Fly Amanita (poisonous) mushroom, Mendocino Mushroom, Wine and Beer Festival, Nov 3 – 12
Chanterelle growing on a Mendocino forest floor
Mushrooms, 3,000 varieties of them, will be hunted, discussed, tasted and feted at Mendocino County’s 19th Annual Mushroom Wine and Beer Festival, Nov. 3 – 12. It is the world’s largest mushroom festival.
What makes Mendocino County such a great mushroom foraging area? “It’s the trees,” says Eric Schramm who will be leading a hike from Jughandle Creek Farm on Nov. 12, one of many walks, talks, cooking classes, concerts, rides and hunts focused on learning more about Mendocino mushrooms.
Mendocino’s forests are populated with many evergreen and deciduous trees whose fallen leaves and needles cultivate a broad variety of spores.
For the fall color spotter, Mendocino County’s forest are speckled with autumn color from: (orange) black oak, (yellow) bigleaf maple, (orange-yellow) valley oak, (yellow) white alder, (red-purple) creek dogwood, (gold-orange) various willows, (yellow) California buckeye, (burgundy) choke cherry, (yellow) Oregon ash, (chartreuse) vine maple, (gold) black cottonwood, (red) Klamath plum and all those mushrooms.
Schramm notes that the detritus deposited on the forest floor by certain trees, combined with Mendocino’s moist coastal climate, nourishes the abundant growth of fungi. It is tree species that leads foragers to prized mushrooms. Chanterelle grow beneath Douglas fir, black trumpet below tan oak and porcini underneath shore pine.
“The annual haul is nothing short of historic,” writes Visit Mendocino, and the response is that mushrooms make just about every great Mendocino menu. Mendocino’s wine makers and brewers find inventive ways to pair their makings with nature’s bounty in endlessly tantalizing ways, making Mendocino the go-to destination for mushroom lovers.
3,000 mushroom varieties grow in Mendocino County. 500 are edible.
Mushrooms are not just good to eat (that is, the 500 edible varieties growing in Mendocino County), but they’re also wonderful to photograph, as seen in the slider across the top of our site.
Schramm says not only is it just plain fun to go mushroom hunting, but festival goers learn a lot about the medicinal, spiritual, culinary, scientific and emotional benefits of mushrooms, stating, “Mushrooms are the wave of the future. We’re just starting to understand their many uses as tools in bioremediation to naturally clean the Earth.”
So, here’s a rundown of some of the fungi fest’s favorites. CLICK HERE for links to them:
Daily – Mushroom Hunt Ride, Ricochet Ridge Ranch, Ft. Bragg.
Daily – Live Mushroom Exhibit, Ford House Museum, Mendocino.
Nov. 3 – Wild Mushroom and Winemaker Dinner, MacCallum House Inn and Graziano.