Zachary (Mazi) Hunter – Mycological Mexico: Oaxaca edition

Mexico is one of the most climate diverse countries in the world and it has been estimated that indigenous Mexicans consume about 300 species of edible mushrooms across its eight climatic regions;  All eight climates are found in the Southern State of Oaxaca. Despite its inclusion geographically in North America, the country of Mexico can seem quite foreign in its attitudes toward mushrooms and mushroom foraging when compared to the US or Canada. The difference, even more pronounced in Oaxaca, is more than just a language barrier, though that plays a significant role; despite Spanish being the dominant language, there are more than 16 official language groups throughout this state alone. More than half of the political regions in Oaxaca are self-governed autonomous democracies. There are no mushroom picking permits: nothing can be removed from the land, or even access granted, without express permission of the community. And yet, their knowledge of mushrooms and even mycology is vast and has been known since time immemorial. In this presentation, Chef Zachary Mazi attempts to tackle the barriers in understanding this delicate relationship, and discusses the intricate web of food-life-forest-community that underlies the unique management of these diverse and incredible ethnomycological regions whose wisdom holds so much potential for the rest of North America.

Pop-up walk Sunday June 11 Cunningham Park, Queens

An air quality warning has been issued by the US National Weather Service which is set to end Friday June 9th at midnight. However, it is possible that the hazardous conditions will persist through the weekend. If the air quality conditions are predicted to be unfavorable on Sunday we will cancel this walk by Saturday at noon. Please monitor your email inbox for a cancellation notice. Please have a safe week.

Because of the ongoing drought we've been finding fungi only in very limited numbers, mostly crusts, polypores and ascomycetes. While we hope there will be interesting fungi at Cunningham Park there are no guarantees.

Keith Seifert – Three Microfungi that Changed the World

To celebrate the publication of “The Hidden Kingdom of Fungi,” my recent book for general readers, I will present three stories in depth to show the profound effects of fungi (or “phungi”) can have on human affairs. We will follow the path of the Great Potato Famine from its origins to the Irish diaspora of millions of victims to Canada and the USA. We will look at the discovery of penicillin and its impacts on World War II and conflicting concepts of intellectual property. Then we will look at some global aspects of wheat rust. These stories show that the impacts of fungi and fungal research extend far beyond the corridors of science.

Come join us for an in-person ID meeting this Monday April 22
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