The Asheville Mushroom Club is a diverse group of people whose common interest is to learn about fungi. Anyone with an interest in mushrooms is encouraged to join!

More About the Club

Monthly Meetings

Monthly meetings are open to the public and feature a guest speaker and recent area finds.

Time & Date

7:00 PM on the last Thursday of the month, March through November. (We have an extra meeting in August! April and July meetings will start at 7:15 PM.)

New Location for 2019!

The Murphy-Oakley Recreation Center.
It is located at 749 Fairview Road, Asheville, NC 28803.

Speaker Program

April 2019: William Padilla-Brown.
William Padilla-Brown will speak about Integrated Mushroom Systems.

2019 Schedule
Date Speaker
March 28 Greg Carter
April 25 William Padilla-Brown
May 30 Dr. Coleman McCleneghan
June 27 Tradd Cotter
July 25 Mike Hopping
August 22 Giuliana Furci
August 29 Rachel Swenie
September 26 Brian Looney
October 31 John Munafo
November 28 Annual Business Meeting. Current members only.


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Members of the Club are eligible to participate in the many forays we host throughout the year.


Each month members are emailed a copy of Sporadic News containing all the latest club info.


Calvatia gigantea

AKA: Giant Puffball.

Fall has arrived and with it new challenges for the mycophagist. There are so many leaves falling that searching in the woodlands and forest can be all but fruitless. I know the mushrooms are there, lobsters and chanterelles under the leaves, but finding them can be very tough. Now is when the truly knowledgeable, dedicated mycologist starts searching the woodland/meadow edges, grassy areas near the trees for the giant puffball. Look for “dinosaur eggs”, large, rounded, ball shaped fungi that range in size from baseball to larger that a basketball. Most guides list the giant puffball as fruiting from August until October, but I have found them as late as mid December.

There are several species of Calvatia. Most can only be differentiated at maturity, well past the delicious stage. No bother, all are edible if two rules are unerringly followed. First, cut the mushroom from top to bottom. There MUST be NO sign of any mushroom structure. Secondly, the entire interior MUST be pure white. Lincoff refers to the Calvatia group as being choice edibles and I suppose I agree. They at least have a much firmer, meatier texture than the marshmellowlike Lycoperdons.

Giant puffballs make a good meat substitute. I really like them in any recipe that calls for breading and frying. To prepare cut them into ½ inch thick “steaks”, bread and fry. The possibilities are almost endless, think: chicken fried puffball with sherry/cream gravy, puff ball scallopini, puffball parmesan (my favorite), sweet & sour puffball etc. etc…  I’ve never preserved puffball, but I believe any of the methods I’ve outlined earlier would work well. Contrary to popular belief they are NOT alien pods (remember invasion of the body snatchers?), they are “Good Eats” (flagrantly stolen from Alton Brown).

Enjoy nature’s bounty; the cold is soon upon us.

Steve Peek
Field mycologist and long standing member of the Asheville Mushroom 

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