Participants will become familiar with the role of mushroom fungi in forest ecology and how mushrooms are being used today in medicine, biofabrication, and the arts. We will introduce the basics of where and how to collect and identify wild edible mushrooms and be able to recognize and avoid poisonous ones. Participants will become familiar with field guides and other popular mycology literature. Part of each meeting will be devoted to identification of mushrooms collected by participants. Other discussion topics could include medicinal and gourmet mushrooms, home mushroom cultivation, and mushroom preservation and cookery.
David Porter is emeritus professor (University of Georgia) with a specialty in mycology. A resident of Brooklin, he has taught at COA and Eagle Hill and presented talks and led nature walks for BHHT, IHT, CMLT, Maine Mycological Assn, Senior Colleges, Downeast Audubon, Beatrix Farrand Soc, and others. David is past chair of Colloquy Downeast and has facilitated more than ten colloquies on various scientific and natural history topics.
Reading: Sheldrake, Merlin, Entangled Life, How Fungi Make our Worlds, Change our Minds and Shape our Futures, Random House, 2020
References: Various field guides will be available to use, but participants will probably want to buy their own.
Arora, David, Mushrooms Demystified, Ten Speed Press, Second Edition, 1986.
Baroni, Timothy, Mushrooms of the Northeast, Timber Press, 2017.
Marrone, Teresa, and Walt Sturgeon, Mushrooms of the Northeast, Adventure Publications, 2016.
Lincoff, Gary, Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms, Alfred A. Knopf, New York 1981.
Roody, William C., Mushrooms of West Virginia and the Central Appalachians, University Press of Kentucky, 2003.
Observation, documentation, collection, and cultivation
Life history stories: mycelium, fruitbodies, spores
Identification of collected specimens, using a key
Fungi in nature – disease, decomposition, and cooperation
Mushrooms in the kitchen
Biofabrication, and art
Identification and preservation
Poisons and panaceas
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