Webinar Gatherings to Explore Intersection of Fungi and Community

Join our network of Community Mushroom Educators for a series of events this summer where we will collectively explore and discuss elements of fungi and their past, present, and future impacts on a wide range of communities in society. As this growing industry develops, it is critical that we ensure that everyone has access to the knowledge, materials, and skills necessary to cultivate fungi for food, medicine, and other uses. 

Access to these events is free and open to anyone interested in engaging in these conversations in a respectful, supportive, constructive, and co-creative way. 

Register now to receive a link to attend.

Community Share and Discussion with Mario Ceballos from POC Fungi

Wednesday, June 16, at 6 p.m. ET  

How can we deepen our relationship to fungi? What can we do to hear the lessons fungi offer? What does reciprocity/relationship look like with fungi? 

These are a few of the questions Mario of POC Fungi Community will be asking and making space to reflect and open up to the possibility of seeing new perspectives on our relationship to fungi. This perspective can strengthen our affinity and symbiosis with fungi and all of nature.

Using examples in nature and fungi like Huitlacoche and Chaga, Mario will weave multiple narratives together to show that fungi have the ability to do more than just boost our immune system or be meat alternatives to the masses. Fungi are our ancestral relatives full of stories and lessons, longing to be connected.

Come ready for a conversation about fungal philosophy and open to sharing deeper, more meaningful relationships with fungi and mushrooms in our ecosystem. This deeper introspection can be applied by educators, artists, farmers, and community organizers to develop intentional practices when engaging with nature and your community.

POC Fungi Community is a resource and knowledge share that aims to increase access to medicinal fungi and representation for marginalized communities. Learn more about them by watching their 2021 virtual gathering videos and following them on Instagram. 

Discussion with Doug Bierend, Author of “In Search of Mycotopia”

Wednesday, August 18, at 6 p.m. ET

‘In Search of Mycotopia’ introduces us to an incredible, essential, and oft-overlooked kingdom of life — fungi  — and all the potential it holds for our future, through the work and research being done by an unforgettable community of mushroom-mad citizen scientists and microbe devotees. This entertaining and mind-expanding book will captivate readers who are curious about the hidden worlds and networks that make up our planet,” according to the publishers’ website.

During this event, Doug and some of the folks featured in the book will discuss the larger fungal community and its evolution in modern times. Through pictures and storytelling, the group will share the current state of the decentralized mushroom world in the US and discuss the following questions as well as those from participants:

  • What are the lessons learned from the wide range of ways people are engaged with fungi as growers, ecologists, community leaders, activists? 
  • How can the collective movement continue to strengthen and ensure that access to knowledge, strains, materials, and cultivation remains open and decentralized? 
  • What are the open niches in the community? Where do we need folks to step up and help?


Panel & Discussion: Increasing Access to Mushroom Cultivation & Use

Wednesday, September 22, at 6 p.m. ET

Specialty mushrooms offer many opportunities to provide communities with nutritious food and medicine, recycle local waste streams, provide a source of income, and address local environmental issues. While these opportunities exist, some individuals and communities have an easier time getting started and sustaining projects and enterprises than others. 

In order to provide access to mushroom growing for anyone who wants to engage with it, we must first identify barriers to entry and work to change systems and relationships. Join this dialogue, beginning with panelists sharing about barriers to access including cost and materials, knowledge and skills, and cultural relevance of fungi cultivation and use. Bring your experiences and ideas to the table and help us form a better understanding of what it will take to increase access for everyone.

Steve Gabriel

Steve is an Extension Specialist focused on specialty mushroom production and agroforestry. Throughout his career, Steve has taught thousands of people about the ways farming and forestry can be combined to both benefit the ecology and economies of small farms.  He is also a farmer, author, hiker, and musician.