Unearth the Fascinating World of Fungi
From their rich medicinal history to their vital roles in ecological cycles, fungi have captivated our curiosity and imagination since the earliest days of our human ancestry. To embrace and explore this age-old relationship with the fungal world, the Horn Farm Center is offering a new, four-part series spotlighting the diversity, versatility, nuance, and significance of nature's great recyclers. We'll enrich our relationships with fungi by visiting different corners of their uses and mycology, including cultivation, cooking, biology, land tending, and new frontiers of possibility with branches as numerous as fungal hyphae. In addition to specified coverage, each class will involve a foray in search of fungal specimans to ID at the Horn Farm Center.
Participants can register for individual sessions or sign up for the full course at a discounted cost.
All sessions will take place at the Horn Farm Center.
Session 1: Introduction to Mycology
Sunday, April 23rd from 10am-2pm
In this class, we'll learn the basics of fungal morphology (their structural descriptions: cap, gills, stipe, hyphae, etc). We'll explore spore printing, microscopy, habitats, varieties, nomenclature, early relationship with humans, benefits and uses, and tips for safe foraging, sharing interactive examples of each subject. We’ll supplement the class with a plethora of suggested readings, books and websites.
During the class, we'll take an hour walk through the woodlands of Horn Farm Center in order to collect specimens and identify the trees that they are associated with. At the end of this class, we'll come together and attempt to identify the mushrooms with reference books and spore prints.
*Note: we recommend this class for anyone interested in a primer on mushroom identification and mycology! If you are simply lookng for an introduction to fungi and/or cannot commit to the full series, this class will spotlight all the basics and set you up for further exploration.
Session 2: Medicinal and Culinary Uses (Session Full!)
Saturday, April 29th from 10am-2pm
Re-emphasizing the importance of proper identification before consumption, we will begin this class with another foray in the hopes of finding some edible or medicinal mushrooms! We will review the identification tips from April 23rd and share potential fungi IDs from the prior class and between. In this class we will cover a bit of the history of fungi identification--how it came to be recognized as a kingdom of its own and the immense progress that’s been made in the field since then. We will then review the most commonly used medicinal and edible mushrooms and together cook some mushroom-themed meals. Drying mushrooms will also be discussed.
*Note: if you register for this class and have any food allergies or dietary limitations, please let us know by emailing education@hornfarmcenter. This will help us choose mushroom-themed meals that accommodate all members of the class!
Session 3: Mushroom Cultivation (RESCHEDULED)
Saturday, May 13th from 10am-2pm (Sunday, June 4th from 10am-2pm)
In this class, we will discuss the different varieties of mushrooms that can be grown at home, how to begin cultivation, the equipment to use, suggested resources, small-large scale mushroom farming, and advanced laboratory cultivation. We will demonstrate how to obtain spores and/or cultures in order to create spawn. We will also show various methods to cultivate mushrooms with very little effort. Joining us will be a guest speaker with experience growing different types of fungi, and together we will inoculate logs and start grow-bags of oyster mushrooms, lions mane, reishi, and/or shiitake.
Session 4: Ecological and Alternative Uses for Fungi
Saturday, May 27th from 10am-2pm
Topics explored in this class will include remediation, mycoforestry, mushroom fiber, mushroom dye methods, myco pest control, myco building materials, packaging, plastic alternatives, waste management, myco water filtration, advanced medicine, myco extracts, fungi in the news, and animal/plant/fungi relationships. Students will be exposed to new and exploratory science in the field of mycology, from amateur to academic.
About the Instructors
Niles is a student at Millersville University studying for his bachelors in philosophy with a minor in
anthropology. He has been the foray coordinator for the Eastern Pennsylvania Mushroomers Club for 3 years. He is on the board of directors for a Harrisburg area nonprofit that creates sustainable community gardens in urban areas called Love Reforms Cooperative. He has been the chef at Food not Bombs Harrisburg (vegetarian meal served every Monday at Market Square) for 12 years. He is a certified herbalist, HAM radio technician, and arborist. Niles lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and has been involved in many community action campaigns including the USDA and EPA initiative Local Food Local Places (he is on the steering committee).
Ari is a student of Sustainable Geography at Millersville University. She has spent the last 5 years both studying the Earth in academia and independently through attaining a Permaculture Design Certification and completing training to be a Woodland Steward at the Horn Farm Center. A resident of Harrisburg, she is highly involved with community gardens and organizations that address community issues; including Local Food/Local Places (working to address the food desert in Allison Hill) and Food not Bombs. As the Eastern Pennsylvania Mushroomers Club Newsletter Editor, she has spent the last 3 years immersing herself in the field of Mycology. Ari thrives in the intersection of caring for the environment and cultivating community, and feels a strong sense of purpose in sharing her passions with others wanting to learn.
Spaces in each session are limited on account of equipment and facility needs.
We plan for each class to take place partially outdoors. Please check the weather in advance and dress accordingly. Be prepared for walking on uneven terrain and potentially muddy, wet conditions.
All programs are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances including inclement weather. Participants will receive an email in the days preceding the program for any changes or cancellations. You can review our current Cancellation and Refund Policy here.
Parking takes place in the field above the farmhouse.
York, PA 17406