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A familiar sight on trees in Maine. Submitted photo

Mushrooms. Submitted photo

FARMINGTON—Mushroom expert and author, Greg Marley, will do a one-hour presentation titled, “Maine’s Wild Mushrooms: Forest Ecology and the World of Mycelium,” on Wednesday, March 11 at 7 p.m. at UMF’s Robert’s Learning Center in Room C23. His talk will delve into the role of fungi in forest health and the complex interconnected web of life beneath our feet. Together we will celebrate great edible and medicinal mushrooms while also underscoring the cautionary tale of poisonous mushrooms. The talk, sponsored by Western Maine Audubon, is free and open to the public.

From mid-summer through the fall and the first hard freeze, Maine’s forests and fields are a kaleidoscope of mushrooms of every color and shape. We are drawn to their variety of forms and the mystery of edibility and toxicity. The woods are awash in foragers and those drawn to their simple beauty. Yet the mushrooms we see are just the tip of the mycological iceberg. With every step we take along a woodland path and into the deep duff of the forest floor, we tread upon miles of fungal hyphae, interwoven in a complex network we call “mycelium.”

Mycologist Greg Marley has been collecting, studying, eating, growing, and teaching mushrooms for more than 45 years. Marley shares his love affair with mushrooms through walks, talks, and classes held throughout New England. He is the founder of Mushrooms for Health, a small company providing medicinal mushroom education and products made with Maine medicinal mushrooms. Marley is also the author of Mushrooms for Health: Medicinal Secrets of Northeastern Fungi, (Downeast Books, 2009) and the award-winning Chantelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares: The Love, Lore, and Mystic of Mushrooms, (Chelsea Green, 2010). As a volunteer mushroom identification consultant for the Poison Control Centers of New England, he provides expertise in mushroom poisoning cases. He lives and mushrooms with his family along the coast of Maine.



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