Monday, July 16, 2012

Mycology 101 in Telluride

Do you love eating mushrooms, want to know more about their medicinal effect, or consider yourself a fungophile? Then pack your bags and get ready to experience Shroomfest in Telluride this August 16 - 19.  Interest in mushrooms stems from a range of inclinations, from culinary to scientific to just plain curiosity. 

Shroomfest will be celebrating its 32nd year in existence and is run by long-time Telluride resident Art Goodtimes.  Telluride's box canyon serves as the perfect backdrop and location for this annual event.  The San Juan Mountains surrounding Telluride are famous for their bounty of fungal species thanks to summer monsoon rains.  Brought to Telluride in 1981 by Dr. Emanuel Salzman, mycologist Gary Lincoff, medical guru Dr. Andrew Weil, myco-researcher Paul Stamets and others associated with the Denver-based non-profit Fungophile, Inc., the event was initially called Wild Mushrooms Telluride. It was an educational conference with the core objective to educate the public about all aspects of the mycological world.  After some disagreed over the primary objectives and purpose, a few led by the Salzman family and with the help of local mushroom enthusiasts Art Goodtimes and John Sir Jesse, evolved the event into what it is today in Telluride’s spectacular box canyon.
This four-day destination event “celebrates everything fungal & entheogenic” and features a multitude of activities that explore the entheogenic, as well as the medicinal, culinary, toxic, cultivation and identification aspects of fungi.  Popular activities range from mushroom lectures given by the most knowledgeable of experts, to cooking with mushrooms and guided hikes with instruction on how to find the freshest (and safest) mushrooms. One of the standout events is the famed mushroom parade down Telluride’s main street.

Interested in getting your shroom-on? Visit the official website here.