Bountiful Shrooms Greet 30th Annual Telluride Mushroom Fest

[click “Play” for Art Goodtimes’ take on the Mushroom Festival]

IMG_5180 “The mushrooms have two strange properties: the one that they yield so delicious a meat; the other that they come up so hastily, as in a night, and yet they are unsown,” Francis Bacon, “Naturall Histories,” 1624.

Probably the best mushroom harvest in years has upped the ante for the 30th Annual Telluride Mushroom Festival, Aug. 26-29.

Wild mushrooms have always prompted wild debate, because they make great eats, but also can kill you. In some parts of the world – Telluride is one such address – mushrooms are prized for their culinary properties. But elsewhere on the map, mycophobes associate fungi with witches and serpents oh my.

IMGP1406 Since 1981 fungophiles of all sorts – from Andrew Weil to Thomas Szasz, from Rita Rosemberg to Lynn Margolis, from Sasha Shulgin to the late Terence McKenna — have come to this mining-camp-turned-resort-mecca to talk about identification, growing methods, medicinal uses, forest remediation, drug scapegoating, culinary recipes, biological theory, entheogenic practice, and the way of the psychonaut.

The keynote speaker for the 2010 Telluride Mushroom Fest is one of the nation’s leading mycologists, Gary Lincoff of the New York Botanical Garden. Gary plans to explore the subject of “A Mushwomb with a View: How the Marginalized became the Matrix”, as well as leading forays, identification slide shows and ID workshops. Paul Stamets of Fungi Perfecti in Olympia, Washington, also returns. Famed for his encyclopedic knowledge of the genus, Psilocybe, Paul has bioneered a host of new uses for mycological spores from forest remediation and oil spill cleanup to non-toxic insecticides and cardboard packaging boxes you can grow.

IMG_5196 To learn more about the Telluride MushFest and why fungal infatuation is a growing trend, click on the “play” button and listen to an interview with event event organizer/poet-in-residence/county commissioner Art Goodtimes.

Oh, and don’t miss Saturday’s parade.

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