Ja Schindler – Growing mushrooms talk

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What a fascinating and well-attended talk last night at the April COMC meeting!  Over 60 folks listened to Ja Schindler of Fungi For the People in Dexter, OR.  Ja described his work through slides of the many species he cultivates and sells wholesale to suppliers.  He has workshops on growing your own mushrooms from spores at his lab in Lowell, OR.    Ja got us very excited about delicious species that would do well growing in our area and gave away free starter kits to those who stayed through his 2 hour talk (Shiitake and Stropharia.)  His partner, Valerie, has been working with him on the medicinal aspects of mushrooms, creating tinctures and infusions that provide immunity boosts for all sorts of ailments. It was hard to stop the meeting with so much yet to hear and we will definitely invite him back for another visit.  Our club now has 15 new members from this one meeting! IMG_1930

Wood Blewits in the Spring??

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I received an email from an enthusiastic and seemingly knowledgeable mushroom hunter who just discovered our club via this website. He sent remarkable photos of Blewits, Clitocybe nuda (a.k.a. Lepista nuda) that he recently found in “eastern Oregon.”  Some say this fall fungi is their favorite mushroom. I don’t find it in Central Oregon, even in the fall, or else I am believing they are all a dangerous Cortinarius species. Corts have rusty-brown spores, Blewits have light-lavendar colored spores.  Such a lucky find for Jordan!

Clitocybe_nuda blewitt2

Here is what he wrote:

“..I have never found Blewits in the spring before and these were growing under juniper trees.
Macroscopic ID Characteristics(MIC’s) for Clitocybe nuda are-

1) Purple, beautiful purple when fresh. tan-purple in age

2) Purple, deep lavender gills that are attached, notched

3) debris adhering on base, visible mycelium

4) In duff, with organic matter-in the drip-zone of trees; planted and native

5) Pinkish-buff spore print

6) Fruity, sweetish-odor”

We are excited to have more passionate fungi funatics join our club.


Happy Spring – mushrooms beginning to show

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Mushroom Man Dale has been out scouting again and found about 30 or more Verpa bohemicas along the Columbia River near Portland this week.  Yes, they look like morels, but the caps of Verpas are only attached at the very top of the stem, like a thimble.  The stem is usually stuffed with cotton-like fibers, then hollow in age.  Although many people eat these with no problem, it is best to parboil them first and discard the water.  Studies show this species contains a small amount of Gyromitrin, a toxin, the doesn’t completely leave the cooked mass, so don’t each many at one sitting!

The best part of this find is that they indicate morels are close behind, maybe a couple weeks.  Remember this is near Portland, so you do the math – 500 ft. of elevation per week.  If these were picked was last week, near see level and we are at 3600 ft, well, about Mother’s Day week around here.  (That is when I usually get my mushroom permit.)  Please let us know what you find!


First meeting of Spring – Weds. April 12!

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We are excited about our speaker for April who has an interesting website called Fungi For the People. https://fungiforthepeople.org . He will speak to us on home cultivation of mushrooms and other topics that are dear to his heart.  Join us at the Environmental Center in downtown Bend, 16 NW Kansas, at 6 PM.  If you would like to join our club, registration will be available at the meeting.  We will have future meetings on Weds., May 10 and  June 14. Stay tuned for more details.

Taken from his website:

Ja Schindler

Ja is the founder and director of Fungi For The People, a non-profit organization with the mission to help build resilient and ecologically enhanced communities. Since 2011, more than 3,000 people from all over the world have joined their hands-on course.

From his research lab, farm and mushroom homestead in Oregon, Ja is cultivating a diversity of projects to support citizen science and ecological restoration.

As part of the Mushroom Cultivation Design Center, he is producing cultivation supplies and mushroom extracts while maintaining a culture library of over 200 mushroom species. Other ongoing projects include developing an open-source mushroom spore bank; mycelium stormwater filtration research with Oregon municipalities; mycelium natural building projects; mushroom Food Forest designs; and progressing natural technologies.

Ja Schindler2These are some of the species Ja works with during his cultivation workshops:

White Elm Oyster – Hypsizygus ulmarius 

Phoenix Oyster: Pleurotus pulmonarius

Golden Oyster:  Pleurotus citrinopileatus

Reishi –  Ganoderma lucidum

Garden Giant –  Stropharia rugoso-annulata

Shiitake – Lentinula edodes          

Shaggy Mane – Coprinus comatus

Shaggy Parasol – Macrolepiota rachodes 

Chicken of the Woods – Laetiporus conifericola

Enoki – Flammulina velutipes

Lion’s Mane – Herecium erinaceus

Maiitake – Grifola frondosa



An excellent potluck with great photos and plenty of sharing.

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Dave's winning Stropharia photoCongratulations to Dave Prybylowski for his winning photo of Stropharia hornemanii at our annual Mushroom Hunter’s Survival Potluck last night! Many wonderful mushroom pictures were submitted and voted on by the 45 or so attendees. Dave won a hand-drawn framed print of a beautiful morel, drawn by our own Julie Hamilton! Great shot, Dave!

Stropharia hornemanii has purple-brown spores that you can see in this photo collecting on the skirt-like veil on the stem.  It likes growing on well-decayed wood and is generally considered inedible.  The floccose stem is an excellent identifying feature.

Besides the great photos for the photo contest, attendees brought many mushroom dishes from salads, main dishes, even desserts.  Lawrence and Ken arranged a huge screen in the room to show pictures from our field trips and many interesting mushroom shots, accompanied by music.  There was a word puzzle and a mixer questionnaire, both had prizes for the winners.

Amanita cakeThis is Mary Peter’s Amanita Cake!  Chocolate inside with dark cherries marinated in cognac. What a site to see!  Incredibly delicious as it is beautiful.
In this photo you will also notice cute meringue mushrooms that melt in your mouth and next to them, my candy cap cupcakes, flavored only with candy cap mushrooms (Lactarius rubidus.) They were purchased dried from a mushroom seller at a booth in Eugene. $10 oz.  The maple flavor is INTENSE  and permeated my kitchen all evening. I found the recipe here at http://www.cupcakeproject.com
If you missed the potluck this year, make sure not to let that happen next time!  The food is so interesting and tasty and the folks who come are eager to share their mushroom knowledge and questions.  Join us!

Mushroom Hunter’s Survival Banquet on Saturday, January 14!

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How do I fit all of this on one plate?

How do I fit all of this on one plate?

It’s time for our annual survivor’s banquet – surviving until we can hunt mushrooms again. Please join us!  Here are the details:


Saturday, January 14, 6 PM, Sons of Norway Hall, 549 NW Harmon, Bend, OR
Bring a dish to share that contains mushrooms (store bought is fine.)  Labels will be available for you to write which wild mushrooms you used. If you feel like sharing the recipe, bring copies. Using our own reusable tableware (plates, flatware and cups) saves us from hauling off more garbage. We will have some beverages available and you can bring your own to share; alcohol permitted.
The Mushroom Photography Contest will be a highlight of the evening, so print up your best mushroom photo, 8 x 10, and bring it to the potluck, making sure your name is attached. We have great prizes for the top photos, voted on by all those who attend the evening event.
We are also looking for great mushroom adventure stories, so if you have an unusual one to share, we will give you time to speak. There will be other small mushroom themed activities but it is a social event to mix with those who share your passion for this wonderfully curious and gastronomic hobby!  We would like a rough estimate of those who plan to attend, so please RSVP to Susanne here:
Members and non-members are welcome to come and our treasurer, Paul, will be present to help you start or renew your membership to the club.  Dues are the same, $20 per person or $30 per family. This helps us pay for hall rentals, speakers at meetings, etc. and offers you field trips, special club campouts, help with mushroom ID, mushroom video checkout, and best of all, camaraderie with other friends of fungi.
Please join us Saturday, January 14!

The year for Pig’s Ears and Strange things in the woods

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img_1869Such a lovely day on Willamette Pass!  It had been raining; it wasn’t cold and we saw not a drop of rain all day.  Many mushrooms, especially the challenging LBMs, were fruiting despite the late autumn date.  Snow is predicted this coming week, so today may have been our last “local”(within an hour or so) mushroom hunt.  We returned to the places we had found Gomphus clavatus two different times earlier in the fall, and to our delight, there they were again!  These clusters were in excellent shape!  A few yellow Chanterelles, a perfect Aureoboletus mirabilis (Admirable bolete)  and Lactarius rubrilactus (Red Milky Cap) made the day even better, but the last thing we found was so VERY strange!  Check this out!


Phycomyces nitens or blakesleeana?

This is in the fungal kingdom, but is in the section of molds. Feels like hair, too. The longest strands are maybe 4 inches! It took me forever to remember what this is because I have only found it once or twice in my life.  Cool!!


Phycomyces species – “Pin mold.” It looks just like hair or fur and has tiny spore filled balls at the tips of the “hairs.”

Peter and Anne have lots of luck Nov. 11!

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peterannes111116From Peter’s email:

Anne and I went west of


Old Lactarius deliciosus. They turn totally green in age and if frozen and thawed.Santiam Junction today, and we saw many fruiting fungi. A beautiful day. We tramped in the woods for almost six hours.Santiam Junction today, and we saw many fruiting fungi. A beautiful day. We tramped in the woods for almost six hours.

Santiam Junction today, and we saw many fruiting fungi. A beautiful day. We tramped in the woods for almost six hours.

We brought home several beautiful bear’s head (hericium abietis), a dozen or so white chantrelles and several admirable boletes (b. mirabilis). What we brought home was in great shape, but we did leave a similar amount of specimens that were well past prime.
We sauteed the hericium for dinner with some shallots and served with shrimp and zucchini in a scampi style with rice. Most enjoyable. Tomorrow we will do something with the boletes and chanterelles.
We also saw some cool jellies: witch’s butter (tremella mesenterica), apricot jelly (phlogiotis helvelloides) and toothed jelly fungus (pseudohydnum gelatinosum).
Russulas, of course, were very prevalent, and a nice show presented themselves as what I call, “Welcome Mushrooms.” These are the ones that stand up and wave just when you get a few feet from the car and haven’t even adjusted your mushroom goggles. I think we were seeing r. emetica and r. rosacea.
We also saw this crazy green specimen with gills; also green. I included a picture, so if you know this one I would be interested to learn more.
Also included is a photo of tonight’s kitchen prep area flush with today’s treasures.



COMC meeting Nov. 9 update

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Dr. Carpenter shared his tips on using a key to identify mushrooms and then presented his own pocket book guide to mushrooms in the Oregon coast range near Mary’s Peak. The simple spiral-bound book is full of photos and descriptions of fungi that you could find hiking in the area and vicinity.  It makes me want to head to the spot and find these!  I don’t know how many he sold, but with nearly 40 attendees, his book table was busy at the end of the meeting. mushroomsofmaryspeak