2021 Virtual Winter Talk Schedule

These Zoom presentations will be for MMA members. You will receive the zoom link prior to the presentation via MMA current membership list email notification.    

Sunday, January 17th at 6:30 pm 
Mushrooms in Maine: Good, Bad and Beautiful by David Porter 

In recent years mushroom fungi have garnered increased recognition of their universal presence and beneficial role in forest ecology. Many mushroom fungi are decomposers while numerous others cooperate with trees for mutual nutritional benefit and effect communication within the forest.  Interest in gathering wild foods has popularized not only foraging for edible mushrooms but also recognizing those that may be poisonous.  Natural history and edibility aside, mushrooms are organisms of remarkable beauty that are often under-appreciated.  We will share personal observations and scientific information in this illustrated talk to stimulate your curiosity and lower your gaze during your walk in the woods.  

David Porter, retired from the University of Georgia, moved to Brooklin 14 years ago. He enjoys sharing his fascination with the natural history of mushroom fungi and has led forays and given talks with MMA, Blue Hill Heritage Trust, and others, and offered classes at College of the Atlantic and Eagle Hill. David is editor of Mainely Mushrooms. 

Wednesday, February 10th at 6:00 pm 

Mushroom Preservation: How to Preserve, Store and Enjoy your Foraged Bounty for Year-round Use by Trent and Kristen Blizzard

When the rains come the mushrooms often come out in abundance. If you do not want all those fresh mushrooms to go to waste, what can you do with them? Learn tips & techniques to preserve your fresh mushrooms from Trent and Kristen. Once preserved, you can enjoy them in the coming year, or give them as gifts to friends and family.  

Trent and Kristen Blizzard are self-proclaimed “modern foragers” who reside in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. They employ a wide range of technologies that bring a modern twist to an ancient practice, such as utilizing digital mapping, social media, GPS, phone apps, and even satellite internet while on the road. And perhaps most importantly, these two mycophiles are assisted by two crazy doodles (Benzie and Lulu) on their forays. You will find their blog about their adventures at modernforager.com

They are the authors of the soon to be released, Wild Mushrooms: A Cookbook and Foraging Guide. The book includes a wealth of tips and tricks for harvesting each mushroom, along with general cooking techniques and preservation methods. They endeavor to explore not only a selection of delicious cuisine and new methods of cooking wild edibles, but also how to preserve and enjoy your harvests all year long. The book is as well, a celebration of people they have met over the years. 

Thursday, March 11th at 7 pm 

What DNA is Telling Us about Mummy Berry and Leaf Rust Fungi in Wild Blueberries by Seanna Annis 

Wild blueberries are an iconic and important economic crop in Maine.  There are a number of fungi, including those that cause mummy berry and leaf rust,  that can result in serious problems to the plant and the blueberry industry.  Molecular biology is a useful tool in modern mycology for studying various aspects of fungal biology that are difficult to determine using other methods. Using DNA to identify and fingerprint these fungi we have learned new insights into these fungi and information that can be used to develop improved ways to control these diseases.                                    

Seanna Annis is an Associate Professor of Mycology, Associate Extension Professor and Plant Pathology Specialist at the University of Maine. She holds a Ph.D. in plant pathology from University of Guelph and an M.S. from University of Toronto.  

Her research focuses on fungi that are pathogens of plants. Research projects in her lab span genetic diversity, physiology and molecular biology of various fungal pathogens and applied aspects of control of fungi that attack lowbush blueberry. A major focus of her research is mummy berry disease caused by Monilinia vaccinii-corymbosi and a disease identified in Maine for the first time in 2009, Valdensinia leaf spot, caused by Valdensinia heterodoxa. Current research interests include evaluating the genetic diversity of M. vaccinii-corymbosi in lowbush blueberry, determining the genetic relatedness of lowbush blueberry clones that differ in their levels of mummy berry disease severity, examining the mode of infection of M. vaccinii-corymbosi and V. heterodoxa, and determining the major methods of spread of Valdensinia leaf spot.  

Seanna also collaborates with other scientists on fungi involved in food and feed and identifies fungi for the public. She has numerous published articles in peer-reviewed journals.  

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