Summer and Fall 2012

by Graham on November 28, 2012

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With the 2012 season finally coming to a close, let’s take a look back on all of this year’s happenings. As usual, Amateur Mycology was extremely busy with all of our usual projects this summer. We were also booked most of the season with Mycotours, our sister company, that provides private guided mushroom foraging with expert guides in beautiful locations across the United States. On these tours, guests learn to identify and use wild mushrooms and plants, all while exploring these outdoor locations. These hikes usually range from a walk in town, to a strenuous hike through the mountains, with an emphasis on the ecosystem’s flora. We also offer cook and tastes and lunch on a private chef basis. For more information on our tours, or to schedule an expedition, visit Mycotours.com.

Amateur Mycology attended the 2012 Telluride Mushroom Festival again this year, and all of our seminars were a major success. Bert Matthews, James Weiser, and I gave hands on demonstrations in our mobile laboratory  and did several classes about various sterile lab techniques. This also included cloning many of the mushrooms from the identification table as well! Bert also exhibited his Pleurotus mushroom sculptures to all of the class attendees. I gave a lecture entitled, “Mycophagy: the culture of eating fungi” in the Elks Lodge this year. I covered several interesting topics including information about many of the different types of edible mushrooms from around the world and their cultural uses, as well as delved into the many aspects of fermentation with fungi. We talked about fermentation with the fungi molds, but also talked about using the macro fungi to ferment food products as well (I will be writing an article about this topic soon). We also discussed the many meanings of the word ‘culture’, and how ‘cultures of fungi’ have shaped many human ‘cultures’ across the world.  Lecture attendees also got to look at various fungi growing on petri dishes that I brought with me that are used to ferment food products. These included Aspergillus oryzae (koji/miso/sake), Penicillium roqueforti (blue cheese), Rhizopus oligosporus (tempeh), and Penicillium camemberti (brie/Camembert). Mycotours also competed in the Annual Mushroom Chef Cook-off with our Porcini Sushi Roll with Porcini sauce. It was mentioned in Alisa Geiser’s blog article ‘The Curious Ways We Find Eachother: Day Two at the Telluride Mushroom Festival’ on elephantjournal.com. You can read more about the mushroom cook-off at TellurideInside.com or The Telluride Festivarian. For more information on this year’s Telluride Mushroom Festival, or for info about the event in 2013, visit shroomfest.com. You can also listen to an interview with Scott, the director of the festival on the new radio show I am working on called ‘A Fermented Affair‘! You can find it here, on BlogTalkRadio.com. You can also find Telluride Mushroom Festival and A Fermented Affair on Facebook!

I also presented at Syntonic Music Festival that featured over 40 different electronic music artists and about 20 workshops. I gave a lecture entitled ‘Introduction to Fungi’ where we discussed how mushrooms can be used for more than just a great side dish in a meal, they could maybe help save the planet!! For more information about the 2012 Syntonic workshops or the music artists visit their website at syntonicfest.com.

As always, stay tuned for more pictures and video of these events and information to the upcoming events Amateur Mycology is working on.

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