like a lot of a significant amount of vitamin D, for example. You really need to cook it and you need to eat them as well as possibly take the tinctures. The tinctures are more for as a tonic, as what we were talking about its adaptogenic quality. We'll get those things, but we're not going to get the nutrition or the protein, so we want to eat them as well. So don't ever underestimate.
[00:24:06.360] - Candi Broeffle, Host
You can never have too much mushrooms.
[00:24:09.960] - Linda Conroy, Guest
No, not my opinion. I actually often tell people to eat mushrooms every day, if not every meal. I'm a big fan. And, you know, I mean, I play so much with cooking them and I guess I would just mention one of my favorite meals to make, which I actually made earlier in the week, are mushroom French fries. And so I sliced up my shiitakes like the size of a French fry. And I, you know, just deep-fried them and put a little marinara sauce on top of them. And it's just delicious. So, and I think they have all these versatile ways to prepare them. And then it doesn't get boring or, you know, you don't get sick of them because you're...
[00:25:01.540] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So, at the conference, that's one of the things that you do with the virtual conference. Right. Do you do some cooking classes?
[00:25:09.290] - Linda Conroy, Guest
Yes, we have some cooking demos that'll be at the virtual event. And I'm doing a class on mushrooms in the kitchen and apothecary, and it's an hour and a half class. So, I've got more in-depth with these things where we'll be, I'll actually have some examples and do a little bit of demoing and talking to people how, in more specific ways, about how to prepare them and put them up and store them as well. Because that's the other thing as you know, we can put them up in the tincture, put them up in vinegar, we can drive them, and then we can make broth. So, I mean, there's just so many things, ways that we can prepare them and have them readily available in our kitchen as really pretty much making a staple than a staple since my agenda for healing and health is to get them into everybody's kitchen and have them be there as readily available part of everyone's diet.
[00:26:05.800] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Well, and I think that I can't wait to attend that class, actually, so I'm looking for it right now. And we are also going to be in the September issue. We're going to be having an article that you're helping us write, and we're going to have the recipe for the pate. And can look out for a day September issue of Natural Awakenings to get that pate recipe. Well, one of the things, that is really important for people is that I think they're really interested in is foraging for mushrooms. So I know you have some really good information for us when it comes to foraging.
[00:26:45.080] - Linda Conroy, Guest
Yes, I'm going to have a forager. It's a big part of my life. I always... You know, I'm a herbalist and everybody imagines I have this incredibly careful garden home like, well, I have a garden, but I like to live with the mushrooms, grow in my garden and a lot of things people might pull out. And then I do like to go out into the field and forest and harvest and mushrooms are definitely a big part of that for me. So, we at mycelium mysteries, we're going to have a lot of classes like going to depth about foraging. But just a couple of things for people to think about is that you do want to be mindful when you go out and forage something. Obviously, you want to have good identification skills. You want to make sure that you're you know when you harvest something you're positive, especially if you're going to eat it or incorporate it for medicine, that you have the correct thing. Because they're obviously, I think it's one of the reasons people are nervous since there are mushrooms too that can kill you. So, you want to really make sure your identification skills are solid. And I always say people need to do dark time. So it's not a bad idea to go out into the field and go with curiosity, not with an intention to eat necessarily. Because when you're first, especially if you're just starting out, going and observing and looking at all the details, getting yourself a really good book, and if people are very new to foraging mushrooms, there's a good book called Start Mushrooming, and it's written by a man named Stan Tequila, he lives here in Wisconsin, actually. And it's a great little book. He has, what he calls the safe sex mushrooms, and he has a checklist of all the identifying characteristics you want to know about the mushrooms before you would make any decisions about what you're going to do. And then he also, and any good mushroom book will tell you that you want to do what we call is take a spore print of the mushroom. So, you turn it upside down on a piece of paper. Usually, we use, like a half dark and half light paper. You turn it upside down, you collect the spores. And when you've identified a mushroom, the last identifying characteristic is the color of the spore. Because the spores are what plants, the mushrooms. So you're looking at what color they are and they'll be brown, or sometimes they're olive color or white. And so, you want to really look at the mushrooms. So, the biggest thing about foraging is paying attention to details when they stop people and where we're actually not very good at that because our attention spans can be scattered. And, you know, with a computer, like we, we kind of lose it. So, sometimes people want to rely on an app on their phone. And I have to tell you, I have used apps just to test them and I have them come up wrong for some plants or mushrooms that I've looked at. So please do not rely on apps for your ID. It might be a backup if you already know how to identify things just to get more information, but I wouldn't use it if you're a brand new mushroom forager. Get a good book, there are other good books for your area. You can find books specific to your area, or go out with a well-experienced forager and make sure you learn the details that you're looking for. And it's fun. Like once you start doing it, it's really fun because the first thing you're doing a mushroom and you turn it upside down and go, does this mushroom have gills? And most people think, all mushrooms, have gills and they don't. Some mushrooms, of spores, some are flat on the bottom and don't want to have you know, stout mushrooms are smooth. And so then you start noticing all this detail and you start going, wow, mushrooms are way more fascinating to look at. People have throughout time illustrated mushrooms. People love to draw them. And one fascinating fact that I learned years ago that just blew me away is Beatrix Potter, the famous author, children's author, she was a mycologist and she has botanically correct drawings of mushrooms that are just spectacularly beautiful. And so, you know, she was paying attention to detail. When you draw something, you have to pay attention to detail. So, my students, actually, my apprentice students they draw plants and mushrooms. I have them go out in the field and you have to pay attention to detail. And so that's what you do with mushrooms because, you know, I had shared this quote with you before. And I just think it really tells the story is there are old mushroom hunters and bold mushroom hunters. But there are no old, bold mushroom hunters.
[00:31:49.930] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So, be careful.
[00:31:51.270] - Linda Conroy, Guest
And I think it is more of being mindful because I don't want, we don't need to be afraid of mushrooms just because you sit with a mushroom and draw it and maybe even move it and touch a little bit, that's not going to hurt you. It's if you make a decision to ingest it and so then we only make a decision to ingest something if we're confident. And over time, we can build the skills to be confident. And that's why I offer conferences and apprenticeships and workshops because I want people to feel confident and to enjoy being out in nature, and not being afraid of it. And so, mushrooms tend to have this mystery around them and people feel nervous. But if you develop these skills and invest in your own knowledge, you'll feel confident, you won't be afraid.
[00:32:39.620] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And you also, so during the conference, you have classes on mushroom identification?
[00:32:46.060] - Linda Conroy, Guest
Yes, we do. And we are going to offer an introductory basic identification, as well as a more advanced identification workshop. So there'll be two different workshops. And one of the things is in our in-person events, of course, we do fundraise and we actually go out in the field and we'll be doing that in the future. But with the online events, which I think is kind of cool, actually, we're going to be really specific about the things I just said. What do you look for? What questions do you ask yourself? How can you look at this mushroom and set it up? What books are going to be really helpful? What are some of the ways you can use the book? So, I do workshops online are going to give people really good solid tools for when they get out there on the field. So I'm super excited about how we're putting this together.
[00:33:34.730] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Yes, that is very exciting. So for people who want to learn more about what Linda does, visit MoonwiseHerbs.com and to learn more about the Mycelium Mysteries Conference and to register, visit MidwestWomen'sHerbal.com. To read the online version of Natural Awakenings magazine, visit NaturalTwinCities.Com. You can find a podcast of this show on AM950Radio.Com on Apple and Google podcasts and anywhere you get your podcasts. You're listening to Green Tea Conversation on AM950, the Progressive Voice of Minnesota and we will be right back.
[00:34:34.240] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Welcome back to Green Tea Conversations where we delve into the pages of Natural Awakenings magazine and talk to the professionals who share their expertise on natural health with you. I'm your host, Candi Broeffle. And today we're talking with Linda Conroy, the owner of Moonwise Herbs in Stoughton, Wisconsin, and founder of the Midwest Women's Herbal Conference. So, just before the break, Linda, you were starting to tell us about foraging. We were getting into the foraging aspects with mushrooming. But the other thing that I wanted to touch on in our kind of short amount of time we have left here is to talk about remediation and micro remediation that can be done with mushrooms.
[00:35:15.820] - Linda Conroy, Guest
Yeah, so it's called micro remediation. And basically, mushrooms can be utilized to clean up the environment. Mushrooms are decayers. They break things down. We could see it in the woods. They break down wood, they break down cellulose, constantly. That's what they do. They grow, they come up, they break things down. And so they can be put into an environmental space where there's been environmental contamination or some type of chemical spills and oyster mushrooms, in particular, can clean those up. You can grow them on their sides. And there's been some research done to show that they actually will grow. And the space will absorb the chemicals in their bodies and transform them. And then the space will be cleaned up and lots of other growths will happen there. You know, plant life will come back, animal life, and then you'll study the mushroom and examine it and the chemicals that are found in the mushrooms. So, it is amazing. And that's why a lot of people are trying to do research to look at this, look to mushrooms, to be something that can help us to clean up the environment and transform the damage that we've done to the Earth. And it's really, it's cutting edge, it's exciting. It's something actually we've known for a fair amount of time. So, you know, it really is something that I think would be good for people to look into more and be more aware of.
[00:36:54.250] - Candi Broeffle, Host
You know, the more that we take in preparing for this interview and now having this interview with you, I'm just falling more and more in love with mushrooms.
[00:37:02.260] - Linda Conroy, Guest
Yes, that's what it happens. I started the whole conference because I started learning.
[00:37:10.970] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Because you love mushrooms that we work for. Let's talk about the conference. The conference is called the Fourth Annual Mycelium Mysteries Conference, which is being called September twenty-fifth through the twenty-seventh. So it's over a week, starting on Friday evening and then going through Sunday.
[00:37:28.870] - Linda Conroy, Guest
Yes, actually Friday afternoon and then, yes.
[00:37:32.140] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Okay, perfect. Friday afternoon. And it's offered for the very first time as a virtual event. And now what a great time to do this. We're still all kind of trying to maintain our social distancing but wanting to learn new things. And this is a great opportunity to be able to do that. Now, I know you guys have some really incredible keynote speakers.
[00:37:53.060] - Linda Conroy, Guest
We do, we have a woman, Juliana Fauji, she is from Chile, and she's the first mycologists of female mycologists in Chile. So, our conference is called Mycelium Mysteries and it is a women's mushroom conference. And so for the virtual conference, we say that we're one of them, run woman empowering women and one taught woman to love. So it doesn't mean other people can't come. But the focus is that women are holding the space for this conversation. And so, we're really excited about having her. She's going to talk about women in mycology and like the history of women in mycology and look at things like I spoke earlier about the sort of Potter and all these different women historically and presently who are engaged in the mushroom world. And we also have invited a speaker who is an author of a book called Walk in the Woods, and she is her first name is Wun. And she is going to be talking about her book. And the book is based on her learning about mushrooms while she was grieving the loss of her husband and how mushrooms really helped her through her grieving process. And it's really a beautiful book. And she's going to read from her book and talk about that. And then we have a woman. Her name's Merita Faggochy. I believe that's how you pronounce it. Sorry if I mispronounced it. But on Saturday night, she's going to be talking about plants and mushrooms and the mushrooms and plants that she's calling them the destroyers, but ones that are transformative in our mindset, there's a lot of research being done now on mushrooms. And it's like four or five of mushrooms for dealing with depression and transitioning and transforming mental health issues or stress or anxiety. There's research that's being done at universities, John Hopkins particularly, and there's a whole history around utilizing these mushrooms for healing, not for recreational use, more for specific support and healing, and being responsible around it. And so she's going to talk about that and the history of that. So we have three, those are our three featured speakers and then we have 16 workshops in addition to those featured speakers.
[00:40:26.730] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So tell us about some of the workshops. So, we know you're having some cooking workshops and some identification workshops for foraging. What are some of the other things that are happening?
[00:40:36.240] - Linda Conroy, Guest
Workshops on mushrooms in clinical practice? So practitioners are actually utilizing some of our practice, tools, and tricks of the trade. So, just like lots of controls and tricks, growing and farming mushrooms so how to incorporate them into your garden or your farm? Because that's a really nice adjunct for a lot of people, for their personal use or for their farming endeavors. So, you know, growing up, making medicine, also dyeing fibers with mushrooms, mushrooms create incredible colors for dyeing wool and other fibers. So, we have a woman who is a world-renowned expert on that topic. So, we're covering a lot of bases and we have workshops also. I talked about how the mushrooms are scarce. And so we see this life, death, life, nature of mushrooms. So, we have a woman who's a death doula who attends death and holds space for people. She's going to be talking about that. And so, there's a whole lot of both practical mushroom information as well as, like more esoteric and spiritual endeavors as well. And people will be able to choose from what type of workshops they would like to attend.
[00:41:58.420] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So how much is the workshop? How much is it to attend?
[00:42:01.620] - Linda Conroy, Guest
Yes. So we have two different price ranges. One is the basic package, which is ninety-nine dollars. You can come for the whole weekend and then we have a package with one hundred and forty dollars that will come with recordings of the event.
[00:42:16.080] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So that you can go back and listen to them at a later date as such.
[00:42:19.720] - Linda Conroy, Guest
[00:42:20.760] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Oh, that's so wonderful. So, I know there are so many other things I would love to get into, but we are at the end of our show. I do want to let people know you also have vendors who will be attending and so they'll get virtual vendor events
[00:42:32.910] - Linda Conroy, Guest
And they'll offer discounts.
[00:42:34.490] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Awesome. To learn more about the work that Linda does, visit MoonwiseHerbs.Com. To learn more about the Mycelia Mysteries Conference and to register visit MidwestWomensHerbal.com. Thank you for joining our conversation as we awaken to natural health. To read the online edition of Natural Awakenings magazine or to check out our complete calendar of events, visit NaturalTwinCities.com. You've been listening to Green Tea Conversation on AM950 the Progressive Voice of Minnesota and I am wishing for you a lovely day!