Check back regularly as details get added...tickets will go on sale in September!
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Saturday, Nov. 4 - 11:00-11:45 - $tbd
One of our most popular festival speakers, Jon Sommer, returns to the Wild Rivers Mushroom Festival in 2023 to once again teach beginners the ins and outs of mushroom identification.
Jon holds a bachelor’s degree in botany from Humboldt State University and master’s degrees in botany and plant pathology from the University of California, Davis. He has studied mushroom identification with notable mycologists including Drs. David Largent, Orson Miller, Harry D. Thiers, and Daniel Stuntz.
Jon has led mushroom forays and taught classes on mushroom identification across the U.S. for more than 45 years. He has been a member of the Colorado Mycological Society since 1993 and currently serves as their President. In addition, Jon also holds memberships in the Cascade Mycological Society and the Humboldt Bay Mycological Society.
Note: We're offering this wonderful beginner's mushroom ID class at the start of the festival (Saturday, 11/4, ONLY) so everyone who wants to can first learn the basics from Jon!
Saturday, Nov. 4 - 12:15-1:00 - $tbd
Daniel Winkler is the author of various field guides: his newest is Fruits of the Forest: A Field Guide to the Pacific Northwest Edible Mushrooms. Previous publications include Edible Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest and Edible Mushrooms of California (both Harbour Publishing, 2011 and 2012), and co-authored publications "MycoCards" Boletes of Western North America (2021), Amazon Mushrooms (2014, Spanish version 2023), as well as Field Guide to Medicinal Mushrooms of North America (2018).
Daniel grew up collecting and eating wild mushrooms in the Alps and has been foraging for over 25 years in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. His presentations combine his stunning photography with an often funny blend of entertaining stories and scientific information, which he likes to refer to as "edutainment".
Daniel managed to bend his career as an ecologist and geographer focused on High Asia towards researching rural Tibet's enormous fungal economy. In the last decade Daniel has been exploring neotropical fungi. His Cordyceps research has been featured in The Economist, National Geographic, New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, BBC World Service.
Since 2007 his travel agency, MushRoaming, has organized mushroom focused eco-adventures to Bhutan, Tibet, the Amazon, Colombia, the Austrian Alps and the Pacific Northwest.
Trent & Kristen Blizzard
Saturday, Nov. 4 - 1:30-3:00 - $tbd
Get ready to fall in love with wild medicinal mushrooms! Trent and Kristen Blizzard, owners of ModernForager.com and authors of Wild Mushrooms: A Cookbook and Foraging Guide, will share their knowledge and best practices for creating medicinal tinctures and extracts, using some of the same wild mushrooms that can be found in the forests and fields right outside our back door.
Medicinal mushroom tinctures are all the rage these days, and with good reason - they're easy to make, and are a great way to get mushrooms into our bodies on a daily basis. And while culinary wild mushrooms are usually quite tasty, medicinal wild mushrooms just aren't. That's where tinctures and extracts enter the picture - as a way to get the most from the mushrooms that are good for you, but not necessarily good TASTING...
The Blizzards are self proclaimed "mushroom geeks" and are heavily involved in the national fungi community. (Trent is the current president of NAMA - North American Mycological Association.) These days they split their time between Reedsport, Oregon and Cable, Wisconsin, and they've been trekking the woods, mostly with mushrooms in mind, for just over 10 years now. A favorite pastime is sharing what they've discovered with other like-minded "geeks"!
Sunday, Nov. 5 - 11:00-11:45 - $tbd
Christian Schwarz is a mushroom enthusiast and taxonomist and citizen science advocate from Santa Cruz, the land of milk (caps) and honey (mushrooms). He teaches Natural History of Fungi and Introduction to Community Science through the Norris Center at UCSC, and also spends his time photographing, teaching about, and making scientific collections of macrofungi. He is coauthor, with Noah Siegel, of Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast.
Fungi satisfy Christian's curiosity with their seemingly endless forms (from the grotesque to the bizarre to the sublime) AND smells (from stench to perfume). During his presentation, he hopes to share with you some of what he finds so fascinating - and unusual - about mushroom scents in particiular.
Christian has travelled in search of fungi throughout the United States, as well as central America, Indonesia, Borneo, and Europe. Besides mushroom taxonomy and mycofloristics, he’s an excitable birder and passionate about citizen science, particularly the use of iNaturalist and similar tools.
Sunday, Nov. 5 - 12:15-1:00 - $tbd
Dennis Desjardin, PhD, is the Chief Mycologist at Sempera Organics and Professor Emeritus at San Francisco State University, retiring in 2021 after having taught there for over 30 years. During his career he published over 150 refereed scientific papers on mushroom systematics, and discovered and described over 300 new species of mushrooms and 7 new genera. He is the co-author of two popular field guides, the Mushrooms of Hawaii (Ten Speed Press) and California Mushrooms (Timber Press).
Dennis has conducted field work throughout the world, focused on documenting the diversity of fungi from under-explored tropical forests of Indonesia, Micronesia, Southeast Asia, Brazil, Hawaii and West Africa. This research was funded by 8 National Science Foundation grants, which helped support the supervision of 29 graduate students who matriculated through their Master's and PhD degrees, and now represent a new generation of mycologists.
Dennis is a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the Mycological Society of America. The latter leading professional mycological organization awarded him the Alexopolous Prize for outstanding young researcher and the Weston Teaching Award for outstanding mycological teaching. He continues to conduct research with colleagues around the world.
Sunday, Nov. 5 - 1:30-3:00 - $tbd
We are thrilled to have Chad Hyatt, a classically trained chef and the author of The Mushroom Hunter's Kitchen, back with us again! His 2022 mushroom cooking workshop was sold out, so if you missed it last November, here's your chance this year to learn from the best!
Chad has spent the last decade working in restaurants and private clubs around the San Francisco Bay Area, where he frequently demonstrates and teaches wild mushroom cookery at private and public events.
Chad spends his free time hunting for and learning about mushrooms, along with seeking out new techniques and traditional ethnic recipes to apply to them. He will be demonstrating some of his favorite wild mushroom cooking techniques, followed by a tasting, Q&A and a book signing.