This beginner’s workshop will introduce you to the easy to identify, edible species of mushrooms that can be found in the Maryland area during the autumn months. The class will begin with a talk about the ethics and safety of wild foraging mushrooms. We will also talk about how mushrooms grow, what their characteristics are, and how to spot the best habitats to increase your chances of success.
This class is hands on, so come prepared to walk in the woods. We will likely be off the beaten path, so good woods shoes/boots are a must. Please bring some water, a knife, a collecting basket (or cardboard box), a camera and/or notebook, tick protection, and paper lunch bags to separate your finds.
At the end of class, we will come back together and talk about how to verify our finds. How to use field guides, dichotomous keys, and online resources will be discussed. We will then talk about how to prepare and preserve different species and celebrate all that we have learned by cooking up some of our finds and enjoying the gifts of the woods.
The instructor recommends Mushrooms of West Virginia and the Central Appalachians by William C. Roody as an excellent beginning field guide.
Samantha Feld is the owner/operator of a small mushroom growing and foraging business in Baltimore called The Mushroomworks.
Her fascination with mycology began when her backyard sprouted a gorgeous garden of crazy and colorful mushrooms from the decaying roots of an old maple tree. Upon learning that they were a cousin of the powerfully medicinal Reishi, she immersed herself, and began researching as much as she could about the intense, complicated, and often misunderstood world of mycology. This led her back to the woods, reawakening a long dormant, but deep love of the forest.
Sam is an avid forager and gardener, and is becoming increasingly interested in the medicinal properties of mushrooms and plants. She has taught mushroom focused foraging, cultivation, dyeing, and illustration classes in the Mid-Atlantic area.
When not out in nature, she can be found in the woods, puttering around her row house homestead, or teaching art in Baltimore City Schools.