The Fungus Federation of Santa Cruz (FFSC) is made up of a collection of creative individuals who come together for the study and pursuit of wild mushrooms. We are a diverse lot with members of many interests: master gardeners, winemakers, chefs, beekeepers, chocolatiers, brewers, and of course, mycologists. Our goal is to make the science of amateur mycology interesting and enjoyable. We are all about keeping the "fun" in Fungus!
The Fungus Federation of Santa Cruz evolved as a result of David Arora’s mushroom classes and and early Fungus Fairs in the Santa Cruz area in the 1970’s. Incorporated as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization in 1984, the FFSC took its name and structure using the “Federation of Planets” model. Instead of a president and vice president, etc, we have a Board of Ministers. This is the hard working group that plans and runs the Federation to implement our mission, which is to foster and expand, through education and by example, the understanding and appreciation of mycology and to assist the general public and related institutions or groups to further this goal. To that end we sponsor educational events, provide grants to mycology students and identification services to local hospitals. Click here to see our Club Bylaws.
FFSC gathers monthly from September through May and we welcome the general public. Our meetings include presentations by knowledgeable mycologists, informal mushroom identification and great refreshments. Meetings are typically held on the third Wednesday of the month, 7 PM at the Harvey West Scout House in Santa Cruz (map). The Ministers meet the week before the General Meeting. This is the hard-working group that plans and runs the Federation. The Ministers meetings are open. Meaning anyone who wishes to attend and participate in the running of the club may do so. Look for Ministers' Meetings on the FFSC Google Calendar; contact the host for location and directions. See our calendar for details.
Find out what’s popping up and other intel on the FFSC Google Group (you will have to apply for membership if you are not a member of this group yet). Forays Our foray ministers plan an outing most weekends during the season. Learn to find and identify wild mushrooms with us!
- Local: We offer guided local mushroom forays, the best way to safely learn about wild fungi. Some include tailgate cooking and tasting of edibles collected. Always a fun family activity!
- Away: Want to explore further afield? Long distance weekend forays to the Sierras and Mendocino coast provide expanded collecting and learning opportunities, and fun with friendly foragers. Long distance forays offer a total-immersion learning experience, with the bonus of a great potluck to celebrate!
Classes and Workshops Beginning and Intermediate mushroom ID classes are offered to FFSC members, as well as advanced workshops on subjects such as microscopy. We endeavor to make classes free or at minimal cost to members. Special Events
- Holiday potluck of epic proportion;
- Suds ‘n ‘Shrooms potluck: A co-op event with the Central Coast Zymurgeeks. Lots of great homebrew and mushroomy food;
- Wine & Mushroom Fest: Another co-op event, with Santa Cruz Mountain appellation wineries.
- Prix fixe mushroom dinners: We celebrate wild fungi at dinners catered by our Culinary Group
Books and More Carefully selected books, posters and other mushrooming gear are available at many meetings and at the Fungus Fair. Member discount for purchases made at General Meetings.