“Identifying New England’s Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms” is the subject of a two-part course that will include an evening virtual class, followed by an afternoon at Midcoast Conservancy’s Hidden Valley Nature Center for a foraging hike. The webinar will be held Friday, Sept. 25 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Participants will then meet Saturday, Sept. 26 from 1 – 4 p.m.
Maine offers a great opportunity to sustainably collect world-class edible mushrooms while enjoying a walk through the woods and fields. The only thing preventing more people from doing that 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 identifiable, great edibles that can satisfy most people’s hunger for mushrooms.
This class is devoted to building the skills needed to identify common mushrooms and to begin a lifetime of wild mushrooming; it will combine lecture and outdoor experience to look at identification features, ecology, and the seasonal occurrence of mushrooms. The class will look at edible as well as common poisonous mushrooms. There will be a focus on learning about 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 while practicing physical distancing. 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.
Workshop leader Greg Marley has been collecting, studying, eating, growing, and teaching about mushrooms for over 45 years. Marley has spread his love of mushrooms to hundreds through walks, talks, and classes throughout New England. 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.
The cost of the class is $60 for non-members, $50 for Midcoast Conservancy members. Registration is available online at bit.ly/2DiTLoG.