Mentioning bioremediation while talking about mushrooms, got my mind a-thinking........that gardening/farming itself can be bioremediation of the gardener/farmer. You bet! In my own case, I arrived at my future homestead farm stressed, somewhat misfunctional, somewhat lost, somewhat broken, somewhat physically unhealthy. Not quite the walking dead, but surely not a prime example of a human being. Somewhere along the way of creating my homestead, of striving for self reliance, of being more mindful of myself and my life, I somehow changed......I believe for the better. I didn't have an outline to follow, but I did try things and observed.
Homestead farming gave me fresh foods to eat. No more, for me, of that processed stuff that commercial companies tell us is food (well truthfully, I eat a little here and there). Fresh veggies that have never been cold stored, fumigated, bleached, or otherwise doctored. They're chemically free and ripened naturally on the plant. I eat eggs the day they are laid, not bleached or chemically treated, not cold stored for weeks, and they come from hens eating a natural diet. Also on my dinner table goes grass fed meats and dairy from unstressed livestock.
Growing my own gives me foods that may not be available otherwise. Purple greenbeans, yellow snow peas, purple kale, colorful potatoes and sweet potatoes, etc. I grow colorful veggies and fruits not seen in a supermarket. Things like Red Swan beans, red kales, red amaranth, pink fleshed potatoes, purple fleshed sweet potatoes.
Besides veggies & fruits, my gardens provide healing herbs, turmeric, and other plants. I have to resources for numerous medicinal tinctures and teas right here in the farm.
Looking beyond foods, my farm is a place for healing. It has proven to be a serene environment for inner calming and meditation. A good place for practicing TaiChi and basic yoga. A place to reconnect with nature and contemplate my place in the scheme of things. A place to grow to like myself and to give my doubting self credit for being ok. And the opportunity to connect with the inner farmer who always wanted to exist.
The homestead farming experience has lead to connecting with a community of great people. We share our goods, trade, and barter. While doing this we also emotional support one another via compliments, encouragement, and neighborly love. It is great soul food, I mean "food" for my soul/spirit/energy/life force, to be sharing my excess.
The final step I'm still looking for is to sell excess in order to support myself. Because I live in a society where money is mandatory (taxes, medical care, insurances, etc), I could be at ease if the farm could provide the cash needed to survive. While I've read plenty of books and USDA information to show how this can be done, my concern is to achieve my goal without taking on stress and without losing the pure enjoyment of farming. I don't wish for my farm to become complicated. I don't wish to add things that cause stress. So this is my future project and I'm even curious myself to see how it will turn out.