Friends School opens Mushroom Museum

Friends School opens Mushroom Museum

After a semester-long study of fungi, Kindergartners of the Friends School of Portland debuted a Mushroom Museum at their Cumberland Foreside campus.

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The gala opening on December 14 featured a ticket booth, exhibits on mushroom habitats, cultivation and mycophagy, and also included mushroom art, poetry, and even a gift shop.  Pairs of Kindergartners were on rotating shifts overseeing the various stations and answering questions.

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Kindergarten teacher Aja Stephan oversaw the effort, with assistance from other faculty and staff and the families of the students.

The was even a joke wall!

Q: Why do toadstools grow so close together?  A: They don’t need mush room!
Q: Why did the mushroom get invited to all the parties? A: Because he was a fun guy!
Q: What goes best with jacket potatoes?  A: Button Mushrooms!

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MMA  is very pleased to present a Commendation to these young mycologists for their outstanding work.

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Winter Speaker Series

Mike McNally

Simple Techniques for Growing Mushrooms at Home

January 20, Saturday, 11:00 am, Curtis Memorial Library (Morrell Reading Room), 23 Pleasant St, Brunswick

You probably know Mike from his articles about cultivation in previous issues of Mainely Mushrooms. Now it’s time for the visuals. Join Mike in Brunswick for a ‘show and tell’ session with equipment and a slide show. Mike tells me that the key word for what he wants to convey is “simple”. Anyone, he says, can grow mushrooms without spending a lot of money on equipment and commercial spawn. Mike has honed techniques for growing oyster mushrooms indoors on old coffee grounds and wood pellets and wine caps in his backyard. He’ll bring his collection of liquid cultures for several mushrooms species that can be used to inoculate prepped grain.

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.

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Seanna Annis

The Fungi of Peatlands

February 4, Sunday, 11:00 am, Belfast Free Library, 106 High St., Belfast

Please join us at the Belfast Free Library for a talk by University of Maine Mycology Professor Seanna Annis.  Seanna studies the genetic diversity, physiology and molecular biology of various fungal pathogens that attack low-bush blueberry.  Her field work takes her to where the Ericaceae grow (blueberry, huckleberry, cranberry)–heaths and peatlands.  She’ll explain the environmental conditions of a peatland, where fungi are found, and what they are doing there. After the lecture, you’ll still have time to get ready for that Super Bowl party.

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.

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Kevin Smith

Plant disease and wood decay as agents of geopolitical and philosophical change

February 18, Sunday, 11:30 am, Curtis Memorial Library (Morrell Reading Room), 23 Pleasant St, Brunswick

The common wood decay fungi we see as brackets, superficial crusts, and ramifying mycelium play an enormous role in the natural development of trees and forests. The common view of wood decay is in terms of lost value. This presentation will focus on a few examples of wood decay and other well-known fungi as responsible for pivotal events in cultural history, geopolitics, and the philosophy of science.

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.

 

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David Porter

Mycorrhizae

March 3, Saturday, 11:00 am, Belfast Free Library, 106 High St., Belfast

David is a retired academic, teaching occasionally at CoA and Eagle Hill and editor of your newsletter. He has long been interested in the cooperative interactions of fungi and other organisms. This illustrated presentation will focus on mycorrhizas, the well-known, but poorly understood, symbiotic association between soil fungi and terrestrial plants. What fungi are involved? Why does this complex and taxing association persist? How may we as gardeners, farmers, and foresters take advantage of this remarkable inter-kingdom cooperation?

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.

 

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POSTPONED

Liam Torrey

The Gott’s Collection (The Mushrooms of Great Gott and Little Gott Islands, Maine)

Liam, a graduating senior at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, took on a five-month long exploration of the fungi of the Gott Islands off the coast of Mount Desert Island last year. This ambitious project involved geotagging, identifying, and preserving specimens of the macrofungi of these two islands. When we checked in at the beginning of September, Liam had over 100 species photographed, identified, spore printed, and dried for the COA herbarium. We’re looking forward to learning more about her field season on the islands and what mushrooms she found.

Directions: Take Route 1 and 3 east to Ellsworth. Follow Route 3 south for 17.5 mi to College of the Atlantic before Bar Harbor. Turn left onto the campus at the first entrance. Several parking areas are available. Gates is in the central quadrangle across from the library and admissions building.