Mushroom Man speaks about edible mushrooms

Published 4:52 pm Thursday, August 1, 2013

Famed forager Alan Muskat. (photo submitted)

Famed forager Alan Muskat. (photo submitted)

The Foothills Association of Master Gardeners is hosting famed forager Alan Muskat for an introduction to the edible and incredible wild mushroom: fragrant chanterelles and sumptuous morels; giant puffballs and purple fairy fans.

On this magical mystery tour, you’ll learn about wild medicinals, how to dye with mushrooms (that’s D-Y-E), and more, all with The Mushroom Man’s unique blend of poetry, stories, wit and wisdom.

The presentation is Monday, Aug. 5 at 1:30 p.m. at the Polk County Campus of Isothermal Community College.

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“Wild foods,” said Muskat, “are a way of feeling at home in the world, i.e., that we are continually provided for and never alone.”

All ages are welcome to attend the event. Bring a sun hat or rain jacket as needed. Also bring any UFOs (unidentified fungal objects) you’ve spotted recently. Store these refrigerated in paper, not plastic, with a big “X” on the bag so no one eats them or just bring photos instead.

Muskat, a philosoforager, stand-up mycomedian and epicure of the obscure, has been going “out to eat” for almost 20 years. He founded the first “forage-to-table” program in the United States and the first wild foods market in North America. Author of “Wild Mushrooms: A Taste of Enchantment,” he has popped up on The Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods, The History Channel, PBS, CBS and in The New Yorker, Southern Living and Country Living.

For close to two decades, he sold hundreds of pounds of wild foods a year to more than 50 restaurants and hotels, including The Biltmore Estate, Lantern and The Grove Park Inn.

In 2007, Alan co-founded The REAL Center, a school for relationship skills and natural living. With humor, warm-heartedness and panache, Muskat awakens nature’s wayward offspring to the beauty and bounty of their bioregion. Ask anyone who knows The Mushroom Man: when it comes to bringing out the fun in fungi, he’s the champignon.

– article submitted by Jean Boles