CAMDEN — Mycologist Greg Marley will present “The Sumptuous Seven: The Best and Most Easily Identified of Maine’s Wild Edible Mushrooms” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 10, at the Camden Public Library. Marley’s newest book is “Chanterelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares: The Love, Lore, and Mystique of Mushrooms.”
“There are twice as many edible mushrooms as poisonous ones, and while some edible mushrooms closely resemble toxic ones, there are a number of common, easily distinguished edible mushrooms without toxic look-alikes,” he said. “These are the mushrooms that a beginner should look for, and many lifelong foragers never go beyond these wonderfully flavorful gems.”
Are you someone who has long been interested in collecting and eating the edible mushrooms found growing in Maine’s woods but has been held back by your fear of being sickened by choosing the wrong one?
“Join the crowd!” Marley said. “Most Americans have grown up believing that most wild mushrooms are toxic and that it requires an expert’s knowledge to tell the difference between edible and nonedible mushrooms. Of the 2,000 or so mushroom types in Maine, there are a few that are potentially deadly, a bunch that can cause pretty severe sickening, and a lot that are not known to be edible.”
Marley’s talk will focus on the most common and flavorful “foolproof” mushrooms of Maine. The talk, supported by Marley’s photographs of local mushrooms, is an introduction to the world of mushroom foraging.
Marley has been collecting, studying, eating, growing and teaching mushrooms for more than 35 years. He has spread his love of mushrooms to hundreds through walks, talks and classes held across the state over the past 20 years. He is the founder of Mushrooms for Health, a small company providing medicinal mushroom education and products made with Maine medicinal mushrooms.
Marley is a volunteer mushroom identification consultant to Poison Control Centers across New England, providing expertise in mushroom poisoning cases. He is a frequent lecturer at college groups and a mushrooming foray faculty member. When not mushrooming, Marley, a clinical social worker, gives training and technical support to the Maine Youth Suicide Prevention Program.