Monday, March 26, 2012

A Fungus Among Us!

When I was a little girl, I hated mushrooms. I couldn't stand the smell, taste, texture, anything regarding a fungus. My mother once tried to make me eat a stuffed mushroom cap, to which I politely stuffed in my mouth then, when she walked away, spit it in a trash can. All of that changed when years later, she introduced me to a grilled portobello mushroom sandwich. When I bit into it, I asked her where was the mushroom. All I was eating was something delicious, flavourful and quite tasty!
So began my love for all things mushroom. Now, many years later, I am a member of the Cumberland Mycological Society, I have the Field Guide to North American Mushrooms, I have dear friends send me photos of fungus on their property and my eyes stayed glued to the ground if I am in a wooded area. Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting fellow mushroom lover Eugenia Bone, author of the book Mycophilia. She told of her tales of meeting up with fellow mushroom hunters, exploring the fungi kingdom in all of its glory and informing us of the unlimited potential of mushrooms in today's world of science and medicine.
Mycophilia is a book for the mushroom lover, the novice fungi admirer and for those who just love a good read. I found myself nodding enthusiastically while reading her words regarding attending mushroom forays (I'll be attending my first this July!), interviewing legendary people in the field of mycology and the prevalent mushroom festivals across the country.
One festival in particular is the Mushroom Festival located in Kennett Square, PA. For those of you who don't know, Kennett Square is the home of white button mushrooms! Yes, those little guys you get in a small plastic wrapped crate from your grocery store was 9 times of out 10 from Kennett Square. After reviewing the website for the festival, I decided that I, Kimberly Richardson, would attend this year's festival! The photos from last year looked way too cool and I knew this was a chance that I would have to take. So, I'll be in Kennett Square this year from the 7th through the 9th of September and I am looking forward to it!
If someone from my past had told me that the Kimberly of today would be super excited over fungi and their many properties, I would have told them to go fly a kite. But now, I can't imagine my life any other way.


**By the way, the photo is of a puffball fungus. So freakin' cool!

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