Shroomers Weekend

Can it really be true, as someone told me, that since Hurricane Irene and the torrential rains that followed emergency rooms around the state have become filled with people who decided to nosh on the mushrooms sprouting on lawns everywhere? Hopefully, that’s just an urban myth (although the New Jersey Poison Hotline did receive 12 mushroom-related calls in a three-day period in August, after it was reported that four people were hospitalized for eating wild mushrooms they thought were edible).

We mushroom lovers need not take our lives in our hands – not when this weekend holds two fun opportunities to learn and indulge. Safely.

Grow Shiitake Mushrooms at Home

Start out your shroomer weekend on Saturday (9/24) with the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey’s Mushroom Cultivation Workshop, starting at 2 p.m. in Basking Ridge. Farmer Alex Adams of Oakshade Farm will show you how to cultivate shiitake mushrooms at home. You will inoculate and bring home your own mushroom log.

Workshop takes place at Back-to-Nature Home & Garden Center. Cost is $35 ($20 for NOFA-NJ members). For information and to register, phone 980.371.1111 or visit

Fabulous Fungus Fest

Continue your all-mushroom, all-the-time weekend on Sunday (9/25) with the friendly and knowledgeable folks of the New Jersey Mycological Association at their Fungus Fest 2011, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morristown. Admission is free (although a donation of $2 for adults is appreciated), and events include cooking demos, talks, and guided mushroom walks, as well as activities for the kids.

For more information, visit or call their events hotline: 908.227.0872.

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