Newsletter from the new MHMA president, John Michelotti

Thank you for your support in voting me in as president of MHMA.
Many thanks to all those that have been a great support to our organization. Especially our Officers:
Past President – Lisa Resnick
VP – Barbara Plume
Secretary – Kelly Sinclair
Treasurer – Cynthia Fisher
Membership Secretary – Carol McDonald
Walks Coordinator – Jill Weiss
When my position started on April 1st, I instantly felt more powerful. I felt charged with the responsibility to make the world a better place through my efforts with MHMA. You can feel powerful too! If you are interested in volunteering your time or becoming a chairperson, please email me directly. I am happy to answer any questions and help you along the way. Our members’ combined efforts are what makes this club what it is.
Over the next year it is my hope to bring in some great mycologists to talk and present on a variety of mushroom topics including microscopy and more on cultivation from a mushroom farmer and teacher in Amherst. I plan to inform our members of the equipment and services they have available in hopes that members will be inspired to work on a mushroom project given the tools we can provide. I would like to recruit members to help with the planning the 2017 NEMF (North East Mycological Foray – a weekend long mushroom gathering with over 250 people and high ranking mycologists). And, of course, I look forward to getting our members in the woods and inspiring others to do the same through sharing a well-rounded education of fungi.
For those of you who are not familiar with me, what follows is more than enough information to give you a background on who I am. If anyone sent me an email this long, I probably wouldn’t even read it so if you stop here, I don’t blame you. Have a great day!
Here’s a Bio covering my mycological background:

John Michelotti resides in Big Indian, NY on a family farm where he cultivates (indoor and outdoor) mushrooms for their healthful components which he uses to create Health Extractions which he sells online, in stores and at farmers markets. He is the owner of Catskill Fungi whose mission is to empower people through Fungi via Outdoor Guided Mushroom Classes, Cultivation courses, Educational Talks, Private consultations, Mushroom Art, and Mushroom Health Extractions. John is the President of the Mid-Hudson Mycological Association (MHMA), and a member of Connecticut Westchester Mycological Association (COMA), Pioneer Valley Mycological Association, and North American Mycological Association (NAMA) as well as Amazon Mycorenewal Project researching the utilization of Fungi to remediate oil spills in the Amazon Rainforest. He is a member of the Mushroom Advisory Panel for Certified Naturally Grown who are developing standards for best practices in ecological mushroom production.
That being said, I still consider myself new to mushrooms. I joined COMA in 2010 and it was because of the teachings and warm welcoming of people like Gary Lincoff and Diana Smith that I found my first forest family. I rearranged my schedule around mushroom walks and talks and it quickly became my favorite thing to do. I spent my spare time (and some time at work) reading books from Paul Stamets, Gary Lincoff, Eugenia Bone, etc, cultivating my first mushrooms, and visiting mushroom farms. When an opportunity came to go to Ecuador in 2012 to study mycoremediation, I leveraged an educational award from an AmeriCorps program I earned in 2007 and took the summer off from being a boat captain. This propelled me into the next level of working with mushrooms. At that point I was leading walks, giving talks/presentations on a variety of subjects, as well as hosting inoculation workshops in a variety of places. I moved up to a family farm in Big Indian NY in 2014 and founded Catskill Fungi. My mission is to inspire people through mushrooms while improving my community and the environment. The mushroom walks I host with Catskill Fungi are more of a Fungi-101 Course. They cover basic morphology, ecological roles of fungi, what to bring when you’re going on a mushroom walk, historic uses of fungi, medicinal uses of fungi, technological advancements utilizing fungi, and current scientific research. Oh, and what’s edible and poisonous. I do my best to take the focus away from the “Can I eat it?” questions and instead inspire the “WOW” factor of the fascinating world of Fungi. At the end of the course people are familiar with what a field guide is and how to use one, how to triple-check the mushrooms they want to eat, as well as the next steps to getting involved in mushrooms including local mycological clubs where they can go on walks and attend classes. I hope to expand membership of MHMA and other mycological organizations through my work with Catskill Fungi.
Catskill Fungi Mushroom walks are $10 for any member of a mycological organization if you sign up with me ahead of time.
Catskill Fungi walks are different from MHMA walks. As a member of MHMA the mushroom walks are paid for by your annual membership fee. Catskill Fungi walks are paid per walk and any member of a mycological organization gets a discount. To find out when Catskill Fungi will be hosting walks please go to the website CatskillFungi.com.

Jill is doing a great job putting together the MHMA walk list and you will receive an email about this in the coming weeks.

If anyone has any questions or would like to talk more about anything above, please contact me directly; John@catskillFungi.com

I hope to see many smiling faces in the woods this coming season.
May the spores be with you.
Fungally yours,
John

5 comments


  • Scott Roland

    Hi:

    I live in Otsego County, about 5-6 miles from Cooperstown. I am interested in locating mushroom hunting partner; someone who is experienced in edible wild mushrooms to help teach me, or mentor me, in learning more about finding and cooking mushrooms.

    I own several hundred acres of mixed wooded lands, and border a state forest of 800 more acres… I was just cutting some rhubarb for a weekend pie and found a nice black morel under the apple tree, just a few feet from the rhubarb patch…

    Been wanting to do this for sometime, but never have run into someone who had experience with wild mushrooms.

    Any sort of lead would help. Thanks, Scott

    May 21, 2016
  • Scott Roland

    Hi:

    I live in Otsego County, about 5-6 miles from Cooperstown. I am interested in locating mushroom hunting partner; someone who is experienced in edible wild mushrooms to help teach me, or mentor me, in learning more about finding and cooking mushrooms.

    I own several hundred acres of mixed wooded lands, and border a state forest of 800 more acres… I was just cutting some rhubarb for a weekend pie and found a nice black morel under the apple tree, just a few feet from the rhubarb patch…

    Been wanting to do this for sometime, but never have run into someone who had experience with wild mushrooms.

    Any sort of lead would help. Thanks, Scott

    May 21, 2016
    • Mark Oursler

      Scott email me mnoursler gmail. I’m in Cooperstown.

      June 25, 2016
  • Jan

    In looking thru this Web site I am finding no information on how to join the organization

    April 25, 2017
  • Ruth Blash

    Hi! I live in the Cold Spring Area and keep missing the early spring Morel hunt. I have hiked with the group and even lead one hike to Anthony’s Nose. I am very familiar with hikes in and around Phillipstown and Faunstock. I have had the pleasure of doing mushroom hunts with Jillie and Gary Lincoff. I am close to Glenwood and would love to resume the education series they have had in the past at Glenwood. I do know people who work there and can inquire. I need to rejoin the group so that I can again come to events. Please let me know!

    Ruth

    May 25, 2017

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