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 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 Wednesday of the month.
Time: 7:00 PM
Where: (March to September and November) The Murphy-Oakley Recreation Center located at 749 Fairview Road, Asheville, NC 28803.
(October only) USDA Forest Service located at 160 Zillicoa Street, Asheville, NC 28801.
|2020 Meeting Schedule|
|Date||Speaker - Topic - Bio
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.
|April 30||Jeanine Davis
Topic: We Really Can Grow Black Perigord Truffles in the Southeast!
In this fun and colorful presentation, she will take you through the past two decades of successes and failures of trying to produce the Black Perigord truffle in the Southeastern US. It’s a great story of how growers, scientists and truffle enthusiasts have worked together and -- with little money but lots of passion -- are now experiencing success in many orchards.
Bio: Dr. Jeanine Davis is an associate professor and extension specialist in the Department of Horticultural Science at NC State University. She is located at a research and extension center in western NC near Asheville. For over 30 years, she has researched new crops, vegetables and organic agriculture, and shared her knowledge on these topics with farmers and home gardeners across the country. Her current efforts are focused on woodland botanicals, hops, truffles, organic vegetables and hemp. She is the lead author of the book “Growing and Marketing Ginseng, Goldenseal and Other Woodland Medicinals”. Jeanine and her family operate Our Tiny Farm where they raise and board mini-donkeys.
|May 28||Leif Olson
Topic: Fungi in Environmental Remediation and Restoration
The ability of fungi to break down complex pollutants and tackle various environmental challenges has been known for decades, but the use of fungi for environmental cleanup and land management has limited prevalence for several reasons. In recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in the use of fungi for improving land health and a growing popularity of “mycoremediation”. This talk will provide an overview of the roles fungi play in the environment and how this relates to their potential for improving environmental health including building soil, filtering water, breaking down toxins, controlling pest outbreaks and enhancing nutrient cycling. Simple techniques for incorporating fungi into the landscapes will be discussed, as well as logistical considerations for designing and implementing mycoremediation projects.
Bio: Leif Olson is an environmental scientist and educator with a background spanning commercial mushroom production, field ecology, wetland science, phytoremediation and residential landscaping. He currently consults on fungi-based land management projects and research with municipalities, academia and private companies and teaches around the country about applied mycology and bioremediation. He holds a Master’s degree in Ecotoxicology from Duke University and Bachelor of Science in Ecology from University of California at Santa Cruz and currently operates Integrated Land Enhancement, a research, education and consulting business based in western North Carolina.
|June 25||Ed Kostansek
Topic: A 50-Year Mushroom Journey
This talk comprises three sections coinciding with research he was involved in during his professional career. The first is how the exact three-dimensional chemical structure of β-Amanitin toxin from Amanita phalloides was determined using x-ray crystallography and a lot of computing power, which was research done at Harvard University and Harvard Medical School. The second topic covers the challenges of designing fungicides and the dangers of monoculture. There will be a discussion of how we saved the worldwide banana crop from the fungal disease known as Black Sigatoka, a leaf spot disease caused by the Ascomycete fungus Mycosphaerella fijiensis. The third topic concerns the effect of the simplest plant hormone, ethylene, on the growth and aging of food produce including especially perishable items such as fruit, berries, leafy vegetables, mushrooms and cut flowers. Ed was involved in developing a new technology hormone mimic (1-methylcyclopropene) that can help maintain the fresh-picked quality of produce and flowers. Successes and failures will be discussed, with emphasis on mushrooms and how they differ from plants.
In between the above technical topics will be discussions of interesting mushroom-related items and stories covering a wide range of material, including: mushroom art, morels (of course), dining at some of the best mushroom restaurants and studies of magic mushrooms and other psychoactive botanicals with the late eminent Harvard ethnobotanist Professor R.E. Schultes.
Bio: Dr. Ed Kostansek is a scientist and inventor with over 30 patents and publications, who has worked in over 20 countries. He studied under Nobel Laureate Professor W.N. Lipscomb at Harvard University where he received his chemistry and chemical biology doctorate, part of which was the determination of the chemical structure of a toxin in the Amanita phalloides mushroom. He has worked in many fields of technology including fungicide/biocide design, plant-growth regulators, food and produce preservation, plastics and coatings (paints) during his corporate career. He invented the world’s largest-selling protectant fungicide formulation. Ed is an expert in nanoparticle technology and formulation science and currently has a small technology consulting business, Alkymst, LLC. Mushrooms have always been an important part of his and his textile-artist wife Rosemary’s lives.
|July 30||Rick Van de Poll
Topic: Edible & Medicinal Qualities of Fungi
Fungi have been used for tens of thousands of years for food and medicine. Yet every day we learn more and more about their nutritional and medicinal value as more and more people study, eat, and run trials on various fungi. With over 4 million species estimated on the planet, there are as yet undiscovered benefits of using fungi for food or medicine. Beyond the well-known oysters, boletes, and chanterelles there are hundreds of good to excellent tasty treats in the mushroom world. Equally and perhaps more importantly, beyond penicillin, shiitake and chaga there are dozens of valuable fungi that provide critical immune support, cancer-fighting capabilities, and circulatory relief. Join us for an informative hour of a slide-based webinar that looks more deeply at the attributes of a much-maligned group of organisms.
Bio: Dr. Rick Van de Poll is the principal of Ecosystem Management Consultants (EMC) of Sandwich, New Hampshire. He has taught mycology at the undergraduate and graduate levels for over 35 years. He has been on the Northeast Mycological Federation (NEMF) Faculty list since 1996 when he co-chaired the joint NAMA-NEMF Foray at Mt. Ascutney. He is currently the President of NEMF and the Sandwich Area Mushroom Club in New Hampshire.
|August 27||Speaker to be Announced
Topic: To be Announced
|September 24||Speaker to be Announced
Topic: To be Announced
|October 29||Speaker to be Announced
Topic: To be Announced
|November 18||Annual Business Meeting. Current members only, no speaker.|