Fungus Fair in Oakland this weekend (Dec 1-2), featuring Paul Stamets

“A Celebration of Wild Mushrooms

* 1-2 December 2007
* Saturday: 10 am to 6 pm — Sunday: 12 pm to 5 pm
* Oakland Museum of California, 10th and Oak Streets, Oakland

“In the San Francisco Bay Area, when the first rains tease up the chanterelles and porcini, fungus lovers head to the “Fungus Fair: A Celebration of Wild Mushrooms” at the Oakland Museum of California. The Fair, hosted by the museum and the Mycological Society of San Francisco (MSSF), provides information on the uses and abuses of fungi, with displays and exhibits on ecology, toxicology, and cultivation. Arrays of identification tables display locally collected mushrooms. Campsite gourmands learn how to serve up the safe and scrumptious species through identification tutorials, cooking demonstrations, and sales of recipe books, soups, snacks, and fresh edibles. Watch renowned Bay Area chefs prepare dishes like matsutakes & roasted cauliflower in coriander cream or sautéed caramel candy cap pears and dentelles.

“The Oakland Museum of California, 10 & Oak Streets in Oakland, is one block from the Lake Merritt BART and a few blocks from Highway 880.

“Admission is $8 general, $5 seniors/students with ID, and free for members, kids five and under, and Oakland City employees. A special two-day pass is available for $12 at
www.museumca.org/tickets

“The weekend event is a rare chance to pore over displays of remarkable
native mushrooms and see how they can be used to dye paper and
clothing, treat cancer and HIV, and add flavor to many foods. Attend a
slide talk or use a microscope. Highly recommended for curious kids!
Mycologists will be on hand both days to answer questions and identify
unknown specimens for visitors.

“Mushroom munchers can learn to recognize and prepare edible fungi from
cookbook and food vendors and the Fair’s popular cooking
demonstrations. Local chefs will prepare dishes with fresh fungi in an
outdoor kitchen on Saturday and Sunday.

“During the Fair, the MSSF presents slide shows on mushroom hunting and
identification. Paul Stamets, an advocate of the medicinal properties
of mushrooms, will give talks on the role of mushrooms in ecological
restoration (Saturday, 4 p.m.) and the mind-altering psychotropic
species (Sunday, 3:30 p.m).

“Fungus-Filled Family Fun! Mushroom crafts and Fair tours for kids take
place on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 4
p.m.

“Fair vendors will have fresh wild mushrooms, cultivation kits, books,
clothing, posters, and other mushroom-centric items available all
weekend.

“The Mycological Society of San Francisco is an all-volunteer, nonprofit
organization dedicated to the promotion of educational and scientific
activities involving mushrooms. Founded in 1950, the MSSF is the
largest regional mushroom society in the U.S. The Society awards annual
scholarships, tracks local mycological species, and assists Bay Area
poison control centers. It also leads mushroom identification walks and
works to preserve cultural traditions of mushroom collecting. Visit
http://www.mssf.org for details.”

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About Jay Babcock

I am the co-founder and editor of Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curator of the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was one of five Angelenos listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. Today, I live a peaceful life in the rural wilderness of Joshua Tree, California, where I am a partner in JTHomesteader.com with Stephanie Smith.

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