Oregon Truffle Festival Jan. 28-29 sold out

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This may be a recession, but Oregon truffles are attracting those who are willing to pay for their wonderfulness.  Those who attended the Oregon Truffle Festival in Eugene on Jan.28-29 were delighted, even if they only attended the market.  The festival offered truffle hunting field trips, truffle growing seminar, truffle dog training, truffle cooking lessons with reknown chefs, truffles and wines, incredible meals, and more.  Put it on your calendar in December for 2011 because it sold out this year even with the festival packages costing $525-1050 per person.  The grand dinner was only $175 and the market most affordable with a $20 entrance fee.

Here are Bob C.s comments on his market experience:

I went to the truffle fest, but only the marketplace.  Everything else is too expensive.  There were lots of truffles for sale.  There were great samples of truffle butters, truffle desserts and fancy foods.  Premrose, famous for winning the 2010 chocolate fest in Ashland with their rasperry rose chocolate made a white truffle white chocolate truffle.  It was great!  I had lots of black trumpets so I brought some for friends from CMS who were there.  One of the truffle sellers gave me a few black truffles in exchange.  There were several local farmers, free range meat vendors and artisan cheesemakers there (all with really great samples!).  Best of show in cheeses for me was a truffle cheese.  Missionary chocolates was there with several flavors including their signature meyer lemon truffle.  2 coffee roasters were there and several other vendors, all with free samples.

Talks about mushrooms on TED.com

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Many of you have seen these before, but if you haven’t, take the time to view them.  They will inspire you to continue your mushroom education!



Great mushroom show!

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We attended the Mt. Pisgah mushroom show and were amazed at the variety of specimens this year, especially in the Bolete family.  Such a wonderful place to go for those of us hungry for mycological excitement. At least five highly skilled mushroom identifiers worked the identification tables and I stayed as close as possible, peering over their shoulders and listening.  David Arora was there again to sign books and play his spin-the-wheel-for-a- mushroom-story-and-win-a book  game. Quite entertaining. Though it poured the night before, Sunday was a delightful day without a drop.  Good music, good food and great mushrooms on display!  Thank you, Cascade Mycological Society.

A serious identification mistake: not a Matsutake, an Amanita!



Amanita smithiana (www.mushroomexpert.com)

I was called on my cell phone on Monday, Oct. 25, by a woman in Hood River, OR, who had mistaken what she now believes was an Amanita smithiana for a Matsutake mushroom. I have attached both pictures.  Please study them.  Remember that the intense rain has been altering the typical Amanita characterisitcs, not that smithiana is a typical Amanita in the first place.  It is not uncommon to find it where we hunt Matsutakes.

This isn’t the first time I have seen these two mushrooms confused,  but this is the worst result so far. The woman had given it to a friend who became very ill that evening, throwing up for a very long time.  The friend felt much better and would not go to the hopital despite urging from her gift-giver and the poison control center. Unfortunately she had eaten the whole mushroom with nothing left to identify.  The mushroom picker was frantic to get someone who knew mushrooms to talk with her friend about getting medical attention.  Somehow she got my number off the internet.  With more information from great mushroom websites on toxins  and continual supportive coaxing, the victim finally called back to say she was on the way to the hospital.  Two days later she is still in the hospital with serious kidney issues that may require dialysis soon.

A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.  It is so easy to get over-confident.  Please look carefully at each and every mushroom you plan to eat.  If something looks a little different and you choose to eat it anyway, at least save a little of the cap for identification purposes should they be necessary.   And most of all, don’t trust the mushrooms that someone else gives you unless you are totally knowledgeable of what you are eating. Those of you who are generous and picked too many, don’t feel insulted that your families or friends don’t eat your gifts.  You can teach them over time.  Just enjoy them yourself and prepare them for another day by freezing or drying. In the excitement of the hunt, you can get “pickin’ happy.”  But the responsibility for your life and health or worse, someone who you really care about’s health, can never be taken lightly.  The mushrooms will be back!   Take your time and  learn them well!



Does anyone have an idea what these are called? My friend Joanne found them and is just befuddled about their secret identity. I think they are wearing disguises so as not to be identified. I plan to interview her daughter Geneva, hoping she will remember the habitat where they were growing. – Linda

Shaggy Parasols fruiting in many yards in Central Oregon


In June of this year, I posted this picture from the internet because folks were finding shaggy parasols  in their yards.  I  have received several reports of them fruiting this second week of Sept. in yards of Central Oregon. Two fruiting so close together in the season!  It is hard to get used to the new name, Chlorohphyllum rachodes when I have known them as Lepiota or Marcrolepiota for decades.  Be sure your spore print is not green.

Early Chanterelles!

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Yes, it’s the late August and the chanterelles are making their button appearance. We found about a pound of buttons in our usual marshy spot on the Willamette Pass about 4,000 ft. If I were you, I would wait a week so that your buttons can become real grown up mushrooms. It’s so exciting! Let the fruiting begin!