4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

San Diego Mycological Society’s 24th annual Fungus Fair: a mushroom meetup

“Mushrooms have become the ‘in thing,’”

Mushroom foray at Flinn Springs County Park.
Mushroom foray at Flinn Springs County Park.

The mushroom: a symbol of ecological renewal, of alternative medicine, of psychedelic exploration. I see them everywhere these days: on clothing and murals and stickers, in cultivation kits that I can buy at my kids’ school, and in the documentary section of Netflix (Fantastic Fungi, 2019).

Sponsored
Sponsored

Here in San Diego, the love of mushrooms has had a home for more than two decades in the San Diego Mycological Society, created by founder Elio Schaecter and a small group of enthusiasts. Pat Nolan, a 24 year veteran of the club, says that “mushrooms have become the ‘in thing,’” but that she and the group have been here since “before the mushroom boom.” For Pat, a retired plant pathologist, a long-time engagement with fungal plant pathogens led to an interest in other fungi that she has been able to pursue in the club with like-minded people, people like Cassandra Ablola, the club’s current president, who says that she has “always loved mushrooms.” Her “first memory of loving mushrooms was Campbell’s mushroom soup,” and it only grew from there. She sees fungi with her artist’s eye; not everyone would call the microscopic forms of a mold “so pretty.” (While mushrooms may have a certain pride of place in the group, her comment about mold reminds me that fungus is a category that is broader than just mushrooms, encompassing “gazillions of molds” and — most importantly, in my estimation — the delicious truffle.)

Pat Nolan and Cassandra Ablola.

There are many different angles from which people find mycological matters interesting: the club supports those with culinary interests, as well as cultivators and foragers of mushrooms, and even dye-makers. Cassandra makes little ceramic mushroom art. The group has assisted its members in learning about mycoremediation — the mushroom-fueled decontamination of environments — as well as building with mushroom-based materials. Their 24th annual Fungus Fair happened on February 27th; it brought in an impressive 80 new members. Pat also gave a talk on March 7 about Plant Pathology and Mycology. Events in the near future include a movie screening in Encinitas of Psychedelia: the History and Science of Mystical Experience, and a members-only “Mushroom Mixer” at a local meadery that will feature appetizers from the club’s chef.

Both Cassandra and Pat tell me that the social element of the group is of primary importance to them. They like the potlucks, meeting new people, being outside together on forays, and spending time with people who share their interest. Learning, camaraderie, and delight in the natural world, all growing together. Meetings are open to the public and take place on the first Monday of each month.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Trump Trumps Love

Fractured friendships following 45
Mushroom foray at Flinn Springs County Park.
Mushroom foray at Flinn Springs County Park.

The mushroom: a symbol of ecological renewal, of alternative medicine, of psychedelic exploration. I see them everywhere these days: on clothing and murals and stickers, in cultivation kits that I can buy at my kids’ school, and in the documentary section of Netflix (Fantastic Fungi, 2019).

Sponsored
Sponsored

Here in San Diego, the love of mushrooms has had a home for more than two decades in the San Diego Mycological Society, created by founder Elio Schaecter and a small group of enthusiasts. Pat Nolan, a 24 year veteran of the club, says that “mushrooms have become the ‘in thing,’” but that she and the group have been here since “before the mushroom boom.” For Pat, a retired plant pathologist, a long-time engagement with fungal plant pathogens led to an interest in other fungi that she has been able to pursue in the club with like-minded people, people like Cassandra Ablola, the club’s current president, who says that she has “always loved mushrooms.” Her “first memory of loving mushrooms was Campbell’s mushroom soup,” and it only grew from there. She sees fungi with her artist’s eye; not everyone would call the microscopic forms of a mold “so pretty.” (While mushrooms may have a certain pride of place in the group, her comment about mold reminds me that fungus is a category that is broader than just mushrooms, encompassing “gazillions of molds” and — most importantly, in my estimation — the delicious truffle.)

Pat Nolan and Cassandra Ablola.

There are many different angles from which people find mycological matters interesting: the club supports those with culinary interests, as well as cultivators and foragers of mushrooms, and even dye-makers. Cassandra makes little ceramic mushroom art. The group has assisted its members in learning about mycoremediation — the mushroom-fueled decontamination of environments — as well as building with mushroom-based materials. Their 24th annual Fungus Fair happened on February 27th; it brought in an impressive 80 new members. Pat also gave a talk on March 7 about Plant Pathology and Mycology. Events in the near future include a movie screening in Encinitas of Psychedelia: the History and Science of Mystical Experience, and a members-only “Mushroom Mixer” at a local meadery that will feature appetizers from the club’s chef.

Both Cassandra and Pat tell me that the social element of the group is of primary importance to them. They like the potlucks, meeting new people, being outside together on forays, and spending time with people who share their interest. Learning, camaraderie, and delight in the natural world, all growing together. Meetings are open to the public and take place on the first Monday of each month.

Comments
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Trump Trumps Love

Fractured friendships following 45
Next Article

Bepul Kicks footwear gearing up for local hip-hop following

National City’s 15 year-old fashion entrepreneur
Comments
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close