Calendar

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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2019 Summer-Fall Foray Schedule

Apologies for the late start posting the foray schedule…..

Please note:  Forays are for MMA members.  You are welcome to check one out if you’ve never been.  You can become a member at a foray.  It’s just $10.

Please refer to your latest member newsletter for driving directions.

August 10, Saturday, 9 am. Butler Head Preserve, Butler Head Road, Bath.
Host: Cheryl St. Pierre 725-4875 or 607-9226
This 133 acre preserve along Merrymeeting Bay is heavily wooded with pine, hemlock, birch, oak and beech of varying ages. It has some steep and marsh areas and good trails.

August 25, Sunday, 10 am. Trails at Reeds Brook Middle School, Hampden.
Host: Mary Yurlina 404-6430
There are several miles of trails that pass through wet lowlands along Reeds Brook, as well as uplands, traversing a variety of habitats including meadow, young woodlands and mature forest. Go to htts://google.com/reedsbrooktrails/trails-map for a map. The trail is adjacent to the west side of Reeds Brook Middle School. We will meet at the information sign near the trail which is in sight of and down slope from the access road to the school. After the foray, you can head over to Bangor for an afternoon of wonderful music and food at the American Folk Festival.

September 7, Saturday, 9:00, Rines Forest, 352-362 Range Road, Cumberland.
Host: Jeanne Farrell 860-307-0796.
Rines Forest is a 216 acre woodland comprised of hemlock, pine, oak, birch, maple and poplar. There are miles of moderate trails along streams and waterfalls with some wetlands and steep slopes. Parking is limited along Range Rd., more parking along Idlewood Dr.

September 22, Sunday, 9:30 am. Parker Pond, 30 Grant’s Point Road, Mount Vernon.
Host: Leonid Tsvetkov 585-330-4312
We will be at a camp on Parker Pond and will be foraying on Kennebec Land Trust property. Its forest consists of hemlock, pine, ash, and a few varieties of birches. There are boggy areas with cedar and birch. Leonid will have microscopes set up and available for use. Also kayaks!

October 5, Saturday, 10 am. Demeritt Forest, College Ave., Old Town/Orono.
Host: Seanna Annis 725-8412, sannis@maine.edu
This is an easy walking trail in a mixed forest with mostly hardwoods. Some streams run across the path providing wet areas.

October 19, Saturday, 10:00am, Greener Days Farm, 286 Miller Road, Waldoboro.
Hosts: Laura and Craig Martel, 449-7214.
A working farm with pigs and electric fence. Mixed forest with lots of new growth and some clearings. There are a lot of mid-age oaks, large birches, and large pines left as seed trees and an area along the brook that has not been cut. There is glacial till and ledge. Several seasonal streams and seeps and wetlands. If there has been any rain, mud boots are recommended. There is a mile long figure eight trail and lots of log roads.

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Thank you to all of our presenters!  It was a great series.

2019 Winter Talk Schedule

JANUARY

Alicyn Smart

Garden of Host Plants — Fungal Pathogens in Your Backyard

January 19, Saturday, 11:00 am, Belfast Free Library, 106 High St., Belfast

Come learn about the hosts and life histories of some dodgier members of the fungal kingdom with Alicyn Smart.  Alicyn is an Assistant Extension Professor & Extension Plant Pathologist at University of Maine, Orono.  She identifies diseases present on plants submitted to the diagnostic lab at the University and many of these diseases are caused by fungal pathogens.  A lot of MMA members are gardeners, so this will be a good crossover presentation.  Alicyn will introduce us to some fungal actors in the garden and orchard and offer management recommendations.

Directions: Follow Route 3 to Belfast. From the Route 1 intersection take Main Street for 0.7 miles.  Bear slightly left to stay on Main Street.  In less than 0.1 mile take the first right onto High Street.  The Belfast Free Library is on the right in less than 0.1 mile just past Spring Street and diagonally across from the Belfast Co-op.  Parking is on street.

FEBRUARY

Seanna Annis

Spores!

February 2, Saturday, 11:00 am, Belfast Free Library, 106 High St., Belfast

Come take a tour through the realm of spores from formation to dispersal…how do they become what they are? how they get to where they need to be?  Seanna is an Associate Professor of Mycology and Extension Professor with the University of Maine-Orono.  Her research examines the genetic diversity, physiology, and molecular biology of various fungal pathogens and applied aspects of control of fungi that attack lowbush blueberry.  

Directions: Follow Route 3 to Belfast. From the Route 1 intersection take Main Street for 0.7 miles.  Bear slightly left to stay on Main Street.  In less than 0.1 mile take the first right onto High Street.  The Belfast Free Library is on the right in less than 0.1 mile just past Spring Street and diagonally across from the Belfast Co-op.  Parking is on street.

Denise Bluhm

The Mushrooms I Have Eaten

February 17, Sunday, 11:00 am, Curtis Memorial Library (Morrell Reading Room), 23 Pleasant St., Brunswick

Denise is a physical therapist, geologist, Maine Master Naturalist, and amateur mushroom forager.  She’s been foraging for wild, edible mushrooms since 2011 and every year this obsession grows. In her presentation, Denise will highlight the common, edible Maine mushrooms that she has found and enjoyed over the years, including information on identification, flavor, and cooking techniques.

Directions: From I-295, take exit 28 (Brunswick, Route 1/Coastal Route). Continue east on Route 1 (Pleasant Street). At the third light continue straight where Route 1 bears left. Pleasant Street is now one-way. Curtis Library is 2.5 blocks down Pleasant Street on the right across from the Post Office. There is on street parking and additional parking behind the library. Please use the side entrance to the Morrell Meeting Room.

MARCH

Kevin Smith

Wood Decay Fungi Link The Living Tree To Living Soil

March 2, Saturday, 11:00 am, Curtis Memorial Library (Morrell Reading Room), 23 Pleasant St., Brunswick

The bane of many a homeowner, wood decay fungi are an integral part of forested ecosystems.  In this year’s presentation for MMA, Kevin is going to delve into this topic, which happens to be his professional passion.  Kevin is a plant physiologist and forest researcher with the U.S. Forest Service in Durham, NH. His research specialties include studying decay fungi and the responses of trees to storm related injuries.  

Directions: From I-295, take exit 28 (Brunswick, Route 1/Coastal Route). Continue east on Route 1 (Pleasant Street). At the third light continue straight where Route 1 bears left. Pleasant Street is now one-way. Curtis Library is 2.5 blocks down Pleasant Street on the right across from the Post Office. There is on street parking and additional parking behind the library. Please use the side entrance to the Morrell Meeting Room.

Aaron Bergdahl

Diagnosing Disorders In Trees – An Introduction To Forest Pathology

March 9, Saturday, 10:30 am, Lithgow Public Library, 45 Winthrop Street, Augusta

Trees get sick, too. Viruses, bacteria, and fungi cause a wide range of symptoms that impact the appearance and productivity of trees, which in sever cases causes decline and death. Aaron will introduce us to this topic with an emphasis on fungal pathogens. Aaron Bergdahl is a Forest Pathologist for the Maine Forest Service where he provides technical assistance on tree health issues statewide.  

Directions.  The library is on the corner of State Street (Routes 8, 11, and 27) and Winthrop Street, just a couple of blocks up the hill from from downtown Augusta along the Kennebec River waterfront, and diagonally across from the Kennebec County Courthouse.  From I-95 take exit 109-A onto Western Avenue (Route 202). Continue East on Western Avenue, towards downtown and the airport. Follow the signs to the airport, taking a left onto Airport Road. Continue past the airport and Camp Keyes down the hill to Pleasant Street, just before the library. Parking is in the lot behind the library on Pleasant Street.

David Porter

Mushroom Microscopy

March 17, Sunday, 11:00 am, Belfast Free Library, 106 High St., Belfast

When we use a 10x hand lens in the field, we are able to see details of the surfaces of mushrooms that might not otherwise be clear to our unaided eyes – surface scales and hairs, spore producing tissue, etc.  But in the laboratory, with a compound microscope and an increased resolution of 1000 times that of the unaided eye, the intricate magnified world is truly astonishing.  The details of mushroom spores and their exotic surface ornamentations, the remarkable development of filamentous mushroom tissue which creates the structure of stalk, cap and gills, the intricate cystidial structures that can be important in species determinations (but of unknown function), as well as many other hidden anatomical features expand our appreciation of the beauty of mushrooms and their place in the natural world.

Directions: Follow Route 3 to Belfast. From the Route 1 intersection take Main Street for 0.7 miles.  Bear slightly left to stay on Main Street.  In less than 0.1 mile take the first right onto High Street.  The Belfast Free Library is on the right in less than 0.1 mile just past Spring Street and diagonally across from the Belfast Co-op.  Parking is on street.

Greg Marley

Regional Mushroom Poisoning Update with a Few Unexpected Sickenings and Puzzles

March 31, Sunday 2 pm, Camden Public Library, 55 Main Street, Camden

Greg Marley has been consulting as a volunteer with Poison Centers across New England for the past 15 years.  Combined with his decided interest in eating a delicious range of mushrooms, he brings an unique perspective to balance the excitement of edible mushrooms with the concern over risk of poisoning. Greg will review the increasing numbers of toxic mushroom exposures seen across the region as more people engage in foraging for edible mushrooms and mistakes are made.  He will also focus on 2 significant cases and the questions they raise. 

Directions to the Camden Library: Take Rte. 1 into Camden from the North or South. The library is across from the intersection of Rte. 1 and Rte. 52 on the North edge of the village.