2021 Monthly Meetings

Due to the COVID-19 crisis our meeting location at the Murphy-Oakley Recreation Center is closed until further notice for the health and safety of our community. In the meantime, we are bringing members our monthly meetings virtually. Members-only links to the meetings will be sent out. Please see Sporadic News for more information.

Monthly meetings at the Murphy-Oakley Recreation Center are open to the public and feature a guest speaker and identification of recent area finds.

When: The last Thursday of the month, March through October.
November business meeting, second to last Thursday of the month.
Time: 7:00 PM
Where: (March to November) The Murphy-Oakley Recreation Center located at 749 Fairview Road, Asheville, NC 28803.

2021 Meeting Schedule
Date Speaker - Topic - Bio
March 25

Suzie Berryhill
Topic: Introduction to Mushrooms

This beginners’ presentation will cover the basics of fungi including ecology, anatomy, taxonomy, and common fungi in WNC. Those more familiar with these topics are welcome to join and answer questions at the end of the presentation.

Bio: Suzie Berryhill is a high school science teacher who fell in love with mushrooms during a mycology field course at Highlands Biological Station taught by Andy Methven. She is still surprised when Andy knows her name! Suzie has a B.S. in molecular biology and biochemistry and an M.A.T. in secondary biology both from Western Carolina University. She taught college biology at Southwestern Community College for seven years. Her favorite classes to teach involve fungi.

April 29 Else Vellinga
Topic: Fascinating Spores

This presentation will focus on spores, their role in the life of a mushroom, and on correlations between spore characters and lifestyle, with an emphasis on all the things that we don’t know!

Bio: Else Vellinga is a mycologist who is interested in naming and classifying mushroom species in California and beyond, especially Parasol mushrooms. She has described 22 species of mushrooms as new for California and, most recently, works at the herbaria at UC Berkeley and SFSU for the Macrofungi and Microfungi Collections Digitization projects. She got her training at the national herbarium in the Netherlands and her PhD at the University of Leiden. Her main goal is to contribute to the conservation of mushroom species, and for that reason she has proposed several species for the IUCN global database of endangered species. She tries to keep current with the mushroom literature and is active in the FunDiS conservation working group. She is the 2019 recipient of the North American Mycological Association's Lincoff Award for Contributions to Amateur Mycology in recognition of her extraordinary contributions to the advancement of amateur mycology. Else is also an avid knitter and likes to use mushroom-dyed yarn for her creations.
May 27 Meredith Leigh
Topic: Preserving with Koji.

Author and fermenter Meredith Leigh will present on the role of fungi in food fermentation with a focus on the mold Aspergillus oryzae or koji. Koji is traditionally used in the preparation of foods such as miso, shōyu (soy sauce), and sake, but it is experiencing a renaissance worldwide in modern kitchens—allowing cooks to go beyond what was formerly thought possible in terms of flavor, food safety, and preservation. The talk will include a short demo of how to grow koji as well as some examples of using both the mold and its secondary ferments in a variety of ways.

Bio: Meredith Leigh is an author, fermenter and consultant. She ferments as a form of delicious resistance and offers in-person and online consulting across the food supply chain, from production to processing and cooking. She is the author of The Ethical Meat Handbook: Mindful Meat Eating for the Modern Omnivore and Pure Charcuterie: The Craft and Poetry of Curing Meat at Home. She is also the co-founder of The Fermentation School, an online learning and teaching community celebrating fermentation as a transformational force not only for food, but for the planet and people. She lives in Asheville, NC with her partner and four kids.
June 24 Luke Smithson
Topic: Polypores

Bio: Luke Smithson is president of the New Jersey Mycological Association.
July 29 Brian Lovett
Topic: Zombie Ants

Bio: TBA
August 26 Taylor Fairbrother
Topic: Magnificent Mycelium: A deeper look into the symbiotic relationship between Plants and Fungi.

Fungi and plants have been allies for millions of years! Learn about the fascinating relationship between these organisms, and how to harness this ancient symbiosis to enrich green landscapes at any scale. We will explore the use of mycorrhizal fungi, gardening with edible mushrooms, and how fungal sugars may benefit bees.

Taylor Fairbrother obtained his B.A. from the University of Minnesota-Duluth where he majored in Communications and minored in Environmental Science and Sustainability. He currently works at Fungi Perfecti, based out of Olympia Washington, as Assistant Retail Office Manager/Education & Outreach.
He loves animals and nature and hopes to pursue a future and career aimed at reinforcing compassionate, informed action to protect and enrich our environment, and promote ecological sustainability and symbiosis along with the ethical consideration of all living things.

September 30 Judy Jacob
Topic: Lichens-Biofilms-Marble

October 28 Mike Hopping
Topic: Mushroom Photography

Bio: Mike Hopping didn't develop an interest in mushrooms until a big morel score in 2011 whispered that the woods weren't done surprising him. That summer he joined the Asheville Mushroom Club, pestered Charlotte Caplan without mercy, and it was all downhill from there. For five years he worked on the foray committee, successfully evaded elected office, and began work on Mushrooms of the Carolinas with Alan and Arleen Bessette. It was published in 2018. That same year, at the instigation of Sheila Dunn, he and Charlotte launched the Asheville Mushroom Club ID Group to assist a new generation of mushroom identifiers in developing themselves.

November 18 Annual Business Meeting. Current members only, no speaker.

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