Monday, August 15, 2022

Adirondack Experience: Mushroom Mania Festival set for Aug. 20

For some, they are a tasty delicacy. For others, something you’re made to eat. Love them or hate them they are one of the most important organisms in our ecosystem. They decompose, nourish, heal, and yes, they can be deadly. Whether you are an expert in the world of fungi or are simply curious, join the Adirondack Experience this summer for a fun-filled, family-friendly festival all about fungi! With activities and crafts, workshops, presentations, hikes, and more there is sure to be something for even those who have never before considered mushrooms as anything other than something an adult makes you eat.

Come learn about the mycelium superhighway hidden beneath your feet on Saturday, August 20, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Adirondack Experience, the Museum on Blue Mountain Lake.


  Tim Baroni
Adirondack mushrooms – the good, the bad, and the beautiful   

Join Tim Baroni, author of Mushrooms of Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada, for a fascinating introduction to Adirondack mushrooms. Timothy J. Baroni, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the State University of New York – College at Cortland, works globally on biodiversity research of macrofungi. He has authored three books on fungi: A Revision of the genus Rhodocybe Maire (Agaricales), How to Identify Mushrooms to Genus VI (with David L. Largent) and recently a Timber Press field guide Mushrooms of Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada.


Susan Van Hook
Capturing Carbon in the Soil Sponge with Fungi

Join regional mycologist, Sue Van Hook, for a glimpse of mycorrhizal fungi benefitting garden, field, and forest plants. Sue will explain the roles different groups of fungi play in balancing the carbon cycle in the formation of a resilient soil sponge to address the climate crisis.

Sue Van Hook is a mycologist, naturalist, teacher, and healer. She has been studying the taxonomy and ecology of fungi for the past 48 years,. In her retirement she consults, teaches and writes about fungi. Sue’s certification in Healing Touch, Shamanic Journeying and Active Dreamwork have brought her closer to sharing a quantum reality with fungi.


Tina Ellor
Culinary and Medicinal Mushrooms: Eat Them, Grow Them, Tell all your friends!

 Tina Ellor was born and raised in very rural Dummerston, Vermont where the landscape was often fairly bleak. Wild mushrooms provided color and interest during the spring and fall and she developed a lifelong interest in and passion for mushrooms. Her very tolerant parents allowed her to grow mold gardens on old food in the basement and instead of having her committed, nurtured her odd interests. She earned a BS in Biology from California State College Stanislaus where her undergraduate project was growing oyster mushrooms on rice straw in the Central Valley of California and MS from the University of Maine with research on growing oyster mushrooms on paper mill sludge from a magnesium sulfate mill in Millinocket, Maine.


Bernie Carr
Trees and Fungi: How Do They Relate

Bernie Carr explores the connection between fungi and trees. He’ll share information about mycorrhiza and its role in forest health.

Bernie Carr was President of the Central New York Mycological Society for 10 years and is currently associated with the Mid-York Mycological Society.  In 2011, he chaired the Northeast Mycological Federation Foray at Paul Smith’s College and coordinated field trips for the North American Mycological Association.  He is a retired private sector environmental consultant, botanist, and endangered species surveyor.


Dorothy Smullen
Lichens: Connections to the Outdoors

Discover what makes a lichen a lichen. Dorothy Smullen explores the different structural groups (crustose, foliose, fruticose) of lichens and where they can be found. Dorothy shares the many ways people use lichens including as a dye for wool and the importance of some lichen species as indicators of air pollution.

Dorothy Smullen (masters in biology from Brooklyn College) has been a member of the New Jersey Mycological Association (NJMA) since 1975. Her interest in lichens strengthened in 2001. She has attended five Tuckerman Lichen Foray workshops in WV, Nova Scotia, GA, NC and PA. She has given lichen workshops and presentations to NJMA, NJ Audubon, Northeast Mycological Foray and garden clubs. An article on Lichen basics she wrote appears on the North American Mycological Association’s website.


Garrett Kopp
Functional Fungi

Join Garrett Kopp for a crash-course on elementary mycology with topics including: mushroom vs fungus, life cycle of fungus, and types of fungi.

Garret Kopp grew up in Tupper Lake and naturally formed a close relationship with nature from an early age. He began harvesting Chaga and selling it at local pop-up markets with his grandmother when he was 15. While attending business school at Clarkson University, Garrett began turning his passion for wild Chaga into a career-oriented enterprise, which he named Birch Boys. Now 24, Garrett is a certified mushroom identification expert & licensed NYS guide. Today, Birch Boys leases 220,000 acres of private land in the Adirondacks for sustainable Chaga harvesting. The company has shipped Chaga-based handmade products (including teas, tinctures, and skin care products) to over 20,000 online customers in all 50 states.


Demonstrations & Workshops

 10:00am – 4:00pm

Growing Oyster Mushrooms at Home: Drop in workshop with Andy LeBlanc

During this workshop, participants will learn to prepare a simple at-home mushroom growing technique. Through a hands-on activity, participants will create their own oyster growing bucket. Participants will also learn about the readily available resources to pursue mushroom growing in buckets with friends and family. All materials will be provided.

Andy LeBlanc is a long time resident of Indian Lake pursuing a career as a traditional timberframer and boatbuilder. Upon discovering the abundance and variety of mushrooms in the Adirondacks, he became enamored with all things fungi. He is an active forager of gourmet and medicinal mushrooms. When not foraging, he’s growing mushrooms at home in buckets, garden beds, and logs. He continues exploring the many ways to preserve and utilize mushrooms and enjoys cooking with them all year long.

Colors of Nature: Mushroom Dye 

Noel Dingman and Carol Pearsall will be dyeing fibers using natural dyes made from mushrooms plus a display of handmade fiber items featuring an amazing variety of colors all dyed with mushrooms.


Mushroom Walks

Mushrooms on Minnow Pond Trail (multiple walks throughout the day)

Join mushroom enthusiasts to discover what fabulous fungi are growing in our woods. The forested trail to Minnow Pond is home to dozens of mushrooms that offer a rich introduction and exploration of the “wood wide web.” Which mushrooms may be fruiting changes constantly, and leaders will share their knowledge of what’s “on view.”

Limited spaces available; sign-up required. Please sign up on the day of the event at the Marion River Carry Pavilion. Please wear sturdy shoes and bring water, bug spray, and appropriate outerwear. Walk is rain or shine but will be canceled in case of thunderstorms or severe weather. Walks will last approximately 45 minutes. Walks depart from Marion River Carry Pavilion at 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, and 3:30pm.

Mushroom Whispering Walk in the Woods (one walk, limited spaces available by sign-up)

Join regional mycologist, Sue Van Hook, for a mindful walk in the woods to listen and connect to mushrooms that have so much information to share with our species. Limited spaces available; sign-up required. Please sign up on the day of the event at the Marion River Carry Pavilion. Walk departs from Marion River Carry Pavilion. Please wear sturdy shoes and bring water, bug spray, and appropriate outerwear. Walk is rain or shine but will be canceled in case of thunderstorms or severe weather.


Tabling & Display

10am – 4pm

Mushrooms Display

Learn about the wide variety of mushrooms, fungi, and lichen through informative displays featuring fresh mushrooms.

Mushroom Identification

What’s growing in your woods, garden, or lawn? Bring your mushroom samples to be identified by mushroom enthusiasts and experts. Please bring in whole mushroom (dig up roots). To keep your mushroom in good shape, please keep in paper bag or wrapped in wax paper (no plastic wrap please). Bring your mushrooms to become part of the displays showing the great variety of Adirondack fungi for the benefit of all to see and learn.

There is risk in collecting wild mushrooms. Illness and even death can occur from ingesting wild mushrooms. The ADKX, its affiliates and volunteers, accept no liability or responsibility for any consequences resulting from the use of or reliance upon the information provided, nor for any health problems, consequences or symptoms which may arise from contact with or the ingestion of mushrooms, and other fungi. Any person who collects mushrooms or any other potentially dangerous fungi does so at their own risk.


Kids Activities

10:00am – 4:00pm

Have fun and get creative while learning more about mushrooms. Special activities for young visitors include a mushroom-themed scavenger hunt, puzzles, art projects, and more.

Shop and Eat

Browse fungus art by regional artists and discover chagga products at artist and local producer booths and browse the ADKX Store for mushroom-themed products.

Artists and vendors: Birch Boys, Gary Chudzinski, and Robert Hameline

Don’t miss Chef Calhoun’s mushroom specials in the Lake View Café.

Photo at top: Adirondack Experience Facebook page photo.

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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at

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