The Cordova Times - Cordova Fungus Festival

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Posted 08/31/2012

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Fungus Festival Special Guest Profiles

Amy Gulick
Amy is an award-winning nature photographer and writer, whose work has been featured in Audubon, National Wildlife, Outdoor Photographer, and other publications. Her work in Alaska has received numerous honors including the prestigious Daniel Housberg Wilderness Image Award from the Alaska Conservation Foundation. Her new book, Salmon in the Trees: Life in Alaska's Tongass Rain Forest, won a 2011 Nautilus Book Award and a 2010 Independent Publisher Book Award.

Steve Trudell
Steve Trudell is affiliate professor in the College of Forest Resources and lecturer in the Biology Department at the University of Washington. He has been identifying and photographing mushrooms and studying their ecology for over 30 years. Steve belongs to the Mycological Society of America, North American Mycological Association, and International Mycorrhiza Society, writes for several mycological publications, and frequently serves as foray mycologist or invited lecturer for mycological societies and other nature groups. His research interests include the roles of fungi in forest nutrient cycling.

Else Vellinga
Else is a researcher in Tom Bruns' lab at UC-Berkeley, whose work focuses on the beautiful parasol mushrooms. The main questions she tries to answer are: which species do we have here in California, which ones grow in Hawaii, and in Thailand, how do we recognize them and how are they related to each other and to the other members of the family Agaricaceae. She has a keen interest in biodiversity, introduced & invasive species, and in conservation. Else has been co-teaching the popular class on mushrooms of California at Cal. She migrated from the Netherlands in December 1998 and is still an editor for the Dutch mushroom flora. Her working time is divided between the computer, the microscope and the lab bench. In her free time she is found most often with knitting needles and yarn in her hands.

David Bonom (Fungus Feast Chef)
David has cooked and managed events for corporate clients including Nike, J.P. Morgan, Alfred Dunhill, Southeby's and Radio City Music Hall. He has also developed and prepared customized recipes and menus for well-known clients in politics and business, movies and music: singers/songwriters Ashford and Simpson, actress/singer Bette Midler, ElieWeisel, the Tisch Family, artist Robert Rauschenberg and (then) First Lady Hillary Clinton.

Fungus fans have been scoping out their favorite mushrooming spots in anticipation of mushroom season, and the annual Cordova Fungus Festival. Returning experts Steve Trudell, Kate Mohatt, Tanya Zastrow and Ken Hodges will be joined by special guests Amy Gulick, Else Vellinga, and chef David Bonom.

The Cordova Fungus Festival was started in 2007 by folks at the U.S. Forest Service and was the first of is kind in Alaska. The idea caught on and today there are about 10 fungus themed festivals and events across the state.

Cordova's festival was established to help raise awareness of the integral role that fungi play in the forest ecosystem, replenishing soil and helping to break down complex matter such as wood into simpler, reusable compounds. Many trees will not grow without them. The late summer rains supply the moisture that mushrooms need, kicking off a season in Cordova that typically lasts a month and a half depending on rainfall and temperature patterns.

While some mushrooms are poisonous, others are delicious and nutritious. The USFS will be open during the festival with experts on hand to help to identify mushrooms and determine their best use, perhaps cooking or dyeing. The festival schedule also includes forays, a photography workshop and - of course - the Fungus Feast held this year at the Pioneer Igloo.


Wednesday, September 5

WHAT: Wine on Wednesday
WHEN: 5-7 p.m.
WHERE: Alaskan Bar
TICKETS: $
INFO: Wines of the week with mushroom pairings.

Friday, September 7

WHAT: Mushroom I.D. Tables
WHEN: All day
WHERE: USFS
TICKETS: Free
INFO: Mushroom experts Steve Trudell, Else Vellinga and Kate Mohatt will be on hand to help you identify mushrooms.

WHAT: Handcrafted Mushroom Art Exhibit
WHEN:12 noon - 5 p.m.
WHERE: The Netloft
TICKETS: Free
INFO: An exhibit of locally made mushroom art.

WHAT: Guest speaker program
WHEN: 7 p.m.
WHERE: USFS Courtroom
TICKETS: Free
INFO: Mushroom experts Kate Mohatt, Steve Trudell and Else Vellinga with special guest Amy Gulick, an award winning nature photographer and author of Salmon in the Trees, Life in the Alaska Tongass Rainforest.

Saturday, September 8

WHAT: Mushroom I.D. Tables
WHEN: All day
WHERE: USFS
TICKETS: Free
INFO: Mushroom experts Steve Trudell, Else Vellinga and Kate Mohatt will be on hand to help you identify mushrooms.

WHAT: Intro to Mushrooms Foray
WHEN: 9 a.m.
WHERE: Meet at USFS
TICKETS: Free
INFO: Steve Trudell, affiliate professor in the College of Forest Resources and lecturer in the Biology Department at the University of Washington, will lead an intro to mushrooms foray.

WHAT: "Collecting for Science" Foray
WHEN: 9 a.m.
WHERE: Meet at USFS
TICKETS: Free
INFO: Else Vellinga is a researcher focusing on mushrooms at UC-Berkeley. She migrated from the Netherlands in December 1998 and is still an editor for the Dutch mushroom flora.

WHAT: Edible Foray with Kate Mohatt
WHEN: 1 p.m.
WHERE: Meet at the USFS
TICKETS: Free
INFO: Kate Mohatt is a mycologist with the USFS working in the Chugach National Forest.

WHAT: Netloft Drop-in Felting Class
WHEN: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
WHERE: The Netloft
TICKETS: Free. Call the Netloft for details at 424-7337.
INFO: Create a felted mushroom terrarium.

WHAT: Fungus Feast
WHEN: 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Pioneer Igloo
TICKETS: $ Tickets on sale only at Orca Books
INFO: Guest chef David Bonom has cooked and managed events for corporate clients, celebrities, artists and residents of the White House. Join Chef Bonom at the Pioneer Igloo, for an evening of good food, silent auction and more. BYOB.

Sunday, September 9

WHAT: Mushroom I.D. Tables
WHEN: All day
WHERE: USFS
TICKETS: Free
INFO: Mushroom experts Steve Trudell, Else Vellinga and Kate Mohatt will be on hand to help you identify mushrooms.

WHAT: "From Snapshots to Wow!" Photography Workshop
WHEN: 9 a.m.
WHERE: Meet at the Netloft
TICKETS: $ Program fee and registration required. Call the Netloft at 424-7337
INFO: Amy is an award-winning nature photographer and writer, whose work has been featured in Audubon, National Wildlife, Outdoor Photographer, and other publications. Her work in Alaska has received numerous honors including the prestigious Daniel Housberg Wilderness Image Award from the Alaska Conservation Foundation. Her new book, Salmon in the Trees: Life in Alaska's Tongass Rain Forest, won a 2011 Nautilus Book Award and a 2010 Independent Publisher Book Award.

WHAT: Beginners Morning Foray
WHEN: 10:00 a.m.
WHERE: Meet at USFS
TICKETS: Free
INFO:USFS Cordova District biologist, Ken Hodges, will lead this beginners foray.

WHAT: Natures Colors Workshop
WHEN: 1 p.m.
WHERE: St. Joseph's Church
TICKETS: $ Program fee and registration required. Call the Netloft at 424-7337.
INFO: Local artist and mushroom dyeing expert, Tanya Zastrow, will lead this worksop on dyeing with forest fungi and lichen.


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