Classes and workshops

? WHEN: 19-20, March 2022
? WHERE: Norris Center Herbarium, UCSC Campus, Norris Center Herbarium UCSC Campus
A rainbow of mushroom-dyed yarn

Join us on March 19 and 20 for a two-day workshop exploring the intensely beautiful, full spectrum of color that can be obtained from coastal dye fungi. On day one we will take a leisurely walk through the woodlands adjacent to our dye lab, looking for fungal specimens. We'll talk about the role fungi play in forest ecology, how to spot ideal mushroom and lichen habitats and how to test for dye potential. After a picnic lunch, we will put our lessons to practice and test a couple of species to determine their dyeability and the best route to color. On day two we will work in-depth with a dozen or so local species, using developed recipes to achieve brilliant, colorfast results. At the end of this weekend-long workshop, you will have the experience and resources you need to carry on your own experiments at home.

All supplies provided: You needn’t bring any supplies to class; wool samples and silk scarves will be provided. You will receive a complimentary silk scarf to practice a demonstrated dye resist technique.

Take home: In this class you will learn about mushroom safety, identification basics, and habitats. You will also learn about the importance of ethical harvest, especially pertaining to lichen dyes. At the end of the day you will take home a detailed recipe card, showcasing a rainbow of samples dyed in class; a beautiful hand dyed scarf; a procedural handout to guide your future exploration, and a customized guide to the best local dye fungi.



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Classes - the start of a long, safe collecting career

Philip Carpenter

Whether eating mushrooms or simply studying them, (the science of mycology), it all comes down to mushroom identification. You don’t want to eat a poisonous mushroom! To this end, the Fungus Federation offers beginners’ classes in systematic methods of mushroom identification. Using the field guide Mushrooms Demystified (MD), by David Arora, as the class text, a series of four classes is offered free of charge to Federation members to learn how to identify mushrooms to species. This is important to learn, since only learning mushrooms to genus can result in serious consequences. For example, the genus Amanita contains not only the most deadly mushrooms in the world, but some of the best edibles. You need to know the difference!

Classes are conducted as hands-on workshops where attendees learn how to use MD to identify mushrooms collected in the field under the tutelage of a knowledgeable member. Extensive discussions and helpful tips guide members in developing their own identification skills. Past students have often expressed that taking two or more sessions really builds those skills. Classes are generally held the first and fourth Wednesday evenings of two consecutive months two or three times a season at the Santa Cruz Natural History Museum. Sign-ups are taken from members by email request to the class instructor prior to beginning the sessions.

Christian Schwarz

Workshops - forging a deeper understanding

The workshops that the Federation offers are usually one full day long and cover a multitude of subjects, open to suggestion. Annual workshops are given in beginning or intermediate/advanced microscopy, where hands-on sessions on how to use a microscope for mushroom identification are conducted. Instructors include both knowledgeable members as well as invited professional mycologists.

Other popular workshops have included advanced study of specific genera of mushrooms by invited specialists, microscopic study of different types of fungi (e.g. ascomycetes), or in mushroom cultivation techniques. These workshops are offered at no or minimal charge to members.