Blog Post 17: A Year In

October was a huge month for us at Collar City Mushrooms.  We Marked the one year anniversary of moving into the building at 333 Second Ave by celebrating with a team backyard picnic and some pizza and “wings” from DiFamiglia.

We were invited to be a pop-up vendor for the Troy Waterfront Farmers Market again, and this time we had our incredible new banner made by NoNameSignsCo in Troy.

Primo Botanica, a vegan chocolate company in downtown Troy, coordinated a giveaway promotion using mushroom products made by local businesses Rad Soap co, Primo Botanica, Collar CIty Mushrooms, and (not so local) Malama Mushrooms.

They also launched their  3 Mushkateers bar!  A chocolate covered nougat bar including three functional mushrooms: Reishi, Cordyceps, and Lion’s Mane.

With all the incredible foraging opportunities the weather provided this season we were brought so many freshly harvested chicken and hen of the woods mushrooms to add to those we found ourselves.  We handed them off to Night Hawk’s in Troy, Subculture in Albany, and The Delmar Bistro for their culinary teams to create mushroom magic.

Chicken of the Woods fried vegan sandwich from The Delmar Bistro

The Second Sunday Poetry on October 10th was the third session of this reading and poets and prose writers filled the farm with powerfully moving words. 

Hosts Nancy and Dan introduce the first reader.

Read host Dan Wilcox’s blog for a summation of the event:

https://dwlcx.blogspot.com/2021/10/2nd-sunday-2-poetry-prose-october-10.html

On Saturday, October 16th, Collar CIty Mushrooms hosted the launch of “Out of the Darkness,” a 2 month long show featuring the visual art created by John Zoccoli curated by Maria Diotte of Bliss Arts NY.  While John was incarcerated, he enrolled in a program called Rehabilitation through the Arts that changed his perspective on life and gave him focus and purpose.  He encountered 2 other gentlemen also serving time who had chosen different forms of artistic expression: poet Jose Perez, and musician Kenyatta Emmanuel.  All three artists came together for the first time since being released to create an amazing evening of poetry, song, and art.  One of the administrators for the RTA program was on hand to talk about the healing power of the arts and how they encourage the rehabilitation of people who have walked a more shadowed path.  You can learn more about the program and donate by following this link:

https://www.rta-arts.org/

The crowd listening to John introduce his art.
Artist John Zoccoli, Poet Jose Perez, and Musician Kenyatta Emmanuel

Two more follow up events are scheduled with John: a painting workshop and a poetry reading.  See below for further details.

On Sunday, October 17th we had our first Reiki and Reishi with LisaMarie event.  Reiki is an energy healing technique that reduces stress and anxiety and promotes relaxation. Reiki Master LisaMarie provided 10 minute sessions and we served freshly made Reishi and Ginger tea.

Reiki Master LisaMarie providing some hands on healing.

Avery met the RPI BioPunk class at Peebles Island for a walk and talk about the fungi of the forests.  Instructor Kathy High had just finished a project where her students experimented with slime mold, so we paid special attention to all of the different slime molds we encountered in the wild.  From the RPI course selection site: “Biopunk: Arts Lab Practice is a studio, lab and lecture class introducing students to bioart and microbial life and resilient ecological practices. We use punk, queer and biological laboratory techniques to creatively produce science, design and art works.”

Avery describing the difference between Turkey Tail and some of it’s look alikes.
Students examining Blue Stain Cups (Chlorociboria aeruginascens)

On October 30th Collar City Mushrooms participated in the Halloween Weekend at the River Street Market.  

The game design division of Collar City Mushrooms expanded into the digital realm!  2-Bit Studio created a teaser computer game, currently called “Shiitake Adventurer: the Legend of the Forager.”  This simple yet fun game is myceliating now and the full version will be launched on December 1st (Title and details still in development).

You can play it here:

https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/588817053/fullscreen/

Coming Up;

November 6th: 1pm – 4pm Out of the Darkness: A Painting Workshop.  This $10 workshop will have artist John Zoccoli instructing participants to paint from a poem, creating a scene that reflects the written word (bring your own poem, or choose from a provided selection).  All materials included.  Registration required.  Email Maria to sign up: blissartsny@gmail.com

Check out the event details here:

https://fb.me/e/1qGVZhcBN

Here’s a link to an article showcasing artists who have created paintings based on poetry: 

https://mseffie.com/assignments/paintings%26poems/titlepage.html

November 13th: 7pm – 9pm Out of the Darkness: A Poetry Reading.  This evening of poetry will feature an open mic as well as poets who have written pieces inspired by John Zoccoli’s art.  Stop into the farm during open hours to experience his work, and if you are inspired, write a poem and bring it to this event to share.

A poem based on a work of art is called an Ekphrastic poem. Here’s a brief blurb on poets.org:

https://poets.org/poems-based-works-art

November 14: 2pm – 4pm The Second Sunday Poetry and Prose open mic.  This monthly recurring poetry and prose open mic welcomes readers of all abilities.  

November 18th: 7pm – 8pm Collar City Mushrooms will be hosting our first Book Club Meeting.  Book suggestions so far have been Entangled Life, Mycelium Running, and Mr Bloomfield’s Orchard.  During this first session we’ll meet, share some mushroom tea, and talk about our book club goals (like maybe coming up with a cool name).  Email Kaya at volunteersatccm@gmail.com to get on our book club mailing list.

November 22nd: 6pm – 9pm We will be hosting a limited number of people for a vegan, gluten free dinner party brought to you by the team at Meaty Max Vegan Meats.  See Eventbrite page for details and to purchase a ticket.  

Oyster mushrooms covered in gravy and topped with Brussel Sprouts.

Prepackaged Meal products.  Our risotto kits and a few soup ideas have been delayed as we search for the right way to package them.  Our hope is to have everything nailed down during the next few months.  Our “Thanksgiving” salt is in the testing phase and will be out prior to November 22nd.

Myceliate, the 18 card game, was finished in October and has been sent to the game company for printing.  A limited run of copies was purchased for those that expressed interest in them and we may do a gofundme or kickstarter to fund the purchase of additional copies. 

Check out our sponsored Arts Organizations / Shows:

Albany Poets: Next up to the mic podcast episode 15 featuring Pierre Joris.

The Nick Bisanz Show: this Albany live living room music and talk show featured Avery on October 21st.  Catch the episode here… new episodes are released every week.

Radio_Radio_X is a 518 local streaming radio station and arts newspaper that promotes music events, features interviews with musicians, and supports local businesses. Check out their website and stations here:

Home

Mushrooms in the news: 

The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy worked with designer Mae-Ling J Lokko on creating some architectural mushroom tiles: 

Atlast Food, a company based in Green Island, NY is producing a mycelium based “bacon” product. Read the LA Times article here:

https://www.latimes.com/food/story/2021-10-21/mushrooms-the-next-big-weapon-in-the-war-against-conventional-meat

The medicinal use of psilocybe mushrooms continues to gain traction.  UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering legislation that changes how it is scheduled.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-58980382

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