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Fungi fun: Mushroom groups present annual shows

Oct 1st, 2013 | Category: Community

Local visitors and residents interested in learning about mushrooms can choose from a variety of shows and events this month that focus on fungi.

Snohomish County Mycological Society Show

This annual event celebrating mushrooms is sponsored by the Snohomish County Mycological Society in cooperation with Everett Parks & Recreation. The SCMS is a non-profit educational organization that has been sharing knowledge of mushrooms with the public since 1971.

Freshly harvested Lobster mushrooms from the Mt. Baker Foothills. PHOTO BY ALEX WINSTEAD/CASCADIA MUSHROOMS

Each year mushrooms are collected in season and placed on display at the Fall Mushroom Show held in Floral Hall at Forest Park. The public is welcome to bring their own discoveries for possible identification by an expert.

Participants can learn to identify more than 100 different types of mushrooms. Visit with vendors, attend lectures and watch demonstrations involving this popular fungus. Admission is free. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 13 at 802 E. Mukilteo Blvd. in Everett.

Wild Mushroom Show

The popular Wild Mushroom Show in Bellingham, presented by the Northwest Mushroomers Association, will be held Sunday, Oct. 20 from noon to 5 p.m. at the Bloedel Donovan Community Building, at 2214 Electric Ave. in Bellingham. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for students/seniors, and free for children under 12.

Visitors check out the Wild Mushroom Show last year. PHOTO BY ERIN MOORE

“In the Northwest, almost every year is good for mushrooming. But 2013 is turning out to be stellar,” said Erin Moore, of Northwest Mushroomers.

Pacific Northwest forests and fields are filled with thousands of different kinds of mushrooms and you can experience hundreds of them at this fun, family event. Visitors can view displays of locally collected mushrooms, hear mushroom talks by local experts and guests, and learn to identify common mushrooms, both edible and poisonous. A mushroom identification area will be set up for those who bring in mushrooms and want help learning about them.

Edible wild mushrooms will be presented for visitors to taste, and “touch and feel” table allows for hands-on learning, as well as a separate children’s activity table.

Mushroom guides and other books materials will be on hand, and visitors can talk to mushroom growers like Cascadia Mushrooms, which will offer mushroom kits (for purchase) for those wanting to grow their own.

“If you treat mushrooms with discrimination and respect, you can learn to pick your own edible wild mushrooms without fear of confusing them with poisonous types – mushrooms which are nutritious, far more flavorful than the mass-produced cultivated variety, and best of all, free! It does, however, require time and effort – a willingness to plunge into the woods, to uncover their secrets, to learn their characteristics, to penetrate their haunts,” David Arora, author of Mushrooms Demystified.

Turkey Tail mushrooms growing from an Alder log at Whistle Lake in Anacortes. PHOTO BY ALEX WINSTEAD/CASCADIA MUSHROOMS

The Northwest Mushroomers Association promotes the understanding and appreciation of mushrooms and the study of mycology in Whatcom, Skagit, and Island counties. Yearlong NMA membership is $15 for families and $10 for students. For show information or to volunteer at the event, contact Maggie at (360) 724-3158 or visit northwestmushroomers.org.

Family Field Trip event

Family Field Trip: Fungi Fun will be held Saturday, Oct. 12 at the North Lake Whatcom Park/Ken Hertz trail from 10 a.m. to noon. The cost is $10 per person or $30 per family. Wild Whatcom Walks presents mycologist (and lichen expert) Fred Rhoades who will lead a forest exploration and mushroom identification. Children 5 and up welcome to attend. Registration required. Email wildwhatcomwalks@gmail.com.

For additional events, see our community calendar and online updates.

Published in the October 2013 issue of Grow Northwest

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