The MHMA  Monthly Mushroom Speaker Series 

Winter is certainly upon us and while the mushrooms are resting under the snow we can continue to be fascinated by fungi through our Monthly Mushroom Speaker Series.
Every 1st Tuesday of the winter (except March 6th) we will meet at the Marbletown Community Center, 3564 Main St, Stone Ridge, NY 12484 at 6:45pm to hear from a different presenter on their expertise in Mycology at 7pm.
Remember, these events are sponsored by the MHMA and are Free and Open to the Public so bring a friend or 4.
We will have more presenters as the months progress.
If you have a suggestion for a speaker or would like to present on a certain subject within mycology, please let John know via email at John@CatskillFungi.com

CANCELLED –  March 6th – Monthly Mushroom Speaker Series

Due to the predicted nor’easter on Wednesday our presenter cannot make the trip to speak.

She looks forward to coming down to speak to us another time.

April 3rd – Monthly Mushroom Speaker Series

 Mushrooms: Unique Natural Dyers

by Susan Hopkins

IMG_3541 Susan Hopkins Sept 2015 JCC

This prsentation will be an introduction to various species of wild mushrooms that have been found to contain a rainbow of colors. Using a combination of dried mushrooms, handmade items, digital slides, and books, I will show the variety of color and share the excitement I have found in using mushrooms for color.

Mushrooms as a source of color is not unknown over the last 400 years, but the recent interest and experimentation started in 1971 with the late Miriam Rice and her friend Dorothy Beebee in Mendocino CA. There is now an international group that holds a Fungi-Fibre Symposium every two years mostly in northern Europe. This is a chance to hunt and try new mushrooms for dyeing, to see the creative efforts after the dyeing, and to meet with those whose passion for mushrooms and fiber is contagious.

Although mushroom identification is not a simple task, there are three major groups of wild mushrooms (plus several oddball varieties) that can be recognized for their use as natural dyers. Knowing where and when to look for the best mushrooms helps narrow the field for the beginner as well as the experienced hunter.

I would like to demonstrate mushroom dyeing on a small scale. I will bring a precooked mushroom bath ready for a small skein of mordanted wool – and then start my talk by putting the wool in the bath and turning the heat on. By the end of the talk the wool is dyed and ready for display. My Power Point talk will concentrate on the mushrooms used to obtain the best and most interesting colors.


Susan learned to identify fungi as a member of the New Jersey Mycological Association for the last 37 years. She has attended most of the NEMFs and several NAMAs often helping with sorting and identification. After attending the 1993 International Fungi-Fibre Symposium in Scotland she became a “dyer”, learning the use of various fungi to dye wool. Even before becoming a “dyer” her main group of interest to study has been all of the tooth fungi particularly Hydnellum, Phellodon, Sarcodon. After retiring in 2009, Susan now lives in the Adirondack Mountains of NY learning the local fungi flora and continues to do many lectures, walks, and demonstrations on fungi and mushroom dyeing.


February 6th – Jeffrey Mann
Introduction to Fungal Microscopy – Click the link to view the slide show
Jeffrey Mann Bio Pic
This workshop will focus on the basic identifying characteristics of fungal microscopic features.
These characteristics are used in fungal classification. A familiarity of these features are key to
the understanding of fungal taxonomy. This presentation is intended for an audience with little or
no experience with fungal microscopic features and will focus on the most broadly used
microscopic reference points and their variants. Specifically, we will discuss and see examples
of basidium and ascus morphology, spore classification and variants, as well as identifying
characteristics of cystidia and clamp connections. Most of the material will consist of personal
micro plates from Jeffrey Mann’s personal collection, which contain his own work and
unpublished images and paintings from Dr. Richard Homola.
Jeffrey Mann teaches Biology, Physics, and Science Research at Margaretville Central School
in Margaretville, NY. Jeffrey’s love and fascination with mycology began early in his college
career when he studied cellular mycology with Dr. Homola at the University of Maine from 1992-
1994. He then went on to study Advanced Mycology with Dr. David Largent at Humboldt State
University (1995). While cultivating a wide variety of interests, Jeffrey continued his study of
micromycology including projects in his graduate work at BARD college. Jeffrey incorporates his
interest in mycology in his current role at Margaretville Central School but offering workshops on
Micro Mycology and Intermediate Microscopy for his students. A dedicated amature mycologist,
Jeffrey seeks communicate the importance of fungi in biodiversity and the profound hidden
beauty of micro mycology.

January 2nd John Michelotti, the MHMA President and founder of Catskill Fungi, will be giving a presentation and hands-on workshop on Growing Oyster Mushrooms From Coffee Grounds. Please bring a recycled container (glass or plastic jar) with your freshly roasted coffee grounds if you would like to go home with your own sample. We will be supplying spawn and some coffee grounds but can not guarantee everyone a sample.

The 2017 Annual Potluck was a huge success. Thanks to everyone for bringing amazing dishes and raffle items! Here are a few snap shots from the event.2017-11-19 13.40.162017-11-19 13.41.29 2017-11-19 13.43.32 2017-11-19 13.43.23 2017-11-19 13.43.05 2017-11-19 13.42.46

 If you would like to lead a walk in 2018, please let us know at a meeting or by emailing Erwin, our walk coordinator: eakarl@yahoo.com


2017 Monthly Mushroom Speaker Series Presentations & Past Events

Koji – A 2000 Year Old Sensation


Aspergillus oryzae, commonly called koji, may just be the oldest new sensation in the food world. Join chef Rob Handel to learn more about this amazing fungus and what it can do in the kitchen. The presentation will cover a summary of what koji is and it’s basic biology and life cycle, history of koji’s use in Asia, directions for growing your own koji at home, and how you can apply that koji in your cooking. After the presentation there will be samples of koji-fied food available to taste.

Rob Handel has been cooking since his grandmother first set him to cracking eggs and peeling potatoes in her resort kitchen as a child. Since then he has broadened his culinary horizons through research and travel, as well as periods of formal study in biology, chemistry, and culinary arts. Rob is currently the executive chef at The Bees Knees Café at Heather Ridge Farm, where he crafts both classic dishes and unique preparations pairing the meat and poultry raised on the farm with local produce, cheeses, dairy, and foraged goods. While not in the kitchen, Rob can be found in the woods foraging mushrooms and wild foods, or tending to his own small home farm.

The Dawn of Mushroom Materials – Sue Van Hook


Ecovative’s former Chief Mycologist, Sue Van Hook, will describe the journey that led to new materials science using mushroom mycelium as a natural resin. From dream guidance to a persistent professor, two engineers were led to start a new company, that in its tenth year has broken ground as the natural alternative Mresin® for engineered wood, replacing toxic formaldehydes currently used to make particleboard.

Sue is a mycologist, naturalist, teacher and healer. She has been studying the taxonomy and ecology of fungi for the past 40 years, having begun her coursework in the Pacific Northwest where the mushroom season lasts 9 months of the year. She completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees in botany and mycology at Humboldt State University under the tutelage of Dr. David L. Largent, an authority on pink-spored mushrooms and author of the How to Identify Mushrooms series of books.

Sue worked for 5 years in land conservation for The Nature Conservancy managing a Northern California Coastal Dunes Preserve where she also conducted her graduate fieldwork. She moved to Belgrade Maine in the mid-eighties and worked as Director of Land Conservation and Stewardship for Maine Coast Heritage Trust.

For 18 years she taught biology and environmental science labs at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. Sue joined the Mushroom Materials company Ecovative as a Mycological Consultant at the outset in 2007, and has worked as the Chief Mycologist and Mushroom Whisperer for the past 5 years. Her work involves cultivating fungal strains from the wild, experimenting to optimize fungal performance and material characteristics for various product applications, training and mentoring all staff members in the biology of the fungi, and maintaining a high vibrational energy for the manufacture of living Mushroom® Materials through the use of plant essential oils and Healing Touch Therapy.

Also, mark your calendars for the following Monthly Mushroom Speaker Series on April 4th. Same mushroom place. Same mushroom time.

Drawing From Perception: Mary Banning and the Art of Fungi


Our next event is a continuation of our 1st Tuesday Monthly Mushroom Speaker Series!
January 3rd at 7pm in the Marbletown Community Center
3564 Main St, Stone Ridge, NY 12484

The relationship of art and science is a story told vividly through the world of botanical illustration. With the rise of interest in North American natural history during the 19th century many talented, and often unrepresented artistic figures were made. In this talk we will meet one of those figures, Mary Banning, whose forgotten manuscript ‘The Fungi of Maryland’ is emerging as an essential record of one woman’s journey into the world of fungi. Banning (1822-1903) illustrated and identified fungi when reference material was scarce and a woman’s participation in science was laregely unacknowledged. In this seductive compendium, scientific observation, personal anecdote and 174 watercolor illustrations meet to form a rich record from the past, and feels as relevant as ever today.

Alanna Burns is an artist, craftsperson and amateur mycologist in New York. It all started when Alanna saw five different species of mushrooms growing on her block in Bed Stuy. When she discovered one could be used to dye her pants, she was all in. Alanna works with nature’s materials in Wingdale, NY and helps people to see that fungi are everywhere, can heal and nourish, even set you free.

Also, mark your calendars for the following Monthly Mushroom Speaker Series on February 7th. Same mushroom place. Same mushroom time.

Photohacks for Fungal Conservation by Zaac Chevez

December 6 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm


Our next event is a continuation of our 1st Tuesday Monthly Mushroom Speaker Series!
December 6th at 7pm in the Marbletown Community Center
3564 Main St, Stone Ridge, NY 12484

Part how-to, part conservation science, this talk will prepare you to achieve marvelous documentation with obsolete(ie cheep) digital camera technology. As a subarctic cyclist local to the area Zaac will largely discuss bioregional and cold-weather adapted fungi.

Often turned to for field expertise regarding fungi, Zaac Chaves guides people through realms in which the details matter immensely. Zaac has worked as a naturalist with Westcheter County. He is a specialized collector at the behest of The New York Botanical Gardens, The National Parks Service, and Harvard. He has and has been honored by the Explorer’s Club regarding his Transtaïga bicycle journey. Zaac is long time member of COMA Connecticut Westchester Mycological Association and currently active with the Boston Mycological Association.

Also, mark your calendars for the following Monthly Mushroom Speaker Series on January 3rd. Same mushroom place. Same mushroom time.

Copyright © 2013 The Mid Hudson Mycological Association