May: Into the Woods!

May adventures were certainly fruitful!  We foraged, we connected, we expanded our team!

Our First Full Team Meeting of 2022

Nearly the entire team: Nico, Rebecca, Kayla, Amy, Aubrey, Avery, Bree, and Ian (Missing is Bob and Pete)
Professional mushroom helpers Santino and Nathaniel discussing their favorite Oyster Mushroom recipes
Bree and Mushroom friend Eric foraging for mushrooms
(Dryad’s Saddle: Polyporus squamosus)
Wild Foraged Mushrooms and Ramps
Wild Foraged Pizza Toppings: Dryad’s Saddle, Fiddle Head Ferns, Stinging Nettles, Ramps, Garlic Mustard, and Onion Grass

Artist Jonn Paul has his works on display until the end of June and his kickoff event with music by the Groovebeats and food by our friends Dave and Corinne was perfect!  Gorgeous weather, great crowd, groovy tunes, and delicious treats!

Jonn Paul discussing his creative process
incredible paintings by Jonn Paul
Delicious Food by Dave and Corinne
Dave overseeing his culinary kingdom
3 Sisters and a Sibling stew, Corn and Quinoa Waffles with Mushrooms, Cornmeal and Vanilla Amaranth Cookies with a Lion’s Mane Glaze
the crowd
the band: Groovebeats

Second Sunday Poetry

Mushroom friend, Tim, performs a poem

We’ve brought a new team member in to help keep our retail shop, auxiliary spaces, and grow rooms clean!  Welcome Kayla!

The team grows!

Emma Willard Student Geun Yeong Suri Bae joined our team during the month of May.  She worked with Ian in the lab on transferring cultures, harvested mushrooms, and processed fruiting bags to go into our grow rooms!  She will be returning in the fall when school starts back up again.  

Suri working on Cultures in the lab
Putting blocks to grow
Harvest Time!
Suri and Ian in the Lab

Avery and Amy with one of our mushroom friends and bookclub member, Jess, attended the Mushroom Film Festival at the Rosendale Theater.  They featured 4 full length mushroom movies with discussions and a mushroom meal.

Rosendale Theater
Avery, Jess, and Amy

We are continuing to develop our relationship with Tivoli Mushrooms, this time through buying a load of wild foraged Morels from Washington State!  These delicious and rare mushrooms are a delight to include in your meals!  We had them on pizza and in a white wine sauce with pasta.

Morel Pizza

Mushroom friend Samson Dikeman helped compose some of the soundtrack for the Dao de Mogu computer game that 2BitGames designed.  Our goal is to have a cabinet constructed to house a playable version at the farm.

You can play it here (you must insert your own soundtrack and sound effects still though)

Samson and Avery Composing Mushroom Adventure Music
Dao de Mogu: The Lost Scroll by 2bitgames

Troy’s inaugural FORAGED NEW YORK festival kicked off successfully!  The Collar CIty Mushrooms team helped plan and coordinate this multi venue celebration of wild foods.  We foraged for ramps, garlic mustard, Japanese knotweed, stinging nettles, magnolia blossoms, dandelion blossoms, violets, sochan, and dryad’s saddle mushrooms and provided them to chefs and mixologists at restaurants and bars throughout Troy.  We coordinated with the Rensselaer Land Trust and Capital Roots in order to lead foraging walks on their lands.  Sean Rowe (instagram @rentaforager_ ) who has a youtube channel with a video series titled “can I eat this” lead the tours.  Wednesday and Thursday evening there was live music at Nighthawk’s along with special menu selections and cocktails. Friday night there was a celebration party at the Takk house with DJ Trumaster and an all vegan foraged smorgasbord as well as a popup with live music at nofun. Saturday the festival continued with live music at Naughter’s and a disco dance party at The Whiskey Pickle.  Monday evening a foraging tour by the Soulfire Farms team led people around their farm and ended with a made-on-the-spot pesto tasting using the ingredients we foraged.  Check out the ForagedNewYork website for a full list of all the participating partners and additional details: 

The Foraged New York Core Team: Amy, Sean, Nadine, and Avery
Avery and Nadine with Meadowlark Catering chef Chris at the Takk House
Dryad’s Saddle mushrooms were turned into bacon for BLT sandwiches
Amy and Avery with Melissa and Tara from Capital Roots at their 8th street urban garden plot
Sean Rowe discussing finding wild edibles at the John B Staalesen Vanderheyden Preserve
Avery and Nadine (center of photo) watching Ria at Soulfire Farms prepare the pesto (photo by Leah Penniman)
Discovering Dryads
Avery Delivering Wild Foraged Golden Oysters to Matt Olley for the Little Viking co

Here’s an article in the Times Union newspaper about the festival:

Avery finally made it over to the Albany Victory Gardens properties for a long awaited tour!  They have been taking our mushroom compost since the very beginning and incorporating it into the soil at several garden spaces.  Their gardeners are starting to learn about a few mushrooms that are safe for consumption, and the gardens are flourishing!  They are even planning an entire “mushroom yard” dedicated to fruiting different fungi!

Avery in the mushroom yard at Albany Victory Gardens with some just picked King Stropharias
Golden Oysters growing from our mushroom compost

Avery and Amy visited Left Bank Ciders in Catskill to try their Chanterelle cider!  This delicious cider infused with fresh Chanterelles harvested last season was a crisp and delightful treat with a slight apricot undertones and earthy aromas.

Chanterelle CIder
Left Bank Cider in Catskill NY

The New York Psilocybin Action Committee had its first meeting at the farm.  This coalition of organizations and individuals dedicated to creating accessibility for people who would benefit from psilocybin’s use grew out of the Mushroom Symposium hosted at the Sanctuary for Independent Media.  We are committed to taking action by uniting the disparate groups working in the field of psychedelic law reform and lobbying our New York legislators for support in facilitating the transition to an accessible future.  To join in and find out how you can help follow @nypsilocybinactioncommittee on instagram.  Our website will be coming soon.

The Founding members of NYPAC
Our logo designed by Oliver WIlliam
Avery and Corinne meet with Colin Pugh of the Brooklyn Psychedelic Society

We ordered a Pestalotiopsis microspora culture from Nextmyco in order to experiment with this curious fungi!  Also known as the Plastic Eating Fungi it can breakdown polyurethane based plastics and render them biodegradable! Supposedly the mushrooms are also edible!

Plastic Eating Fungi

Our Mushroom Book Club is reading Paul Stamets’ book Mycelium Running and we’ve been discussing ways to implement some of the environmentally healing techniques around the city of Troy.  We reached out to the city to see how we can help mycoremediate their brownfield sites and discovered that a community-wide brownfield assessment funded by the EPA.  We will be discussing the feasibility of a pilot project to demonstrate the capabilities of fungi to help repair the damage caused by centuries of industry.

Trials and Tribulations:

Everyone wanted mushrooms in May, but we struggled to fulfill our orders.  We had a few issues with the grow room environments, contamination, and staffing hours. All issues that have now been ironed out. It was a rough month for mushroom production but it looks like everything is now under control and we’re ramping up production once again.

Coming Soon:

June 7th: 8pm – 9pm New York Psilocybin Action Committee Meeting (also available through Zoom – if interested in attending send us your email address)

June 11th: 5:30 – 8:30 Dinner on the Farm with Matt Olley from the Little Viking Co.

June 12th: Second Sunday Poetry and Prose Open Mic

June 14th: Meditation Amongst the Mushrooms will be a meditation field trip with a bonfire NOT AT THE FARM!  (email if you are interested in joining)

June 16th: Mushroom Book Club (email if you are interested in joining)

June 21st: Mushrooms, Mycology, and More at the Berne Town Library, 6:30pm

June 28th: Meditation amongst the Mushrooms 7pm – 8pm

July 5th: NY Psilocybin Action Committee Meeting time TBD

July 12th, July 26th: Meditation amongst the Mushrooms 7pm – 8pm

July 16th: Collar City Mushrooms Music and Creativity Celebration curated by Bliss Arts featuring OBA! And a performance of Diotte Sorelle WSG Avery

July 21st: Mushroom Book Club (email if you are interested in joining)

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