Telluride Mushroom Festival: Highlights

Telluride Mushroom Festival conducts serious science during the world’s biggest mushroom party customized for every budget & schedule. Lots of options for day passes, single forays, and pre-festival workshops, etc. Buy tickets here.

Below is a day-by -day reckoning of festival highlights.

Friday, August 15:

Tradd Cotter

Tradd Cotter

All-Day Mycoremediation Workshop With Tradd Cotter, $200

Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Telluride

Location: County Room, second floor of the Miramonte Building, 333 West Colorado Avenue (Main Street).

This one day workshop on Myco-remediation covers all the basics and beyond, making the difficult or confusing possible, giving you the skill-set you need to organize, plan and install your own mycoremediation project at home or anywhere in the world.

Tradd Cotter (see related story) from Mushroom Mountain, author of Organic Mushroom Cultivation and Mycoremediation, and Ron Spinosa, NAMA Cultivation Chair, will be assisted by San Juan Mycology team member Travis Custer, in teaching this integrated, hands-on approach to get you expanding biomass, training mycelium to “eat” pollutants, constructing a table-top filtration unit for testing, controlling erosion utilizing fungi, and scaling to larger installations. The team will also install a small mycofilter in downtown Telluride for all to see. Make your mark and don’t miss this opportunity to take your knowledge to the next level to form a plan of action for planetary stewardship in your area.

All-Day Mushroom Cultivation Workshop with Mark Jones and Kris Holstrom, $200

Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Location: Placerville

Meet in Placerville, approximately 15 miles west of Telluride.

This is a perfect class for beginner-to-intermediate cultivators wishing to cultivate edible and medicinal mushrooms easily at home or on the farm. Intercropping mushroom species in gardens, landscapes, and in composting piles is an easy way to cultivate edible mushrooms while providing soil creation and biodiversity to harmonize microbial populations using organic methods of agriculture.


MycoPigments: Pick Mushrooms and Dye with Alissa Allen

Alissas adventures in pigment land-01

Mushroom and Lichen Dyes for Silk Scarf Shibori, $85 includes all materials ($5-10 for additional scarves).

Friday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Location: Elks Lodge

Mushroom dye artist Alissa Allen brings mushrooms and lichen from around the country and world. Learn to process them into dye, unlock the mycopigments with natural ingredients, and color silk using the “shibori” technique to compress, bind and knot fabric to create amazing patters on items of enduring charm and beauty. Picture very classy tie-dye for the fashion runway. This class is 2 to 3 hours and is offered in the downstairs commercial kitchen and workshop space at Elks Lodge.

 

Foray with Lawrence Millman

foray 4

Friday, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Difficulty rating: easy/leisurely.

Location: Convene outside of Elks Lodge

This pre-festival foray will convene outside of Elks Lodge, 472 W. Pacific Ave, at 2 p.m., and is a 2-hour walking tour. We will not take cars. Ethnomycologist Millman will lead our group to the gondola, and we will ascend the mountain to his favorite foray spot. Some of the best parts of a Lawrence Millman foray are his focus on wood-inhabiting fungi and his wonderful storytelling about “what fungi are doing,” rather than just noting their binomial.

 

Saturday, August 16:

MycoPigments: Pick Mushrooms and Dye with Alissa Allen

Alissa Allen

Alissa Allen

Mushroom and Lichen Dyes for Wool, with Silk Scarf Option, $85 includes all materials ($5-10 for additional scarves).

Saturday, 9 a.m. – noon

Location: Elks Lodge

Mushroom dye artist Alissa Allen brings mushrooms from around the country and world. Learn to process them into dye, unlock the mycopigments with natural ingredients, color wool, and create items of enduring charm and beauty. This class is 2 to 3 hours and is offered in the downstairs commercial kitchen and workshop space at Elks Lodge.

Mushroom Cookoff

cookoff

Saturday, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Location: South Pine Street

The Wilkinson Public Library teams up with the Telluride Mushroom Festival to host the annual Mushroom Cookoff, where famous chefs compete to win. Taste and judge them all to decide whose dish is best.

All attendees of the Telluride Mushroom Festival get a ticket to the Cookoff with their pass. Members of the public can also acquire Cookoff tickets for only a $7 donation, while supplies last. Visit www.telluridemushroomfest.org to purchase a ticket. 

The Cookoff takes place on South Pine, between the Library and Smuggler’s Brew Pub (street closure). The family event features entertainment and vendor booths, but the stars of the show are the mushrooms themselves as they sizzle and pop with flavor. Some of the plated presentations by the chefs resemble little gnome gardens and feature mushroom-themed decorations to garner audience favor and votes. There will be music and dancing until 4:30, but you’ll miss the moderated Ethnomycology Panel Discussion back at the Palm, if you stay for that.

(See related story here.)

WildFoods Dinner with Katrina Blair, (See related post on food & forays here.)

Katrina Blair

Katrina Blair

Saturday, 5 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. Ends in time for Langdon Cook’s Lecture! $40

Location: Elks Lodge

Join forager and wild foods advocate, Katrina Blair, for a meal prepared from locally procured wild foods, as well as wholesome organic farmed items. Katrina will walk to the Telluride Mushroom Festival from Durango (a week-long hike) and collect much of the fare for the WildFoods Dinner on her way.

You won’t believe how amazing Katrina is. She gave a TEDxTalk called “13 Global Plants for Survival,” and is the founder of the Local Wild Food Café at Turtle Lake Refuge. The dinner is sure to consist of delicious and elegantly prepared roots, mushrooms, berries, leaves, seeds and needles from evergreen trees, dandelions, amaranth, lamb’s-quarter, high-alpine bistort and plantain that you’ll have to try to believe. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to meet Katrina and enjoy living food from wild lands. Tickets are limited to 60 guests and will be held at the Elks Lodge.

 

Evening Keynote

Langdon Cook

Saturday, 7:15 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Location: Palm Theater

 

Langdon Cook with a haul

Langdon Cook with a haul

Langdon Cook is the author of “Fat of the Land: Adventures of a 21st Century Forager” and winner of the 2014 Pacific Northwest Book Award. The Seattle Times described his writing as “lyrical, practical and quixotic.” Cook is interested in people who live at the intersection of food and nature.

“This gives me a chance to follow multiple threads that intrigue me: wild foods, foraging, natural history, environmental politics, outdoor sports, adventure travel…,” says Cook.

His lecture is about the men and women–many of them immigrants from war-torn countries, migrant workers, or refugees from the Old Economy–who bring wild mushrooms to market.

 

Late night Entheogen Community Discussion at the County Room

Saturday and Monday Nights, 9:15 p.m.

Location: Miramonte Building

It’s 9:15 p.m. and you feel like checking out one more happening… Heads should head over to the County Room located on the second floor of the Miramonte Building at 333 West Colorado Avenue (Main Street). That’s the building with the clock tower across from Elks Park. There you’ll find three psychedelic luminaries: Art Goodtimes, Kilindi Iyi and Dr. Khats Savant. Together they will answer your questions and trade stories. This is a participatory discussion, not a presentation.

 

Sunday, August 17:

Wild Edible Plant Foray with Katrina Blair 

Sunday, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Location: Convene at the Palm, near Fungi Magazine tent

Join forager and wild foods advocate, Katrina Blair, for a unique foray and interpretative nature tour. We will not take cars. Please meet outside of the front door of the Palm near the Fungi Magazine tent, and we will leave on foot for a 2-hour walking tour to explore the wild abundance of the local region. Bring a collection bag and expect to nibble on wild edible greens, berries and learn about the foods and medicines close by.

 

Mushroom Art and Costume Design and Construction Workshop for Kids (of all ages) 

12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Location: Wilkinson Public Library

Join mushroom-themed artist Yva Neal, and her partner, toy designer John Neal, and learn how to turn recycled and repurposed items into mushroom costumes for the Parade.

FREE, includes materials.

 

Parade: We Love Mushrooms!

Shroompa Art Goodtimes in Mushrrom Festival parade

Shroompa Art Goodtimes in Mushrrom Festival parade

Sunday, 4 p.m.

Location: Main Street to Elks Park

Join our beloved Shroompa Art Goodtimes for his favorite event of the year! The Telluride Mushroom Festival Parade proceeds from Elks Park to the Town Park, and then back up Main Street ending at Elks Park for drumming and revelry. Costume contest winners will be announced tonight before the evening keynote. Dress to kill!

Evening Keynote

John Holliday

7:15 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Location: Palm Theater

Mycologist John Holliday will deliver the keynote on Cordyceps (Medicinal Fungi) and their Mechanism of Action. Holliday is the founder of Aloha Medicinals, the largest grower of pharmaceutical-grade medicinal mushrooms on earth, and vice-president of the International Society for Medicinal Mushrooms. His lecture will address the interdisciplinary field of medicinal mushrooms and the unique and potent properties they contain. Holliday has designed many successful human trials, including those utilizing mushrooms as an adjunct treatment of advanced stages of cancer.

Film About Magic Mushrooms: Little Saints
9:15 p.m. 

Location: Palm Theater
Filmmaker Oliver Quintinilla discusses and debuts his wonderful film, Little Saints, about six seekers who travel to Mexico to partake in an ancient ritual in which they ingest hallucinogenic mushrooms with the intention of alleviating their issues and discomforts.

Monday, August 18:

A Birthday Salute to Art Goodtimes!

Happy birthday Shroompa

Happy birthday Shroompa

12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Location: On stage at the Palm

This 30-minute live program will joyfully celebrate Shroompa’s life. He is often described as “the embodiment of kindness,” and it is particularly auspicious for the 2104 Telluride Mushroom Festival to fall on Art’s Birthday. We wouldn’t miss the chance to celebrate his trip around the sun. Join us for a lively mushroom-themed performance in honor of a great man! This event is FREE and open to the public, so please invite the whole town.

 

MycoPigments: Pick Mushrooms and Dye with Alissa Allen

Alissa Allen, dye rainbow

Alissa Allen, dye rainbow

Mushroom and Lichen Dyes with a focus on fresh collections (if available), $85 includes all materials ($5-10 for additional scarves).

Monday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Location: Elks Lodge

Mushroom dye artist Alissa Allen brings mushrooms from around the country and world. Learn to process them into dye, unlock the mycopigments with natural ingredients, color wool, and create items of enduring charm and beauty. This class is 2 to 3 hours and is offered in the downstairs commercial kitchen and workshop space at Elks Lodge.

 

Evening Keynote

Taylor Lockwood

Taylor Lockwood, magical mushrooms that glow in the dark

Taylor Lockwood, magical mushrooms that glow in the dark

7:15 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Location: Palm

Taylor Lockwood, whose stunning images of glowing fungi have graced National Geographic and turned thousands of readers on to the wonder of mushrooms, will deliver the Monday evening talk. His lecture will be followed by the Telluride debut of the film, “Spirits of the Forest,” which is about Lockwood’s worldwide search for bioluminescent and other exotic mushrooms and features the gorgeous wilds of Brazil, Madagascar, China, the USA, New Zealand, and Australia.

Latenight Entheogen Community Discussion at the County Room

Saturday and Monday Nights

9:15 p.m.

It’s 9:15 p.m., and you feel like checking out one more happening… head over to the County Room located on the second floor of the Miramonte Building at 333 West Colorado Avenue (Main Street).  There you’ll find three psychedelic luminaries: Art Goodtimes, Kilindi Iyi and Dr. Khats Savant.  Together they will answer your questions and trade stories. This is a participatory discussion, not a presentation.

Tuesday, August 19:

Evening Keynote

Gary Lincoff

A foray with Gary Lincoff

A foray with Gary Lincoff

7:15 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Location:

Gary Lincoff discusses the joy of foraging. He is author of several books, including The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms. Lincoff will reflect on his early years with Euell Gibbons and, through his stories, will allow us an intimate look into his life spent foraging.

 

MORE:

Vendor Fair and Swag Give-Away

Throughout the festival until Tuesday evening

Friday, August 16 – Tuesday, August 19

Location: Lobby of the Palm Theater

The lobby of the Palm Theater will be transformed into a Science Center and vendor fair where the public may enter free to taste snack foods made of mushrooms, meet scientists who are extracting DNA from fungi, and sample coffees, teas and health supplements made from mushrooms. This free, public area will also feature make-your-own oyster mushroom growing kits for children (while supplies last). Vendors are encouraged to hand out goodies to the public. No need to purchase a ticket to the Telluride Mushroom Festival to enjoy this free exhibit and demonstration space.

Forays

Sure, one could learn to identify edible mushrooms and plants from a book, but that’s not the way it’s been done for eons in our human history. “Mushroom hunting can reconnect us with our evolutionary roots as hunter-gatherers and give us a deeper awareness of our environment,” says America’s most renowned forager Gary Lincoff.  Join foraging experts, including Lincoff, John Sir Jesse, Bill and Will Adams, Larry Evans, Lawrence Millman, Noah Siegel, and Katrina Blair for edible harvesting and ID tours of varying lengths and focuses. There are many forays available each day to choose from. Schedules and sign-up sheets can be found in the Palm’s lobby

Is its aroma lemony? Peppery? Fishy? Spermatic? Does the underside stain blue? Does the stipe have scabbards (black scales) indicating an Aspen Bolete, or is the stem cream-colored indicative of the gourmet Porcini? Learn these tips and more.

Do you need help learning to slice, clean and cook your finds, too? After each foray, visit the free public cooking station in Elks Park, where experts are standing by to offer prep advice and show you how to cook your finds. Butter, spices, clean cutting boards, and knives are maintained there for your use.

Elks Park Science Tent

Throughout the festival until Tuesday evening

Friday, August 16 – Tuesday, August 19

According to Rebecca Fyffe, the Telluride Mushroom Festival’s executive director, “Our scientists will spend the whole festival banging in a tent (with hammers) and there will be DNA everywhere!” What Fyffe jokingly refers to is the Telluride Mushroom Festival’s DNA lab, where bits of mushroom tissue will be slammed between specially treated sheets of filter paper to preserve the fungal DNA.

“When you see hundreds of festival participants dressed as mushrooms in our epic annual costume parade, you’ll have no idea that serious science is taking place beneath a public tent a few feet away,” said Matt Kostalek, vice-president of Aloha Medicinals.

Kostalek and John Holliday, the internationally renowned mycologist at the helm of Aloha Medicinals, have offered a grant of over $10,000 to fund the Telluride Institute Voucher Program science tent where DNA specimens of mushrooms will be prepared in Elks Park during this year’s Mushroom Festival.

Gary Lincoff, author of the National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms, will join John Holliday to co-lead the Voucher Program.  “We have created a checklist of the mushrooms we have been finding in the Telluride area since 1981. We know the mushrooms fairly well, but we do not know how they relate to similar mushrooms elsewhere, especially those whose names are being used to represent the ones we are finding in Telluride,” Lincoff says of his hope for the Voucher Program.

Lincoff laid the groundwork for the Voucher Program with mycologist Linnea Gillman, who has entered more Western Slope mushrooms into herbaria than anyone else. This year, Lincoff invited his friend and colleague, mycologist Noah Siegel, to assist with the Voucher Program. As Siegel, who is excited about the open-air tent notes, “You have hundreds of people in the woods collecting mushrooms. Many of the mushrooms they collect are undescribed or ‘new to science’, so this is an opportunity to take advantage of our many Citizen Scientists.”

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