BY JAIME YARBROUGH

 

The Humboldt Bay Mycological Society put on it’s annual Mushroom Fair at the Redwood Acres Fairgrounds in Eureka on Sunday, November 18, between 11 AM and 4 PM. I had been to the fair in 2009 and 2010 but missed it last year.
The two times I’d been before were very similar but because I was new to mycology I couldn’t get enough. I’d met members of the Society and became a member of their online Yahoo page. After last years fair there was a ‘myco-phile’ who felt the fair could have been more with respect to several other mushroom fair’s along the west coast.
This criticism brought on a number of defenders pointing out the size of the community and the outstanding number of specimens coupled with several quality Mycological experts present.
So I went this year to see if any of the proposed changes were taken to heart. I saw no evidence in my extremely brief visit. I spoke to one of the members behind a display who agreed the last couple years have been poor for mushrooms in quantity of mushrooms, and the variety of specimens. Mushrooms depend on a myriad of conditions to produce a fruiting body and the most likely culprit is ‘climate change.’
Publicity for the fair was extensive. Attendance seemed to be healthy. There seemed to be a good number of specimens but overall quality for some were less than optimal. The educational resources, books, displays, posters, microscopes, mushroom kits and T-shirts were all present for newcomers and veterans alike. Perhaps with the plentiful rains we are getting it will be a sign of a better fair next year.

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