Ep. 18: Breakfast of Champignonz - Exploring Nature as Therapy, Mushroom Taxonomy & Etymology (feat. Anna Henning)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the wonderful occasion of speaking with Anna Henning. She has been hunting fungi in the woods of central Massachusetts and eastern Connecticut for over 5 years, gathering edible and medicinal mushrooms along with knowledge, and friends along the way.

In the sleepy town of Cape Cod we'll meet a passionate self-taught mycology, taxonomist and etymologist named Anna, but you can call her "Breakfast". We wander the forests, with plenty of canine company, searching for mushrooms and also benefiting from some innate, therapeutic effects. Our culture is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of mental health and how each of us accumulates degrees of trauma and anxiety. Anna will use her knowledge of psychology to relate the feeling of connection we feel out in nature to tangibly improving mental health. Can our experiences in nature help us to heal the parts of ourselves that need it most? How does a relationship with nature intertwine with our modern psychological understanding of concepts like "attachment theory"?

Entering the domain of "binomial nomenclature", we'll cover the basics of scientific taxonomy and how the interlocking structure from "kingdom" down to "species" works. This leads us to in-depth exploration of etymology, the study of the origin of words and language. We'll hear some particularly intriguing, amusing and insightful examples of different fungi and how their names were derived. How did Greek helmets made from weasel-skin become the basis for  naming a mushroom? How does an understanding of etymology provide us a sense of connection?

Thanks for listening and Mush Love!   

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour 

Music by: Ancient Baby   
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano 

Episode Resources 
Breakfast of Champignonz IG: https://www.instagram.com/breakfast_of_champignonz/
Gyroporus Cyanescens: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyroporus_cyanescens
Exsudoporus Frostii: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exsudoporus_frostii
Calostoma Cinnabarinum: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calostoma_cinnabarinum


  • I’ve been listening to LOTS and LOTS of myco stuff on podcasts. Going through lots here on the mushroom hour. This interview with Anna warmed my heart and mind in many ways, a level above the other great ones I’ve heard so far. Nature as an integral part in healing is important for me. Someday, somehow … healing will happen :) Thanks Darren and Anna.

    Troy Santos
  • Darren! What a delight to come back to the internet world and find that our enjoyable conversation is available to listen to! Thank you, I look forward to wandering IRL!!

    Anna Henning

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