Monday, November 9, 2015
The Oregon Mycological Society has an annual fall mushroom show that we love. The centerpiece of the show is a huge collection of mushrooms freshly gathered, naturalistically displayed, and carefully identified. There are mushroom growing kits for sale and many books and mushroom crafts. This year they had really inexpensive oyster and shiitake growing kits, which are always easy and fun for kids. You can see common edibles contrasted with mushrooms that are not edible or toxic, and consult experts to identify samples if you want to know what's growing in your yard. A big display shows yarn dyed a dazzling array of colors with mushroom based dye, and some lovely things knitted with mushroom dyed yarn. Scrumptious mushroom dumpling soup was being served up. I always get excited when spring comes and wildflowers of every shape, color and size begin to bloom. But this show serves as a reminder that what fall has to offer when the mushrooms sprout is no less spectacular.
The Oregon Mycological Society is a terrific resource for mushroom fans. Memberships are quite affordable, and give members the opportunity to participate in special guided foraging trips in the fall and spring, citizen science survey opportunities, and mycology camps, as well as many chances to learn about any aspect of fungi in depth from experts. They meet monthly at the World Forestry Center, and meetings are free and open to the public. They often have really cool guest speakers.