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5 Part Intensive: Beautiful World of Mushrooms & Fungi For Food, Medicine, Survival and Cultivation

  • Washington Heights 159-34 Riverside Dr. New York City United States (map)

This 5 part mushroom intensive aims to explore and understand the way mushrooms and Fungi exist in their habitat, to use all your senses, to become part of that of that ecosystem and truly get to know these creatures, that can feed, transform, heal and even kill. Each class focuses and uses the information given from the previous one. We will meet once a month starting in May-September (except August). Those who are registering we ask that you commit to all 5 classes. If you wish to attend just 1 class please email herbancura@gmail.com

The Fruiting Body: Immersion into the World of Mushrooms & Fungi : (3 hours) Sunday May 26

Class I is the primer for the rest of the curriculum, we recommend attending this class in order to be up to date with the topics we will be moving towards in the other classes

Let us use all our senses to learn about the vast & diverse world of mushroom & fungi.  Examining their ancient story that connects humans and all life to them. Take a look at the roles mushrooms play within our lives, the forest, and in food systems. Learn basic concepts of mycology, the study of Fungi.  Enter into the "wood wide web" and find out how these organisms exist in nature & in return be nurtured by them, for food, medicine & ceremony. Together we will explore the many ways we can integrate Fungi into our systems.  One of the easiest ways is by eating them and using simple teas to gain their nutritional value.  In this class, we will demonstrate and taste easy ways to cook all kinds of mushrooms, Oyster, Shiitake, and Lions Mane. Samples of various teas will be available to taste too.  

Class II : Love + Power of Medicinal Mushrooms  with Simple Preparations (3.5 hours) Sunday June 30

Explore the deep history humans have with medicinal mushrooms & their power to heal. Identifying uses, and ways to prepare them.  We will demonstrate the vast options and diversity of properties within just a handful of selected varieties. This evening we will serve a flight of various teas to really get a feel of their energetics and flavor complexes.  Becoming familiar with our healing allies, Turkey Tail, Reishi, Chaga and others. We talk step by step, the methods of extraction for use and preference of compounds desired, and resources available. Together we will discuss sustainability and sourcing surrounding this growing field of natural healthcare. Everyone will be making their first part to an 8 oz. double-extracted Reishi tincture, to then take home to complete at a later date.

Class III +IV: Wild Mushroom Identification + Mushroom/Plant walk (July 13/14)

(2 DAY BACK TO BACK CLASS)

DAY1: Through the field (3 hours)

Highly recommend for first time wild mushroomers

In class discussion and lecture about wild mushrooms, their anatomy, ecology, patterns to look out for when in the field.  We share our ethics of foraging, do’s and dont’s, and how to properly harvest based on your needs. We will display the various wild mushrooms and Fungi that will be ‘in season’ to notice and point out when we do go to the woods the following day. Together you will gain the confidence to safely start identifying wild mushrooms.

DAY2: Urban Foray (ALL DAY, pack a lunch)

Class V: Basic cultivation for Urban Living (3 hours) September date TBD

Learn some basic methods for growing mushrooms in your garden or indoors. We will explain direct methods of cultivation & substrate formulation. Setting up labs, fruiting rooms and other small, DIY, grow spaces, indoors for year round production. Discussing the benefits and setbacks of indoor & outdoor production. We will visualize was it looks like to creating myco-communities by growing and sharing the uses of fungi and mushrooms to better create networks and consistent growth of health, sustenance & sovereignty. Everyone goes home with their own mushroom spawn starter to begin growing oyster & wine cap mushrooms.

This intensive will be facilitated by Olga from Smugtown Mushrooms

Olga Tzogas created & operates Smugtown Mushrooms in Rochester NY. Her journey with Fungi and plants started over ten years ago. Working with these allies by foraging in both urban & more wild settings, and developing skills to identify for food and medicine.  In 2011, Smugtown Mushrooms was established because there was a need for mushrooms & growing supplies, workshops, events & community based science in her area. While continuously learning more and embracing the never-ending, unlocked potential of mushrooms & fungi.  Olga teaches workshops about wild mushroom identification, medicinal mushrooms, biology, and mushroom cultivation.  She was a core organizer for the 2016 Radical Mycology Convergence and the MycoSymbiotics Festival  from 2015-17 and helped establish the first ever New Moon Mycology Summit in 2018.  Recently over the past few years, she has been offering intimate guided journeys through the more feral regions of her ancestral homeland of Greece, focusing on the mushrooms, plants, natural history and the culture that weave through the different bioregions.