Learn About Wild Mushrooms
When: The foray kicks off with an optional pizza and salad social followed by a presentation by Walt Sturgeon Friday July 22th and there will be an action packed day beginning at 8am on Saturday, July 23th 2015, RAIN or SHINE!
Where: The foray headquarters will be the Assembly of God Fellowship Hall (not the church) in Dry Fork, WV, which is on the east side of Route 32, about 4 miles south of Canaan Valley. This is the same location we have used for the past 4 years. GPS Coordinates: 38.975843, -79.493621.
Foray Fees: The early registration foray fee is $50 per person, which does not include lodging or meals. If you volunteer to help us out, you will receive our undying thanks and an additional discount of $10, so the foray fee for volunteers is $40. The deadline for early registration and volunteer registration is June 30th. After June 30th, the foray fee is $60 per person.
Pre-Foray Workshop Friday: We are still in the planning stages, but may have an optional workshop Friday afternoon. There will be a separate fee for the workshop to cover our overhead. We will send out an email announcement if a workshop is going to be offered.
Friday evening Optional Pizza & Salad Social: Our action-packed weekend starts off Friday evening, when we will have an optional pizza and salad social from 5:30pm until 6:30pm. The suggested donation for the pizza & salad social is $10 and anybody who has attended before can tell you what a bargain that is. Vegetarian, vegan, dairy free and gluten free options will be available. If our organizers are able to gather wild mushrooms before the foray, we will saute some for you to use as pizza toppings. There will probably be something sickeningly sweet for dessert, but we invite you to bring along a dessert or snack to share. For safety reasons we cannot accept any mushroom dishes. A quick word about food: We are not in the food business. The optional pizza social on Friday and the optional lunch on Saturday are provided strictly as a convenience for our attendees who are visiting from out of town, camping, or staying at a hotel without access to refrigeration. The suggested donation amount is simply to cover our overhead, not to wring more money out of you, and participation is optional, but welcomed.
Friday evening presentation by Walt Sturgeon: Following the pizza social, Walt Sturgeon will present a program about non-gilled macrofungi. These fungi are fascinating on many levels. Some (e.g. chicken of the woods, hen of the woods, hedgehogs) are choice edibles that are easy to identify. And, if you do your homework and clearly identify the mushroom and the host tree, there are no deadly poisonous look-alikes. Some are large or plentiful enough to feed a family, and most of them preserve and reconstitute really well. Others, such as the tinder polypore, may be used to make paper or to make felt hats, and still others (dyer's polypore) are used to dye wool or fabric. There's a non-gilled mushroom out there for everybody! Walt is a recognized expert on regional mushroom identification and photography, so his presentation promises to be both informative and beautiful. The presentation is included in your foray fee - you do not have to attend the pizza social to attend. Walt is the author of Mushrooms of the Northeast, which will be available for purchase at the foray.
Saturday Morning Foray Walks: To start things off Saturday morning, Gary Lincoff will provide us with some basic instructions on how to collect wild mushrooms and then we will head out into the woods on guided walks from about 9am until around noon. Our walks range from short and simple to a little longer and more arduous. Chip Chase and Charlie Aller lead the more adventurous walks and, if you feel up to it, you’re sure to find some interesting fungi and see some of the area’s most beautiful scenery. As usual, we’ll be offering a combination birder and mushroom walk, led by Diane Holsinger, Martha Hopper and Laura Ceperley. Chick a dee dee dee dee dee.
Saturday Lunch Noon till 1:00pm: Please remember to bring your lunch. For those who are coming from out of town, camping, or staying at a hotel, we will have freshly made lunch items for a donation of $6 and vegetarian, vegan and gluten free items will be available.
Saturday AfternoonEducational Presentations: After lunch, we will welcome internationally recognized mushroom expert Gary Lincoff, author of the Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms, The Complete Mushroom Hunter, The Joy of Foraging, and too many other books and field guides to list. Gary is going to talk about unusual (or unfamiliar) choice edible mushrooms, where to find them, and how to prepare them so you'll want seconds! There will also be a presentation by Todd Elliott, mushroom enthusiast and fiddler from North Carolina, whose topic will be Adventures in our Fungal Ecosystem. Come join Todd Elliott for a globe trotting adventure, looking at the wild and wacky fungal world. Todd will use his award winning nature photographs to illustrate a talk covering a wide range of topics that are all interconnected by the fungal world - and you won't even need your passport. Max Dubansky will be doing a program about mushroom cultivation, either during lunch or later that afternoon.
Wild Mushroom Tasting: After our speakers finish their presentations, we will serve some delicious wild mushroom dishes using organic, locally sourced ingredients from Max and Katharine Dubansky’s family farm. http://www.backbonefarm.com/aboutfarm.html
Review of Mushrooms and Fungi Collected: After the tasting, John Plischke, III, author of Good Mushroom, Bad Mushroom and Walt Sturgeon, author of Mushrooms of the Northeast, will walk around the collection tables for a show and tell about the fungi collected that day. They will also offer tips on how to distinguish edible mushrooms from their inedible, dangerous, or poisonous look-alikes.
Cleanup: After the review of table specimens, we all join together to clean up the foray location before heading home. This is your chance to grab some mushrooms to take home and study.
Sales Table, T-shirts, Books, and other irresistible items: Don't forget your credit card! We do our best to stock our sales tables with items of interest to mushroom lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. There will be something for everybody, including mushroom identification books written by Gary Lincoff, Walt Sturgeon, and John Plischke, all of whom will be happy to sign your book.
Lodging and meals are not included in the foray fee. Please book a room today, since nearby hotels fill up quickly. Most hotels and all nearby camping sites were sold out during our foray weekend last year. The foray location is about 10 miles south of Canaan Valley and 20 miles south of Blackwater Falls, both of which have hotels, cabins, camping, and restaurants. Elkins is about an hour west of the foray site, via curvy mountain roads, but there are plenty of hotels and motels there as well.
Windwood Fly Inn: Restaurant on premises. Located about 14 miles north of the foray site, near a small airport, off Cortland Road in Canaan Valley. They are off the beaten path, so please make sure you copy the GPS coordinates from their web page or get directions from them when you call to make reservations, especially if you plan to arrive at night. (304) 866-7456 or visit: http://www.windwoodresort.com/
Blackwater Falls State Park: Restaurant, heated pool, hotel rooms, camping, and cabins. Cabin minimum stay 3 nights. If you’ve never been to WV or to the foray area, it’s worth a trip there to see the falls. The park is located about 20 miles north of foray location. (304) 259-5216 or visit: http://www.blackwaterfalls.com/accomodations.htm
Canaan Valley Resort: Restaurant, pool, hiking trails. They have 160 hotel rooms, 23 cabins & camping. The resort is located around 10 miles north of the foray location. (800) 622-4121 or (304) 866-4121 or visit http://canaanresort.com/13/accomodations/
Black Bear Resort: This is a favorite for those who will be coming with family or friends who want to stay behind at the resort rather than going to the foray. Seriously. Some people just don't care about fungi. Rates start at just over $100 for a room at the Inn and, for a little more, they have private cabins and private home rentals. They have no restaurant and they are off the beaten path, but they have a heated outdoor pool, golf, tennis and lots of other things for the family to do while you are at the foray, so you can have a fungi filled, guilt-free day. Visit: http://blackbearwv.com/services/. The resort is located about 14 miles from the foray location. (304) 866-4391 http://blackbearwv.com/
Canaan Village Inn: The Inn is located within walking distance of a restaurant. It is a family owned business with reasonable room rates, about 12 miles from the foray location. (304) 866-4166 or visit: http://www.canaanvillage.com/
Don't forget to bring outdoor shoes, long pants and long sleeves, water, snacks, camera, insect repellent, sunscreen, dollar store poncho, sweater, sunglasses, hat, binoculars, and a basket for the mushrooms you collect. Tick and mosquito season will be in full force!
We love it when attendees bring mushrooms from home. It’s our chance to see what’s fruiting in other parts of our region and sometimes an opportunity to see mushrooms that rarely or never fruit near the foray location. We will have a special table set up just for the mushrooms or fungi you bring with you. Please place the mushrooms on a paper plate, write down where they came from, and include your name in case we have a question. If you want the mushrooms back, please write "Save for Your Name" on the plate.
Please click on the flashing link at the top of the page to download a typewriter enabled PDF registration form, which you can complete on your computer and email back to us. You can pay the foray fee using the Paypal links below or mail a check to us.
We are limiting registrations this year, so please reserve your spot before it's too late!
In order to receive the early registration and volunteer discounts,
your payment must be received by
June 30, 2016.