“Identifying New England’s Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms” is the subject of a daylong course at Midcoast Conservancy’s Hidden Valley Nature Center in Jefferson on Saturday, Aug. 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Most people interested in learning to collect and identify mushrooms are driven more by a hunger for their great edible potential than curiosity about their ecology. Maine offers a great opportunity to sustainably collect world-class edible mushrooms as one enjoys a walk through the woods and fields. The only thing standing in the way is having the knowledge and confidence to tell the good edible mushrooms from those that can sicken people. The good news is that there are a handful of common, easily identified, great edibles that can satisfy most people’s hunger for mushrooms.
This day-long class is devoted to building the skills needed to identify common mushrooms and to begin a lifetime of wild mushrooming. The class will combine lecture and outdoor experience to look at identification features, ecology, and the seasonal occurrence of mushrooms. The group will look at edible as well as common poisonous mushrooms and may end the day by cooking some of the mushrooms found.
The focus will be on learning a few common edible and medicinal mushrooms and building skills for ongoing identification. Participants should come prepared for a hike and to have a fun learning day. Participants are invited to bring fresh specimens of mushrooms from their own property.
The class agenda includes an introduction to mushroom basics, mushroom morphology and identification features, guidelines for safe and responsible mushrooming, and use of mushrooms, along with afternoon field learning and collection. The final wrap-up will feature information on where to go in the future, cooking examples, and resources for further learning. To register, go to midcoastconservancy.org/events/identifying-new-englands-edible-and-medicinal-mushrooms.
Workshop leader Greg Marley has been collecting, studying, eating, growing, and teaching mushrooms for over 45 years. Marley has spread his love of mushrooms to hundreds through walks, talks, and classes held across New England over the past 20 years. He is the founder of Mushrooms for Health, a small company providing medicinal mushroom education and products made with Maine medicinal mushrooms.
Marley is the author of “Mushrooms for Health; Medicinal Secrets of Northeastern Fungi” and the award-winning “Chanterelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares; The Love Lore and Mystic of Mushrooms.” As a volunteer mushroom-identification consultant to poison centers across New England since 2001, Marley provides expertise in mushroom poisoning cases. He is a frequent lecturer to college groups and a mushrooming foray faculty member. When not mushrooming, Marley is a clinical social worker and behavioral health consultant specializing in suicide prevention.