By Samantha Cantrell
In honor of Earth Day, Chambersburg was home to a variety of events celebrating the planet. One of the events offered was Mycosymbiotics’ inaugural Earth Day Festival, hosted on the outskirts of Chambersburg at the Hip Gypsy Emporium. This two-day event was centered around Mycosymbiotics’ mission: to utilize natural remedies to bring health and wellness to people and the planet.
Both days were focused on learning how humans are responsible for taking better care of the planet, but also included sessions to encourage attendees to take better care of themselves through mindfulness exercises. While some of the information was based in theory rather than concrete evidence (such as the speaker who suggested that his blend of herbs, fruit, and fungi could cure COVID-19), it opened the floor for conversation regarding environmental and economic racism, colonialism in natural medicine, and what the future may look like for human interaction with the environment.
The festival included live music and a variety of educational workshops, including hands-on tutorials for foraging and finding natural springs in the nearby Michaux State Forest, and hosted several speakers from the Tri-State area. Each speaker shared findings from a wide range of scientific studies they had been conducting in recent years, including using sunflowers to treat lead poisoning in Baltimore’s soil, the impact of environmental stressors in cities on trees in urban vs. rural forested areas, the risks and rewards of rewilding and more.
While none of these conversations had clear resolutions, a quote from the final speaker, Benjamin Weiss, closed out the theme of the weekend with a hopeful tone: “We have no idea how nature is using us as a
driving agent in the evolutionary development of this planet.”
For more pictures from this event, click here!