Fairy circles or fairy rings are naturally occurring circular formations of some mushrooms, generated by the primarily spherical growth of fungal tissues.
They reappear for several years around the same center point – the oldest one is said to be 700 years old.
They can be read as signifiers of nutritious areas that allow the invisibly spreading mushroom roots to pop-up fruit-bodies of spore dissemination when the climatic conditions require the connection to distant places.
Their image has been described by tales of more-than-human creatures all around the world and various iterations of the transformative power of these circular spaces existed.
Fair-y Circles works for the self-organization of civil mycologists to invigorate the movements of food sovereignty, environmental restoration and community resilience development. It is initiating and mentoring collective facilities for food (mainly mushroom) production. It functions as a socio-economic experiment to enhance the imagination of systems (food, knowledge, natural resources) based on solidarity economy and practically offering a space for community-based art and agroecological actions. The organized interventions are aiming at offering practical knowledge of working with mushrooms (for local food and medicine production, habitat restoration or eco-architecture) and mentoring for community and project development. With the attempt to confuse urban and rural it incorporates qualities of the rural into the urban and tries to support the emancipation of the rural colonized by urban-centric value-production.
In practice Fair-Y Circles are functioning as community gardens, where experiences are in a flow between participants of a collective research of fair abundance. They can exist in shared facilities that can take place in real physical sites maintained by the Circle members or in hybrid combinations of private physical spaces and discussion spaces (eg. in online spaces)
During the year of 2021 a Community mushroom cultivation challenge took place in a Facebook group for people around Hungary. Mushroom mycelium arrived by post to the homes of the newcomer farmers and we raised and answered questions together, discussed our biggest findings live, with the support of professional mycologist and farmers. It was a great empowerment for the new mushroom farmers to build intimate relationship with the mycelium, while being supported by a whole group of curious people.
During the summer of 2021 some rooms of a constantly 12 Celsius wine-cellar and atomic bunker has been transformed to a base for the Fair-Y Circles project, that had open cultivation days during the autumn . The Budafok Circle has been tested by a group fearless mushroom enthusiast, who took part in a 5-week-long learning circle using permacultural, semi-intensive indoor and outdoor oyster mushroom cultivation techniques.
During the winter of 2022 two mushroom garden circles have been started up
- in the SZIA Agroecology Garden of the Diverzitás Foundation, in Gödöllő
- in the 'Season Garden' of Katalin Réthy, in Páty