New for Fall of 2019…
WAM! presents Smoky Mountain Mushroom Festival.
Join us for a three day celebration of all things fungal!
Camp with friends…
Forage and identify…
Inoculate your own shiitake log..
And get hands on with a DNA lab!
There’s something for everyone of all ages and all levels of expertise at SMMF19! Whether you’re taking a dip in the pristine waters of the Nantahala River while camping or sequencing DNA, you’re guaranteed to have a good time!
Friday we will set up tents and settle in for a lecture from Alan Rockefeller about his research on Psilocybe of North America.
Saturday starts early and will feature multiple presentations on all things fungal, an identification table, mushroom lunch, and a DIY shiitake log workshop.
Sunday we go to the lab where we will extract and sequence DNA, and learn about fungal taxonomy and phlyogeny.
Friday, October 4, 2019
2 PM — Check in and set up campsites
6 PM — Psilocybe Lecture
Saturday, October 5, 2019
9 AM — Foray Registration Opens
10 AM — Ethnomycology
10 AM — Shiitake Log Innoculation
11:30 AM — Low Tek Cultivation
1 PM — Mycoremediation and Fungal Alchemy
2:30 PM — Foraging in Mexico
4 PM — Identification and Taxonomy
Sunday, October 6, 2019
10 AM — Fungal DNA Extraction and Sequencing
An amazing lineup of experts!
Alan Rockefeller is a specialist in fungal taxonomy from Chicago, Illinois who currently lives in Oakland, California. In 2001 he began his autonomous studies in the field of mycology, beginning with the collection of fungi in California. Each year since 2007 he has traveled to Mexico to collect mushrooms – he has now photographed more than 1,000 species of fungi from Mexico. Based on phylogenetic and microscopic analysis he has identified several species not described in the scientific literature.
Christian Marr has been an artistic science nerd since her earliest memories. She has been involved with a variety of research topics, including phylogeny, population ecology, fungal decomposition, mycopesticides, mycoremediation, and so on. She has been cultivating plants and fungi for the past ten plus years. She is very passionate about teaching and facilitating citizen science, as she deeply believes the evolution of the human species goes hand in hand with engaging with our environment through study and curiousity to inspire innovation and stewardship. She hopes to promote the powers of nature to empower humanity and reverse the stigma that limitation exists!
Michael began his wildcrafting career at the age of 4 with the family tradition of wild mushroom harvest. Growing up in Prague, Czech Republic, the local forest beside the family getaway provided many adventures with friends and diverse mushroom foraging. He worked alongside his family who encouraged fruit tree propagation, vegetable gardens and the care of small livestock. He brought his passion to the U.S. and expanded his knowledge of medicinal mushrooms for personal and professional use. Michael currently forages reishi, turkey tail, usnea, maitake and other herbs for Red Moon and works on his mushroom log production and sustainable wood harvesting business. His goals for the near future are expansion of challenging wild-simulated mushrooms such as lion’s mane, maitake and inoculated birch trees with chaga plugs for a more sustainable harvest.
Matt started foraging and cultivating gourmet and medicinal mushrooms in 2012, and in 2015 officially opened Mayland Mushrooms. MM offers cultivated mushrooms year-round, and wild mushrooms in season. Additionally, after working and training with experts such as Robert Rogers, Matt offers mushroom essences and guidance on their use. Additionally, MM has developed low-energy methods for indoor cultivation of the most commonly requestes species, as well as a cookbook based on the mushrooms and other wild foods of Western NC.
Fun facts for fungophiles!
DNA Barcoding of Mushrooms
Thursday, October 3, 5:30 PM
Macon County Public Library
Since Aristotle started classifying life, on through Linnaeus, scientists and philosophers relied on visible morphological characteristics to separate and group organisms. With the introduction of the microscope, new realms of exploration and quantification were made possible. Many fungi share overall morphological characteristics but look very different at the micro scale which means some species can only be differentiated with microscopy. DNA sequencing has enabled modern taxonomists to explore these differences between species even further than before! Alan Rockefeller will outline the process that he uses to sequence fungal DNA, analyze samples, and manipulate phylogenetic trees.
Psilocybe of North America
Friday, October 4, 6:30 PM
Alan Rockefeller has dedicated much of his research to documenting new species and expanding our understanding of taxonomy of the much-loved genus Psilocybin. He will share his research, pictures, and his latest adventures in an intimate setting during our exclusive mushrom-farm-to-table meal.
Christian Killebrew Marr
Saturday, October 4, 10 AM
Fungi have played an immeasurably influential role on human evolution and our societal and psychological development. We will explore the rich history of stories and lore associated with fungi, as well as the historical uses and roles that fungi species has played in specific cultures.
Shiitake Log Innoculation
Saturday, October 4, 10 AM
This hands-on workshop is an introduction to log grown shiitake innoculation and management. Participants will learn theory of stacking, soaking and proper log and mushroom harvesting. You will drill and innoculate your own log to take home and learn methods for forest cultivation like log growing, totem and raised bed.
Low Tek Cultivation
Saturday, October 4, 11:30 AM
We will cover low-tek methods for the most commonly cultivated gourmet and medicinal mushrooms, with a focus on indoor cultivation for year-round availability. This session is geared towards those with an interest in bag culture, but without access to a large sterilizer or pasteurizer, as well as for anyone interested in reducing the energy footprint associated with cultivation. These methods have proven scalable up to 150 fruiting bricks per week.
Mycoremediation and Fungal Alchemy
Christian Killebrew Marr
Saturday, October 4, 1 PM
Kingdom fungi is known as the chemists of the earth, with highly advanced abilities to alter the chemistry of their surrounding environment, as well as decompose just about anything we’ve ever thrown at them! By studying and working with the incredible complexity of genetic code and enzymatic and chemical expressions of fungi, we unlock the potential to not only remediating the toxicity the human species has introduced to the world, but also advancing our chemical technologies well beyond anything we could accomplish alone.
Foraging in Mexico
Saturday, October 5, 2:30 PM
This presentation will explore the diversity of mushrooms found in our southern neighbor. Alan will share some of his most exciting finds from Mexico along with pictures of his adventures throughout amazingly varied ecosystems.
Identification and Taxonomy
Saturday, October 5, 4 PM
We will take a look at all of the different fungi that were collected and try to identify them. Mushrooms will be arranged by genus organized by a simplistic fungal taxonomy. We will review basic identification techniques and simple methods to learn more about shrooms! Multiple microscopes will be available for rudimentary examination of features.
Fungal DNA Extraction and Sequencing
Sunday, October 6, 10 AM
Macon County Public Library
Get hands-on in the lab as we extract and sequence fungal DNA. We start with small pieces of mushroom and end up with coded sequences which will be located on phylogenetic trees. This is an all-day event and is limited to a small number of participants.
Monday, October 7, 10 AM
Franklin High School
The mycologist Gary Lincoff advised, “Just stop now, and devote the rest of your life to mushrooms.” Alan Rockefeller seems to embody this ideal with his career as a self-made scientist. He presents his story for Franklin High STEM students so they can recognize the possibility in pursuing one’s dreams. We will also learn some basics about sterile technique a special petri dish activity where we culture hand- and air-borne forms of life.