Weekend of Mushroom Cooking, ID and foraging workshops with Willoughby Arevalo!! April 15 + 16

Mushroom Cooking for the Wild at Heart

Friday, April 15 at 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM

@ Quadra Village Community Centre, 901 Kings Road, Victoria

In this live cooking show and tasting dinner, mycologist and kitchen wizard Willoughby Arevalo will demonstrate appropriate pairings of local wild and cultivated mushrooms with seasonal ingredients, allowing each type of mushroom to shine in preparations honoring their unique qualities. Willoughby looks beyond classic and typical recipes for the most popular mushrooms, to lesser known delicacies, medicinal treats and unexpected preparations.

$45-75 sliding scale, includes 7 course meal
(one partial work trade available, please check in with us)

Space is limited, please register with Danielle @ diyfungivictoria@gmail.com or call 250-891-4927.

Learning to Identify Mushrooms

Saturday, April 16th from 10-11am

Quadra Village Community Centre, 901 Kings Rd.

This workshop intends to teach the core principles and skills of mushroom identification and ease the learning curve by clarifying broad concepts and offering tools to the beginner to intermediate mushroomer.

Topics include:
Understanding the Language of Mycology – Common and Scientific
Taxonomy: Macro to Micro, How Systems of Classification Change over Time
Mushroom Anatomy and Macroscopic Features – Discerning with all the Senses
Embodied Presence in the Mushroom Hunt
Recognizing Habitats and Reading Ecological Roles
Making and Reading Spore Prints
Using a Dichotomous Key
Stature Types, Major Groups and Species to Know
Seasonality and Geographical Occurance
The Mushroom Hunter’s Tools and Equipment
Ethical Harvesting Practices
Taking Field Notes
Resources for Further Study

Space is limited, please register with Danielle @ diyfungivictoria@gmail.com or call 250-891-4927.
Walking the Mycelial Web: An Ecologically Focused Mushroom Foray (with Willougby Arevalo)

Saturday, April 16th from noon-4pm

@ Francis King Regional Park

A participatory, field-based workshop geared towards all levels of experience, covering:
Core Skills for Mushroom Identification
Mushroom Names and Meanings
Fungal Ecology
Culinary and Medicinal Applications
Ethical Harvesting Practices
Traditional & Contemporary Uses
Cultivation and Mycoremediation Potential

Participants will come to understand the roles that fungi play in symbiosis, succession and regeneration, and how we can ally with fungi to increase resilience in our living systems and communities.

This amazing foray is led by mycologist Willougby Arevalo, a mycologist, gardener, kitchen wizard and educator originally from Arcata, California, now based in Vancouver, BC. In addition to lifelong self-study, he studied mycology at Humboldt State University and learned mushroom cultivation experientially, working as lab tech at Mycality Mushrooms, a medium-scale farm. He grows mushrooms at home and in the garden, subsistence forages, and prepares food and medicine from the harvests. He is a member of the Radical Mycology Collective, a group dedicated to sharing open-source, accessible information on the easiest and most effective means for working with fungi to increase personal, societal and ecological resilience. He teaches extensively, having presented workshops at many festivals, courses and events around North America.

$40-60 sliding scale. Space is limited, please register with Danielle @ diyfungivictoria@gmail.com or call 250-891-4927.
Join us before the foray for a Mushroom Identification workshop!

Skills for Low-tech Mushroom Cultivation Intensive


Saturday, April 9th from 10-5pm at Fernwood Community Centre, 1240 Gladstone Ave.

$85-100 sliding scale (1 work trade available)

Space is limited, please register by clicking here 🙂  

This course will introduce the art and science of mushroom cultivation by offering low-tech, low-sterility, home-scale methods for growing mushrooms for food, medicine and earth renewal. We will focus on less-sterile approaches to creating your own mushroom cultures (“spawn”), fruiting mushrooms for food and medicine, and working with fungi to build soil, boost your garden, and address contamination. Throughout this course, you will learn about setting up cultivation space at home, gathering materials and equipment, and gain experiential hands-on skills to make liquid cultures, petri cultures, grain spawn, sawdust kits, and more.

This course is intended for anyone interested in getting to know the fungal kingdom a bit better; folks who want to grow their own protein-rich food; build soil; and/or beginners to mushroom cultivation; and folks who have tried before without success. We’ll focus on Oyster, Shiitake, Lions Mane and King Stropharia mushrooms as easy mushrooms to start out growing, and overview broader options. If there is interest and time, we can cover some simple ways to grow mushroom medicine, digest household waste with fungi, and train fungi for remediation.

It’ll be an intense day, come prepared to learn! Each participant will take away their own mushroom cultures and a Mushroom Cultivation Manual to refer back to.

10-12:30pm: Approaches to Cultivation: Substrates, Equipment + Materials

This will introduce the cultivation lifecycle and detail approaches to cultivation (sterile and less-sterile), and then get hands-on in spawn production: we’ll prep the substrates (growing mediums) together- liquid culture, agar, bulk substrates- make a glove box, and go through a mushroom cultivation equipment and materials checklist.

12:30-1pm LUNCH + Medicinal mushroom teas and broths

1:15-3:30: Approaches to Cultivation: Spawn + Growing Mushrooms

This follows from the morning session with hands-on, supported inoculations of the substrates we prepped, and a discussion of next steps: incubating, fruiting (growing mushrooms for food and medicine), ‘training’ for remediation, and troubleshooting- what to do if it gets contaminated?

3:45-5pm: Applied Mycology: outdoor cultivation, mycoremediation, simple homescale food + medicine production through urban recycling

Hey look at this Mushroom Cultivation Intensive Poster !

Come see us at Seedy Saturday this Saturday!

Come on down and get mushroom spawn and resources at Victoria Seedy Saturday  this Sat, Feb 20th from 10-4pm at the Victoria Conference Centre.

I’ll be there with King Stropharia, Shiitake, Oyster varieties (Blue, Phoenix, Pearl), Elm Oyster, and Lions Mane  in different sizes and forms (grow kits, mushroom plugs, and spawn) ranging from $10-30. Plus- a mycoremediation zine, and a Low-Tech Mushroom Cultivation manual! lions mane pic

D.I.Y Fungi Intern Opportunity! Victoria, BC (FULL for spring 2016)

Want to learn more about the practice of low-tech mushroom cultivation, mycoremediation and urban recycling? This internship will give you hands-on experience in these areas. Depending on what you want to learn, your skill set, and what needs to get done, you’ll support spawn production and the research, development and maintenance of ongoing mycoremediation and bioremediation projects from soil remediation to specific contaminant breakdown.

What you’d really be doing: While the outcomes of this work are exciting and important, the actual work involves regularly cleaning buckets, building equipment from recycled materials, gathering from the city’s waste stream, flipping compost, chopping straw, making lids, and reading through scientific articles.

Is it your thing? If this all sounds like something you’d be happy to spend time doing with enthusiasm and humility, please be in touch! There are important tasks for folks of all abilities and backgrounds, and I’d like to encourage folks to apply whether or not you can dig, research, or have knowledge of mushroom cultivation.

Commitment: I’m looking for 1-4 folks who can commit to coming every 2 weeks to for a 4 hour work party, schedule to be figured out based on both of our schedules. It’d be great if you can commit for at least 1 month.

What you get: I commit to making sure that you learn about the processes of mushroom cultivation and remediation in a way that’s meaningful to you, and finding tasks that you don’t hate doing and support you in building skills you’d like to. Interns also get some mushroom spawn and access to my workshops.

If you’re interested: please send Danielle an email at diyfungivictoria@gmail.com with a little bit about why you’re interested and if there are any skills you can offer in particular (ie- patience, building, driving around picking things up, etc).
spawn til you die

Report back from ‘Ecologically-focused Mushroom Walk’ with Willoughby Arevalo: Mycena mushrooms glow in the dark, bleed, and support the matriarchy

Last Saturday 20 of us went on an ‘Ecologically-focused Mushroom Walk’ at Francis King park- an enchanting old-growth Douglas Fir forest just outside of Victoria. It was a foggy fall morning, and the recent cool rains had encouraged mushrooms to start to pop up through the leaf litter of the forest floor and on fallen trees.

Willoughby, our teacher, is a loving mycologist, gardener, kitchen wizard and educator originally from Arcata, California, now based in Vancouver, BC. He is a member of the Radical Mycology Collective, a group dedicated to sharing open-source, accessible information on the easiest and most effective means for working with fungi to increase personal, societal and ecological resilience.

I learned so much from this walk that I wanted to share some of it! I’ll share a bit about one mushroom at a time over the next few weeks. Today’s featured mushrooms are those in the Mycena family.

As soon as we stepped down the path, we found some tiny littMycena stipata mushroomle adorable ‘Mycena’ mushrooms growing on top of the wooden railing. These are the kind of mushrooms that help you remember magic, and believe in the all that can’t be seen. (Well, that’s how I feel about them).

Mycena is a large family of small decomposer mushrooms that eat litter (ie- fallen leaves). They are characterized by a white spore print, a small conical or bell-shaped cap, and a thin fragile stem. Most are gray or brown, but a few species have brighter colors.

We saw several species within the Mycena family on the walk, most memorably, the Bleeding Mycena (Mycena haemycena_haematopus_02_thumbmatopus) which bleeds red when bruised, and some of the bioluminescent Mycena species, known as “Fox Fire” or ‘fairy fire.’ These little mushrooms glow blue-green in the dark, and so does their mycelium in decaying wood. The glow comes from luciferase, an enzyme which emits light as it reacts. Apparently, these fungi emit enough light for you to read by, or to rub in your hair when going to a dance, and Wikipedia tells me it was used to illuminate the barometer and compass on the earliest submarine. Willougby told us that it was Mushroom-GlowsFoxfire that Hansel and Gretel left trails of to mark their way home through the forest, rather than breadcrumbs. That makes way more sense, as these mushrooms are common in the forest and would light up your way back. He also mentioned that Mycena comes from the ancient Greek matriarchal society. Lets learn more about that!

Check it out: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxfire#/media/File:PanellusStipticusAug12_2009_Animated.gif

Decomposer mushrooms (also called “Saprotrophic”) like Mycena species break down fallen leaves, trees, and other dead plant and organic matter for food, and this helps make nutrients available for other life to use for food and thus builds soil and contributes to a vibrant soil ecosystem. This website has pretty good info on the different types of decomposer fungi you may have in your life- in your compost pile, or growing on trees in your neighborhood! http://www.the-compost-gardener.com/decomposer.html

Fall Mushroom Workshops

This is an overview, more detailed write-up below. For more info and to register, message DIY Fungi Victoria or email: diyfungivictoria@gmail.com

 Mushroom Cooking for the Wild at Heart: King Bolete Rules with an Iron Skillet  w/ Willoughby Arevalo

Friday, October 9th from 7-9pm at Quadra Village Community Centre, 901 Kings Rd.
QVCC is a wheelchair accessible building

 An Ecologically-Focused Mushroom Walk w/ Willoughby Arevalo

Saturday, October 10, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.* location confirmed upon registration

 The Sex Life of Mushrooms – A Lecture-Performance by Willoughby Arevalo

 Saturday, October 10th, 9pm

 Fruiting Embodied w/ Willoughby Arevalo
Sunday, October 11th from 11-1pm *location to be confirmed upon registration.

Mycoremediation Theory + Practice 

Wednesday, October 28th 7-9:30pm@ Fernwood Community Center- 1240 Gladstone Ave.

 Mushroom Education Day: Mushroom Companions to the Garden and Farm AND

Digest Your Household Waste With Mushrooms

November 7th from 10-3pm @ Victoria Compost Education Centre, 1216 North Park

*Including 2 workshops + spawn for sale all day + updates on local mycoremediation projects. Register for workshops through: http://www.eventbrite.ca/e/mushroom-companions-to-the-garden-and-farm-tickets-18700448545

 Mushrooms & Gardening

Saturday, November 14th– FREE- @ UVic Campus Community Garden

Myco-Permaculture: Fungi in the Forest Garden

Sunday, November 15th with Hatchet & Seed

 VANCOUVER: Grow Your Own Mushrooms At Home

Saturday, November 21st from 9:30am-12pm @ UBC Farm

Register at https://lfs-ubcfarm-epayment.sites.olt.ubc.ca/upcoming-workshops/nov-14-grow-your-own-mushrooms-at-home-for-food-medicine-morning

 VANCOUVER: Mushroom Companions to the Garden, Farm and Orchard  

Saturday, November 21st from 1:30-4:30pm @ UBC Farm

Register at https://lfs-ubcfarm-epayment.sites.olt.ubc.ca/upcoming-workshops/nov-14-mushroom-companions-to-the-garden-orchard-and-farm-afternoon

Grow and Cook Your Own Mushrooms at Home

Sunday, December 6th from 12-3pm @ Fernwood Community Center- 1240 Gladstone Ave.


Cool Stuff You Can Do With Fungi: Make your own digester for household waste – Workshop This Thursday!

Thursday, May 21st from 7-9pm

@ Fernwood Community Centre (1240 Gladstone)

Oyster and King Stropharia mushrooms are great at breaking down our household and urban waste.This workshop will offer an overview of some of the cool stuff you can do with fungi where you live- from growing protein-rich food on recycled materials, to filtering your greywater, to breaking down your cigarettes, animal waste, oil and grease and so much more. Each participant will make their own ‘mushroom digester’ to take home.

$35-50 sliding scale (1 work trade available) Please RSVP and let me know which type of digester you will make: cigarette, animal waste, oil and grease, greywater or chicken coop. For more info and to register, contact: Danielle Stevenson at 250-891-4927 or diyfungivictoria@gmail.com

Pearl Oyster almost fully eaten a totally dirty grease rag from a bike shop. Most bike lubes are made from teflon, which is "polytetrafluoroethylene" - and essentially carbon-based. This Oyster mushroom is shown on Day 4- Today, less than one week later, it has completely consumed the cloth rag soaked in a teflon-based lube!

Pearl Oyster almost fully eaten a totally dirty grease rag from a bike shop. Most bike lubes are made from teflon, which is “polytetrafluoroethylene” – and essentially carbon-based. This Oyster mushroom is shown on Day 4- Today, less than one week later, it has completely consumed the cloth rag soaked in a teflon-based lube!

Mushroom Companions to the Garden & Farm- Sooke Workshop this Sunday

Sunday, April 26th from 1-3pm

This workshop highlights garden companion mushrooms – King Stropharia, Elm Oyster and Shaggy Mane – which can boost plant growth, control pests, and build healthy soil ecosystems. We’ll also walk you through how to make a mushroom bed, mushroom logs, pathways, and companion plant mushrooms within your veggie beds so that you can grow mushrooms in your backyard! Participants will get to try hands-on mushroom log inoculation and mushroom bed creation and have the option of buying mushroom ‘spawn’ and logs to take home.

Workshop Cost: $15elm oyster

Space is limited, please RSVP to Stephen Hindrichs

Mysterious Mycorhizal Fungi- FREE talk this Saturday, April 25th

myco fungi

Come out to the Victoria Compost Education Centre this Saturday, April 25th for their AGM from 1-3pm. At 2pm I’ll be doing a free talk about mysterious ‘Mycorhizal’ Fungi, the beneficial and symbiotic fungi growing in association with plant roots that increase plants’ access to nutrients, increase resistance to drought and disease, and create air and water pockets in the soil which reduce erosion, drought, and create pockets of life for a healthy soil ecosystem. Do you need to add them to your garden? If so, how? Come to this talk to find out!

Where: The straw bale building at the Compost Education Centre, 1216 North Park St in Fernwood.