Los Angeles

26th Annual Wild Mushroom Fair

The Los Angeles Mycological Society (LAMS) invites Slow Food members and friends to attend its 26th annual Wild Mushroom Fair:

When: Sunday, February 14, 2010 from 10:00am until 4:00pm
Where: Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, 301 North Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia
Cost: Admission to the Arboretum is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors (62 and older) and students with ID, and $3 for children ages 5-12. (Children younger than 5 years old are admitted free, as are Arboretum members.) All general events are free of charge; the lecture (details below) is $21 and advance reservations are required.

General events will include a cooking demonstration; mushroom growing demonstrations; wild mushroom displays; books, collectibles, and art; children’s activities; a film screening, and wild mushroom identification.

Additionally, this year’s special guest lecturer is author and mycologist Paul Stamets, who will speak at 2:00pm about “How Mushrooms Can Save the Planet.” Mr. Stamets will discuss the evolution of mushrooms in ecosystems and how fungi can help heal environments. Fungi are the grand molecular dis-assemblers in nature, decomposing plants and animals, creating soils. Forest dwelling mushroom mycelium can achieve the greatest mass of any living organism: This characteristic is a testimonial to the inherent biological power of the fungus. Fungi offer a unique opportunity to capatalize on mycelium’s diverse properties in a way that is beneficial to the interconnected web of human and environmental health.

Paul Stamets has been a dedicated mycologist for over thirty years and has written six books on mushroom cultivation, use and identification. During this time, he has discovered and coauthored four new species of mushrooms and pioneered an array of techniques in the field of edible and medicinal mushroom cultivation. He received the 1998 “Bioneers Award” from The Collective Heritage Institute, and the 1999 “Founder of a New Northwest Award” from the Pacific Rim Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils. In 2008, Paul received the National Geographic Adventure Magazine’s Green-Novator and the Argosy Foundation’s E-chievement Awards. He was also named one of Utne Reader‘s “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World” in their November–December 2008 issue.

Reservations are required to attend the lecture. Tickets ($21) may be purchased via the Los Angeles Mycological Society website.

For more information about the general events, to purchase tickets for Mr. Stamets’ lecture, or to learn about the Society, visit them online at www.lamushrooms.org.