Mushroom fanatics, on film

Release Date: 10-17-2013

Lola Milholland

Creative Projects Manager
503.467.0795

A new video series, Oregon Mushroom Stories, explores the veiled world of local mushroom foragers and farmers

Portland, Ore. — Just in time for fall’s mushroom feasts, Ecotrust and Edible Portland have released a three-video series about Oregon mushroom foragers and farmers. The short videos were created by a collective of writers, filmmakers, and artists who are captivated by the mysterious world of mushrooms and mycelia, and the dedicated community of hunters and growers in the Pacific Northwest.

In the wet climate west of the Cascades, mushrooms are the unofficial mascot. The underground networks from which mushrooms grow — mycelia — are a key indicator of forest health, and the mushrooms themselves are a hallmark of local cuisine.

Within this landscape, many extraordinary people devote themselves to mushroom foraging and growing. They have amassed deep reserves of knowledge — often through observation, experience, and from one another — which they pass down from one generation to the next. The Oregon Mushroom Stories videos capture these passionate individuals and bring to life a sense of wonder and excitement about the mycological world – both natural and cultural – of the Pacific Northwest.

The Matsutake Hunter: Comb the craters of Mt. Hood with Amy Peterson, a third-generation Japanese American who hunts for matsutake mushrooms every year, armed with a homemade walking stick what ends in fork tines. She learned how to uncover these prized mushrooms with her family, hunting since her earliest memories and later, training with master matsutake forager Leke Nakashimada. https://vimeo.com/76629146

The Mushroom Farmers: Explore the cave-like chambers where friends Brian Shaw and Dan Thall grow organic cremini and portabella mushrooms. The first organic cremini farm west of the Rockies (the vast majority of U.S. brown buttons come from a single county in Pennsylvania), Hood River Organic provides local eaters with mushrooms and the Hood River Valley farming community with rich compost. https://vimeo.com/76642813

The High School Teacher: Visit the lab and forest classroom where Jeff Mauck teaches a hands-on science course on how to grow culinary mushrooms. From inoculating petri dishes full of gelatinous agar to selling king oyster mushrooms in local markets and even making their own how-to cultivate videos, these alternative high school students in Coos Bay get a range of skills through the lens of Mauck’s love for mushrooms. https://vimeo.com/77061155

These videos follow up on a series of mushroom-related events that took place in the fall of 2012 in partnership with the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, including a mushroom fair that featured a zoetrope animating how mushrooms grow and a dinner exploring mushroom and fungi flavor. As Oregon State University mycologist and professor Dan Luoma said, “In my experience, the whole Oregon Mushroom Stories project is unique in the way it integrates art, science, food, and social science, bridging urban/rural natural resource perspectives and understanding.”

Watch the Videos: https://vimeo.com/channels/mushrooms

Learn about Oregon Mushroom Stories: www.oregonmushroomstories.org

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OREGON MUSHROOM STORIES is a project of Ecotrust, Edible Portland, G. Kennedy Creative, and Belly & Bones, made possible in part by the Regional Arts & Culture Council. Learn more at www.oregonmushroomstories.org

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About Ecotrust
Ecotrust’s mission is to foster a natural model of development that creates more resilient communities, economies and ecosystems here and around the world. Over more than 20 years, Ecotrust has converted $80 million in grants into more than $800 million in capital for local people, businesses, and organizations from Alaska to California. Ecotrust’s many innovations include co-founding the country’s first environmental bank, starting the world’s first ecosystem investment fund, creating a range of programs in fisheries, forestry, food, farms and indigenous affairs, and developing new scientific and information tools to improve social, economic and environmental decision making. Ecotrust works locally in ways that promise hope abroad, and it takes inspiration from the wisdom of Native and First Nation leadership. Learn more at www.ecotrust.org

About Edible Portland
Edible Portland is published four times a year by Ecotrust. The free publication, available at local farmers markets, grocery stores, restaurants, cooking schools and other locations throughout the region, addresses food and farming issues, and shares untold tales from the local food community. Advertising and subscription information is available at www.edibleportland.com