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COVID-19 UPDATE: CMS has been holding forays in accordance with the State of Oregon guidance for outdoor recreation organizations; which has been exempted from the  impending two week freeze issued by the Oregon State Governor.  However, we are also dependent on the comfort level of our foray leaders. At this time, we do not have any forays scheduled for the coming week. 
  • When: Wednesday, November 18, 2020, at 7:00 pm
  • Where: Online Event – CMS Youtube Channel (click to set a reminder)

During this virtual presentation, Chef Mazi will explore the culture of foraging and cooking with mushrooms in Northern Thailand and share more about this emerging myco-region and how his work contributes to our knowledge of this incredible area of the world.  The second largest city in Thailand, Chiang Mai, once operated as the autonomous Lanna Kingdom in the 13th to 16th centuries. This region of Northern Thailand borders both Myanmar and Laos resulting in a cuisine unique to this part of the country where foraging has played an important role. Over the last year, Chef Zachary Mazi has lived, explored, and foraged from his home base of Chiang Mai with a particular interest in the edible mushrooms found in this bioregion.

Classically trained in the art of French cuisine, with ventures into the wide array of New American and Pacific Northwest cuisine, Chef Zachary Mazi presents an organic, foraged, local, & imaginative experience in both global cuisine & dining.  With a background in earth sciences intertwined with 28 years working the service industry, and a self-guided holistic culinary history rooted in permaculture studies, herbal & mushroom medicines, Chef Mazi provides a comprehensive and inspirational view on how and what we should eat.  Igniting others with his contagious zest for life, he creates lasting inspiration with delicious recipes and lectures,  served with heavy doses of love, all centered on a unified & grounded understanding of being an imaginative human on Earth.  He currently lives and forages with his fiancé Kimbery Hunter in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  He is the owner-chef-imaginator of The Food Bender, a cookbook author, and mycophagy researcher. 

Follow Chef Zachary Mazi: www.TheFoodBender.com, Instagram & Facebook. Subscribe to his newsletter and receive a free recipe book.

2020 Virtual Mushroom Festival a big Success!


The Virtual Mushroom Festival was a big success! We had lots of people tune in for all 8 hours. But, if you missed it you can still purchase recordings of our keynote speaker, all of the forays and cooking demonstrations and the workshops on drawing mushrooms and dyeing with mushrooms. All for a great value of $10 to benefit the Mount Pisgah Arboretum. Click here to purchase. https://mountpisgaharboretum.com/festivals-events/shop/
 
Mycoblitz stats and contest winners
 

Following are the preliminary results from the Mycoblitz. A special Thanks to Noah Siegel who put in countless hours as an expert identifier.
  • 356 species
  • 2139 observations
  • 198 observers
  • 82 identifiers
And, here are the award winners:

Fungi in the News

(AKA, a roundup of recent CMS Facebook posts)



Mushroom Unleather Is the Latest Eco-Friendly Fabric to Be Embraced by Major Fashion Brands  - For centuries, leather has been a part of fashion, culture, and even survival. But in more recent years, the world has been embracing a more sustainable and animal-friendly alternative: vegan leather. In fact, according to a report by Grand View Research, the world market for vegan leather could be worth $85 billion by the year 2025. Read more at Green Matters

Matsutake are Legendary Mushrooms.  There are only a few mushrooms that are so highly regarded in a specific culture as these are, with the exception of morels in the U.S., and the rovellon/niscalo (saffron milk cap+friends) in Spain. Read more at Forager Chef


Where have you seen earthstars growing this year? Little is known about the underground world of earthstars’ mycelia – the main body of any fungus – but most earthstars grow in association with trees or rotting stumps. Read more at DiscoverWildlife

 
A Slime Mold Called LeBlob “Le blob” is what French researcher Dr. Audrey Dussutour calls the creatures she grows in her lab. She drew inspiration from “The Blob,” a 1958 American horror movie starring Steven McQueen about a giant alien from space that eats people and grows uncontrollably.  Read more at Joyful Microbe


Oregon Becomes First State To Legalize Psychedelic Mushrooms. Oregon will become the first state in the country to legalize psilocybin. Multiple cities have decriminalized the substance, but Oregon will become the first to permit supervised use statewide. Read more at OregonLive

Rub-A-Dub-Dub, Mushrooms All In A Tub
 
The title of this article is a slight variation on a well known nursery rhyme about a butcher, baker, and a candlestick maker. While they all ended up at sea floating around in a tub, I stayed on dry land and used my tub for cultivating mushrooms. In the past, I have focused on cultivating a variety of mushroom species by inoculating logs and our garden beds, resulting in a good amount of fruiting success. One mushroom species I had long been interested in but had not yet cultivated is Agaricus subrufescens or more commonly called the Almond Agaricus or the  Almond Mushroom. Unlike the other mushroom species I’ve cultivated, the Almond Agaricus does not do well in cool environments and a prolonged freeze can severely damage the mycelium.

So, in 2019 I contacted Northwest Mycological in Corvallis to see if they had any spawn available for this species. Although they did not, they told me that Dr. David Pilz, a very well known forest mycologist and researcher, had also been interested in cultivating this species. After talking with Dr. Pilz, he ordered a block of sawdust spawn from Field & Forest Products and graciously gave me a chunk to work with. I have been able to keep this mycelium active ever since by refreshing its substrate with new material after it fruits.

Unlike your typical wood digesters, this species of fungus thrives on well composted organic matter from plants and cows. For my substrate, I used two readymade products which contain a blend of both plant and cow compost. I also added Alder wood chips to the mix mainly to help with drainage and prevent dense clumping which can cause the compost to create a sour odor. To maintain a consistent warm temperature the tub was set onto a large catch pan and brought into the house. All that was left to do is keep the material in the tub moist (not wet or soggy), and out of direct sunlight. It will take several months as the mycelium spreads out and takes over the tub. Happily, the blend I’m using does not put out any foul odor and being in the house makes maintaining and monitoring it very convenient. Please, do not use any blend with chicken manure as it’s generally not recommended and your house will smell like your living in a chicken coop; not that there’s anything wrong with that. The end product is a mushroom that is meaty, is known to possess medicinal benefits, and has a pleasant aroma and taste of almonds that’s quite unique. It is delicious used in a stir-fry or simply as a side dish. But as experience has taught me, it’s not so good in soup recipes. I highly recommend trying this Portabella mushroom relative. It’s fun, it’s easy, and rewarding.

Especially at times like these, when wild mushroom hunting has been quite challenging, having your own tub of mushrooms conveniently located right in your house is pretty great.

References:


Below are upcoming mushroom events in the PNW, not sponsored by CMS.
 As of publishing date all of these events are open for registration; that may change. Please take caution in making a decision as to the safety of attending an event.

 

Humboldt Bay Mycological Society Virtual Festival




The Humboldt Bay Virtual Fungus kicked off last Friday, but you can still catch up on the past events and enjoy the 4 remaining presentations live.  The links below go directly to the Youtube livestreams. More information on their website.

Christian Schwarz - Data is not the Destination: Culture & Spirit in Citizen Science
Sue Van Hook - Feeding the Fungi: Regenerating the Soil Sponge for Climate Resiliency
Alissa Allen - Mycopigments: Exploring Mushrooms for Dyes with Alissa Allen
Noah Siegel - Stop Walking on Truffles: The Cryptic Life Underground
Levon Durr - Cultivating Edible and Medicinal Mushroom
Chad Hyatt - The Mushroom Hunter's Kitchen: A Cooking Demonstration

The mission of the Cascade Mycological Society is:
  • to study fungi;
  • to educate members and the public about fungi identification and ecology;
  • to promote conservation of fungi;
  • to promote health and safety in the gathering and consumption of edible fungi,
  • and to have fun!
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