41st Annual Telluride Mushroom Festival: Schedule Announced!

41st Annual Telluride Mushroom Festival: Schedule Announced!

Buy your pass to the Telluride Mushroom Festival. Contact the Festival here.

Britt Bunyard, director, Telluride Mushroom Fest.

Telluride, Colorado is the epicenter for the largest wild mushroom festival happening in North America. Plans are now coming together for the 41st Annual Telluride Mushroom Festival.

This internationally famous event features a plethora of activities ranging from forays and mushroom ID sessions, to hands-on demonstrations, to lectures—all led by regionally, nationally, and internationally-known experts. The Festival is home to the only mushroom-themed parade you will ever see and includes pretty much “all things fungal.” There is plenty for everyone, each and every day, no matter your age, interest, or education level.

Interested in forays and wild mushroom identification? The Festival’s forays are a great way to learn from local experts and nationally renowned field mycologists. This is your opportunity to learn how to “know your mushrooms,” and while you’re at it why not try tasting a few!

The Telluride Mushroom Festival features many culinary events, some for an additional special event fee; others totally free.

Each year many attendees want to learn about growing mushrooms at home, some on a small scale for fun, others have dreams of ramping up and going commercial. It’s not far-fetched, mushroom cultivation operations are popping up all the time and cultivated mushrooms are a rapidly growing crop with consumers. The Festival features everything from how to do basic cultivation for beginners, to doing lab tissue cultures; from building basic lab equipment to large-scale operations; and even marketing information.

The 2021 Festival theme is “RECONNECTING.” Festival Director, Dr. Britt Bunyard, Editor-in-Chief of Fungi magazine, says:

“After a year like 2020, all of us from the myco-community and beyond … we all need to reconnect! Presentations this year, like the presenters themselves, are quite literally all over the map. Topics range from wild and cultivated culinary and medicinal mushrooms; chemistry and clinical use of psychedelic mushrooms; ethnomycology, mycoremediation, and living sustainably with mushrooms; plus, lots of basics for beginners.”

With the unprecedented fires throughout North America in 2020—and Colorado in particular—there will be presentations by experts in “fire fungi” and using fungi to restore habitats after fires.

Many experts from the USA, like the West Coast’s Chad Hyatt, Tradd Cotter, Lawrence Millman, and William Padilla Brown to the East Coast, plus Colorado’s own Andy Wilson – curator of the fungal collections at the Denver Botanic Garden are featured.

The lineup also includes several international experts: Giuliana Furci of Chile, Andy MacKinnon from British Columbia, and Robert Dale Rogers from Alberta. Their stories will fascinate and inspire you. Their knowledge will motivate you.

Want to learn more about this year’s lineup? See below for just a few of the highlights including fee events that are open to the public.

So dust off your baskets and Amanita hats, and welcome back to the Telluride Mushroom Festival!

Come RECONNECT and celebrate “all things fungal.”

Because … We love mushrooms!


Wednesday August 19, Pre-Fest Workshops

These are all day, immersive workshops with limited capacity. Depending on availability and attendance, workshops will include:

• Ways to Grow Mushrooms at Home

Do you want to grow mushrooms at home? This overview by author Tradd Cotter is the best workshop for anyone curious about getting started and also valuable for anyone already growing who may need some tips. Covers logs, wood chips, and a brief overview of pasteurized media.

• Growing Mushrooms on Pasteurized Agricultural Waste

Cultivating mushrooms on pasteurized media is easier than ever and attendees will learn how to more efficiently grow oyster mushrooms, paddy straw, giant milkies and more.

• Recycling and Composting with Fungi

An easy step by step tutorial on how to recycle home, farm and business waste into mushrooms and compost for your garden. Cultivate on everything from clothing to cardboard, this lecture is great for all ages to experiment with cool ways to grow mushrooms the low-tech/no-tech way!

• Molecular Mycology for Citizen Scientists

With groups like the North American Mycoflora project promoting DNA sequencing for mushrooms many people have become interested in not only genetically cataloging their local fungi, but also diving deeper for a better understanding of these mushrooms through their DNA. In this class we will be streaming the process of DNA extraction and amplification for mushrooms!

• Cordyceps Cultivation

Take a deep dive into the current Cordyceps cultivation culture and get up to speed with cutting edge techniques for bulk production of high quality cordyceps mushrooms!

Wednesday August 19–thru Sunday August 22, Events Free and Open to the Public

6:00 pm, Wed. “Know Your Mushrooms” movie, free showing at Sheridan

6:00 pm, Wed. Beer Launch Party Transfer Warehouse; live music and mushroom beer!

Thursday Workshop

Outdoor Cultivation of Edible & Medicinal Mushrooms on Logs, Stumps, and Wood Chips, Kris Holstrom.

One of the easiest ways to grow wood loving mushrooms is using the basic log and stump method which anyone can do! Come and get some practice with experienced growers to see and experience the entire process firsthand, taught by the Festival staff. Everyone welcome and a kid-friendly event!

Friday Workshop

Gorgeous Handmade Paper…From Fungi!, Jessica Langley, Colo. Mycological Soc.

Come meet Jessica and make paper with fungi! In this workshop, she will teach you which fungi can be used and all about the tools and techniques of paper making. All supplies will be provided. Everyone welcome and a kid-friendly event!

Friday Workshop:

Easy Outdoor Cultivation of Mushrooms on Straw and Agricultural Waste, Kris Holstrom

Lecture Presentations and Keynotes

Thursday August 20

Lecture: Introduction to the Mushrooms of Telluride, … And Our Annual “Most Wanted,” Andy Wilson, Denver Botanic Garden

Lecture: Delicious & Distinctive Colorado Edible Mushrooms, Ken Kassenbrock, Colorado State Univ.

Beginning mushroom hunters may wonder how to “hunt for the table” successfully in Colorado, or how to add a new species to their repertoire. In “Mushroom Hunting 202: a few delicious and distinctive Colorado edibles,” we will discuss half a dozen of the most commonly hunted edible mushrooms in Colorado and how to distinguish them safely from potential “look-a-likes.”

Keynote Lecture

The Fungi Through the Flames: Understand Fungi and Plant Community Responses to Fire, Camille Stevens-Rumann, Colorado State Univ.

Last year saw record fires in the West and especially Colorado forests. This timely lecture will discuss fire, forest recovery and the crucial role fungi play.

Camille Stevens-Rumann is an assistant professor of Fire Ecology at Colorado State University. She has worked in fire for almost 15 years both as a wild land fire-fighter and a fire ecologist. She now spends much of her time in post-fire burned areas, hunting for both tree seedling and morels which are often abundant in recently burned areas. Her research focuses on post-fire recovery especially in the face of climate change.

Friday Aug 21

Medicinal Mushrooms of North America, Robert Dale Rogers

This presentation will look at recent scientific research on medicinal mushrooms, including in vitro, in vivo and human clinical trials. It will focus on some lesser well-known species that are deserving of more attention into their benefits for possible treatment of chronic health conditions.

Lecture: Desert Fungi, Amy Honan, Western Colorado Univ.

Deserts are inhospitable habitats characterized by temperature extremes, high sun exposure, and low moisture. How have fungi adapted to desert environments? We will explore groups of desert fungi and look at adaptations which enable these fungi to persist and succeed in these seemingly harsh environments.

Keynote Lecture: A Natural and Cultural History of Magic Mushrooms in British Columbia, Andy MacKinnon

Magic mushrooms have been employed in spiritual practices in Mexico and Central America for millennia. The visionary powers of these mushrooms first became known to the world in 1957 and, in the early 1960’s, they sparked a social and cultural “psychedelic revolution” soon dominated by LSD.

The discovery that magic mushrooms grew commonly and abundantly in the Pacific Northwest and in British Columbia helped make Canada’s westernmost province a focal point of social change.

This presentation will explore the natural history of BC’s magic mushrooms, and their role in the rapidly-changing counterculture of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, and up to the present day.

Featured Film “Psychedelia,” by Pat Murphy

Saturday Aug 22

Lecture: Legalization and Decriminalization Efforts in the USA, Sean McAllister

Sean will review the legal landscape and ballot initiatives happening this year primarily around psilocybin.

Panel Discussion: Legalization and Decriminalization Efforts in the USA, Sean McAllister, Kevin Matthews, Andy MacKinnon, Pat Murphy, Greg Sanchez, others; Moderator: Giuliana Furci

Keynote Lecture: The Fungus Foundation and Global Efforts to Stand Up for Fungi, Giuliana Furci, Museo del Hongos and Foundacion de Fungi, Chile

The Goodtimes Mycolicious, Mycoluscious, Mycological Poetry Show!, Art Goodtimes and John Michelotti

Sunday Aug 23

Lecture: How Did It Get Here? Exploring Fungal Dispersal Strategies, Amy Honan, Western Colo. Univ.

Fungi are found on all continents and in all habitats. How can mushrooms, with only microscopic spores, disperse and become established throughout the world? We will explore the myriad of dispersal mechanisms fungi use to move and become established into new habitats.

Lecture & Demo: Edible & Noteworthy Mushrooms, Part I. Identification Made Simple, Britt and Ken Kassenbrock

Lecture: Soil MycoRemediation: A New Native Approach, Lauren Czaplicki-D’Antonio

This is a soil mycoremediation story wherein we find ourselves with two creosote sites that are at least 50 years old. We delve into the fungi on site, improve upon the go-to wood supplementing method, and find exciting mycoremediators among the Ascomycete fungi! We also reduce original contaminant loads by at least 90%!

Lecture & Demo: Edible & Noteworthy Mushrooms, Part II. Identification Made Simple, Andy Wilson & Co., ID Tent

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