The foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains will be alive with the mysteries of edible, medicinal, and fantastic fungi when Charlie Aller, a.k.a. Charliceps, comes to the small Virginia community of Critz to teach a class on wild mushroom foraging in September.
A local mushroom forager, grower, and identification expert, Aller has been studying and loving fungi for the past five years. According to Aller, “The Queendom Fungi is ever-present but often out of sight– and its wonders and gifts are myriad. You will be introduced to basic safe mushroom identification and regenerative foraging practices, native medicinal fungi, and esoteric or cryptic fungi that humans are discovering every day.”
Aller will also cover the ecology of various common species so that you can find your own mushroom spots and better understand the role that fungi play on our planet. He has no doubt that you’ll be hooked after this class.
“Charliceps is plugged in to the mycelial network and no matter what the weather, there’s always something intriguing to see,” According to a release by Reynolds Homestead, which is sponsoring the event. “Seasonal transitions are especially ripe for a diverse array of species. If the group is lucky, Charlie thinks we could find Maitake, Lion’s Mane, Oysters, late season Boletes, Russulas and Amanitas, and many more.
“As the nights get colder, the delights of summer give way to the earthy flavors of fall, and all are enjoyable. A small feast will be had sampling the fruits of the unseen subterranean realm. Prepare to have your gustatory horizons expanded and learn some crucial mushroom cooking techniques that can turn any mushroom, wild or cultivated, into a savory delicacy that will wow you and your friends.”
Mushroom foraging is dependent on weather and terrain conditions; “Therefore we will announce the meeting place and where we will be foraging closer to the day of the event,” folks at Reynolds said. The class is rain or shine, so dress for the weather conditions of the day.
The class will take place on Saturday, Sept. 16 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cost is $60 per person, and participation is limited to 20 people, so early registration is recommended. Forms are available on the Reynolds Homestead website at www.reynoldshomestead.vt.edu or by calling 276-694-7181.