The 2011 Permaculture Design Course Summer Intensive built a living mushroom fence using big leaf maple logs.
Students in HORT 285 Permaculture Design and Theory gained firsthand experience in building a living fence, using simple fungi and spare logs at the Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture.
Jen and Dustin Olsen of The Mushroomery taught students how to inoculating logs using small dowels tipped with with mycelium. The class participants then hammered inoculated dowels in hardwood logs. Students drilled holes and hammer in the dowels, then the openings were painted with beeswax. Logs were set upright in a swoop, and alder trees were planted around the swoop to provide logs for future inoculation.
The logs, mainly consisting of shiitake and chicken of the woods mushroom, should begin to fruit within one to three years. The fungal structure grows between the log's wood and its bark, and draws water from the ground.
True to permaculture principals of every structure having more than one use, the log fence will also act as a barrier for noise from 35th Street, adjacent to the Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture.